UCF researcher loses high-tech contest — but has investors lining up

Count biotech researcher and entrepreneur Qun Huo among the winningest losers of the recent high-technologybusiness competition known as the Cade Museum Prize.

The University of Central Florida chemist and founder of Nano Discovery Inc. was chosen as the second runner-up earlier this month in the Gainesville-based contest, named after researcher Robert Cade, who led the University of Florida research team that created Gatorade.

It was a disappointment for Huo, the first Central Florida entrepreneur to reach Cade’s final four in its three-year history. But the letdown was only temporary, she said last week, because now she has investors and possible business partners lining up as a result of contacts made during the competition.

“We were very fortunate to meet a lot of people and get a lot of publicity,” Huo said. “Now there are indeed a lot of investors and potential partners talking to us and looking at the technology. It has been a very good thing.”

It’s no surprise that Huo’s work would attract such attention: advanced cancer-detection technology is typically a big draw for high-tech investors. And the UCF professor has developed a next-generation test to find and measure cancers at the super-miniature level by using gold nano-particles and “dynamic light scattering.”

Read more about Huo’s research here.



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