Blog: tcp


By Jesse Rich

 Jesse, John, Jen, Joe)

I came to Yale SOM because I believed that it gave me the best shot at working with a stellar multi-disciplinary team to solve unaddressed healthcare problems and make a difference in patients’ lives. This past fall, I was fortunate enough to join such a team through the Technology Commercialization Program at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI). The team includes myself and Jen Gaze (both first year MBA students), Dr. John Geibel (Yale School of Medicine), and Dr. Joseph Zinter (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences/CEID). 

Together, we’ve formed Revai, a company built around technology developed in MENG 404, a course on medical device design and innovation that Dr. Zinter teaches at the Center for Engineering Innovation & Design. This technology allows us to help individuals with severe intestinal issues. 

About 20,000 people in the US suffer from short bowel syndrome. They’ve lost over half of their intestines, receive nutrition intravenously, and experience upwards of 40 bowel movements a day. Needless to say, quality of life can be extremely low. Also, treatment costs upwards of $200,000 a year and puts patients at risk of liver failure, blood clots, and serious infection.

The only solution to short bowel syndrome is to receive an intestinal transplant. And yet there are only 100 intestinal transplants performed each year, even though there are over 8,000 donor grafts available. The main reason that so few transplants are performed is that intestines are full of bacteria and degrade quickly, so you can’t transport them very far given that the current standard of care is a cooler with ice. This means that a lot of patients have no way to access healthy donor organs.

Porcine test results contrasting outcomes under the current standard of care (L) and using the Revai IPU (R).Porcine test results contrasting outcomes under the current standard
of care (L) and using the Revai IPU (R).

Our solution is the Revai Intestinal Preservation Unit (IPU). It’s a patent-protected system that pumps fluid through the intestine to keep it healthy during transportation. Both pig and human tests have shown that using the device can stop organ degradation for 8 hours. This will allow us to expand the donor network, provide better organs, increase transplant success rates, improve patient quality of life, and drastically reduce healthcare costs. 

With the Revai IPU, we can save patients and give them their lives back. 

This semester, Jen and I are taking MGT 646, Start-up Founder Practicum, where we can get credit for all the work we’re putting into our venture. In general, SOM has been incredibly supportive of our efforts and I would encourage any student interested in entrepreneurship to check out all of the resources available through the Program on Entrepreneurship.

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YEI is pleased to announce the students who were selected as fellows in the Technology Commercialization Program, and those who have become the first group of VC Advisors and the latest group of YEI Consultants.

There were lots of applications this year, including 25 for TCP (9 accepted); 69 for VC Advisors (6 accepted) and 30 for YEI Consultants (12 accepted). We'll be updating you with more details about these standout students as these programs get underway - stay tuned!

Priscila Bala (SOM '14, YC '06)
Kristen Barnico (SOM '15, Dartmouth College '09, Colby College '08)
Jordan Carter (SOM '15, YC '10)
David Emmerman (SOM '15, Amherst College '11)
David Thomas Johnson (SOM '15, Beijing Normal University '07, Univ. Southern California '06)
Sumit Kadakia (SOM '15, FES '15, UPenn '06)
James Lin (SOM '15, UCLA '07)
Chocku Radhakrishnan (SOM '15, University of Michigan '04, Univ. of Florida '01)
Olivia Zhao (SOM '15, UCLA '05, Univ. of California Santa Barbara '04)
Nicholas Bagg (SOM '14, Johns Hopkins '11, Loyola '09)
Alexander Chittim (SOM '15, Bowdoin '08)
Simran Dua (SOM '14, NYU '05)
Chris Fleming (SOM '15, Columbia '08)
Cassandra Ouqi Kerr (SOM '15, MIT '08)
Tahira Rehmatullah (SOM '14, Ohio State Univ. '05)
Julie Andress (SOM '15) - Consumer product project manager
Megan Billman (SOA '16) - Graphic designer and film maker
Justine Chan (SOM '14) - Investment analyst and consultant
Gautam Chopra (SOM MAM '14) -International finance consultant
Rachel Cooper (SOM '15) - Consumer product marketer
Eddy Fong (SOM '15) - Consumer product finance analyst
Nate Gorence (SOM '14) - Energy investment analyst
Apoorv Jain (SOM '14) (Coordinator) - Life Sciences consultant
Tuan Ha (SOM '15) - Health care sales & business development analyst
Joseph Nagle (SOM '14) - Graphic & web designer
Andrej Pavlovic (FES '15) - Solar financial analyst
Aditya Sinha (SOM MAM '14) - Strategy and business development consultant
Nick Tomaino (SOM '15) - Venture capital analyst
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