Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine’s Justin Philip Henneman was awarded second prize at the annual Hofstra-CPXi Tech Challenge for an idea that improves upon ventriculoperitoneal shunting, a surgical procedure that removes excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain.
Ten teams in total vied for $100,000 in seed money to develop their technology-based projects in the CPXi Challenge, believed to be the most-funded student entrepreneurship contest in the nation. Among the top four contestants with winning proposals, fourth-year medical student Henneman received $20,000 of the investment bankroll to further research and development of his innovation called Archimedes. Contest winners were announced at Hofstra University on September 17.
"I had about three to four ideas I wanted to propose, including projects for medical devices that I had already designed," explained Henneman, who has an MA in mechanical engineering from the University of Hawaii. "The [Hofstra-CPXi] contest I thought would be a good way to advance any one of the ideas."
He also saw the contest as an opportunity to work with North Shore-LIJ's department of neurosurgery resident, Alexander Gamble, MD, who provided clinical input for Henneman's independent project. "I didn't want to lose the opportunity to gain insight from Dr. Gamble who raised the problem regarding current hydrocephalus shunts," said Henneman, "so I picked that [project] to submit [to the contest] and it was accepted for final presentation."
As for next steps in device development, the prize money will boost momentum for Archimedes. "Medical devices take about five to 10 years to come to market. I'm two months in," explained Henneman. "The funds will help me to obtain the equipment I need to start building a prototype and a physiological modeled system. I'm also applying for a grant to cover the cost of lab space and other needs. By the time I leave medical school, I'm hoping to have a working prototype and software in place."
The CPXi Tech Challenge is a college student competition that is organized to encourage innovation and entrepreuneurship. A leading digital media holding company, CPXi is led by chief executive officer, Mike Seiman, a Hofstra alumnus and Board of Trustee member. "There are no prerequisites for entrepreneurship," said Seiman. "All you need is a vision and the courage and work ethic to see it through."
For more about Henneman's winning project and the School of Medicine, visit http://medicine.hofstra.edu/.