Three SJSU Teams Advance in Silicon Valley StartUp Cup

The BioReady team is comprised of five biotech grads: Kira Dionis-Petersen, Dien Vo, Gavin McCann, Scott Marzano and Sheri-Michele Bachelor (photo courtesy of Scott Marzano).

“Many laboratories currently perform ordering by paper, pen and phone calls,” said Scott Marzano, ’13 Biotechnology.

This overlooked fact is at the core of a business idea Marzano and friends are poised to turn into a viable venture.

The brainchild of five alumni of the master’s in biotechnology program, BioReady would automate the procurement and inventory management process for labs.

The team placed first at the 2013 Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition organized by the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

And now, the BioReady team is one of three from San Jose State heading for the final round of the Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Business Model Competition.

“My classmate Gavin McCann and I came up with this idea for a project in a marketing management course at SJSU,” Marzano recalled. We were required to develop a marketing plan for a service company and wanted to try and solve an important problem in biotechnology research.”

StartUp Cup is an international initiative sponsored locally by Focus Business Bank, Meriwest Credit Union and West Valley College.

The SJSU teams — BioReady, AFK Gamer Lounge (video game LAN center and gamer bar) and Cranium Shield (x-ray protection for the head) — will make their pitches to judges Oct. 30.

From a pool of seven finalists, judges will name first, second and third place winners Nov. 21.  The contest offers no cash prizes, but that’s beside the point for BioReady.

StartUp Cup and the SJSU business plan competition provide intense feedback and mentoring, resources more valuable than cash alone.

What does the BioReady team do when they are not trying to build their own business?

All five grads are gainfully employed at Agilent Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Life Technologies and Stanford University.