Patrick Whaley of Titin Tech explains his strength-building shirt to guests and judges at the Business Plan Competition's Product Showcase.
Puribio won both First Place ($10,000) and Most Innovative ($10,000) awards in the 2011 Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition. From left to right: Manish Gupta, Daniel Eyrich and Jane Kang with competition judge Rusty Pickering.
Published on: 03-21-2001
Patrick Whaley was still a child, he first had the idea for the weighted,
muscle-building clothing that would win the Most Fundable Award ($35,000 worth
of legal, financial and other services) in Georgia Tech’s 2011 Business Plan
Competition (BPC). The finals were held on March 18.
“When I was
a kid, I was really skinny. To build up muscle, I would actually carry extra
books in my bag,” explains Whaley, who earned his bachelor’s degree in
mechanical engineering from Tech in 2010 and now leads the company Titin Tech.
“So I started thinking, ‘Why couldn’t I just have clothing be weighted?’”
Tech’s initial product is a weighted shirt that can be worn during workouts to build
additional strength – or throughout the day for continual exercise. The shirt
uses form-fitting gel pockets that keep the body cool while adding weight (six
to 20 lbs).
initially set his sights on the athletic market, but a life-threatening injury
he suffered in mid-2009 expanded his vision for the product to include patients
requiring physical rehabilitation. As he recovered from a gunshot wound to the
chest suffered during an armed robbery, he realized that he could use the
invention to aid his own healing process. “It was hard to lift my right side up
after I came home from the hospital,” says Whaley, an amateur bodybuilder who
lost a third of one lung from the shooting.
shirt he developed recently became available for sale on the Titin Tech Website and orders are pouring
in, Whaley says. Therefore, Titin Tech’s victory in the Most Fundable category
might not seem so surprising. The award goes to the team deemed by judges to be
most ready for the marketplace.
Intended as an educational exercise,
the BPC attracts some participants who are simply interested in learning about
the venture-creation process, while others know they are serious about
developing real companies. Participation in the BPC is open to all Georgia Tech
students and alumni of various degree programs who’ve graduated within the last
In March 2010, during his last
semester at Tech, Whaley won First Place and People's Choice in Georgia Tech’s InVenture
Competition (an innovation contest not involving a business plan), receiving $20,000 total. The professional network and resources he’s gained through InVenture and the BPC have
helped prepare him for success in the marketplace, he says.
In addition to
the Most Fundable Award, the BPC also includes numerous other prizes. The Puribio team won First Place ($10,000) for its
plan to market a hemodialysis machine for clinic, home and hospital treatments.
Puribio also won the Most Innovative Award (a $10,000 service package).
technology is targeted at the growing number of people with kidney failure
(more than a 100,000 cases a year). These patients typically must undergo treatment three
times a week for three to five hours per session. Currently, only eight percent of
dialysis is performed in patients’ homes. But Puribio could increase that percentage with
its small, portable dialysis machine design. Other benefits would include less
blood cell damage and the removal of more waste molecules than current
technology, resulting in longer patient life.
Jane Kang, a
doctoral student in mechanical engineering, has worked on this dialysis machine
since starting the PhD program in 2008. To help develop a
plan to market her technologies, BPC administrators helped her find MBA students Daniel Eyrich and Manish Gupta, who saw great potential in her work. Emory law student
David Giannantonio, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in biology (2006, 2008) from Tech, also joined the team.
Kang says that
participation in the BPC, which includes a series of preparatory workshops leading up to the competition each spring, was of immense
educational value and could help her bring the early-stage Puribio technology to market
after she finishes the PhD program in a couple of years. “The feedback I
received from judges was great and will help me attract potential investors.”
Place winner ($3,000) was Boss Medical, which plans to market a new device to
improve spinal fusion procedures. Third Place went to SpherIgenics ($2,000),
which specializes in the delivery of biological therapies through the process
of micro-encapsulation. In addition to Titin Tech, other finalists (who
received $500 each) included Roadside Technologies, a system designed to warm
roadside personnel of impending vehicular collisions; and Kiddie Collar, a
drool-catching collar for babies that replaces a bib to prevent rashes and keep
clothes dry. For a full list of winners, visit the Business Plan Competition
made it to the BPC semifinals. Judges for the different stages of the
competition included numerous leaders in the corporate, venture capital,
technology transfer, legal, and academic communities.
included Georgia Tech College of Management, the Institute for Leadership and
Entrepreneurship, MaRC Sustainable Design & Manufacturing, Tedd Munchak Chair in Entrepreneurship, Brook Byers Institute
for Sustainable Systems, GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, Advanced
Technology Development Center, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP,
AuditMyBooks, Troutman Sanders, Gray Ghost Ventures, Delaney, HLB Gross Collins
PC, Executive Entrepreneurs Society, and Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP.