iBIO Institute’s PROPEL Center Announces Diagnostic Photonics Business Plan Competition Winner at the 2015 Chicago Innovation Showcase

Friday, October 30, 2015

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The PROPEL Center of the iBIO Institute, dedicated to increasing the number and success rate of early-stage life sciences companies in Illinois, announced on October 29 at the 2015 Chicago Innovation Showcase that Diagnostic Photonics is the winner of the 2015 PROPEL Business Plan Competition. Over 200 community members watched Andrew Cittadine of Diagnostic Photonics give the winning presentation to life sciences financial investor judges. PROPEL awarded Diagnostic Photonics a $15,000 cash prize at the end of Thursday's event.

Diagnostic Photonics, based on technology from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, is a medtech company developing a handheld, high-resolution imaging system for cancer surgery. The Foresee™ (4C) Imaging System will provide new, crucial information and insight on the extent of disease at the microscopic level. Surgeons will be able to act on that information during surgery – no longer waiting days for final pathology – and potentially avoid costly repeat procedures and poor clinical outcomes.

“It is an honor to be chosen among such a talented group of companies,” said Andrew Cittadine, CEO. “Since day one, PROPEL has been an important partner in our growth, and we appreciate the continued support the program provides to us and other entrepreneurs in Chicago's healthcare community.”

“In the last few years, the Diagnostic Photonics team has made tremendous progress in bringing a powerful cancer imaging technology to market. I'm pleased to see the recognition of this progress with the company's first place win in the 2015 PROPEL Business Plan Competition,” said Tim Hoerr, Managing Partner, Serra Ventures. “Serra Ventures is proud of its investment in and affiliation with this promising company.”

In addition, PhotoniCare won Second Place and $2,500 at the competition.

To open the 2015 Chicago Innovation Showcase, Bill Gantz and others described how Naurex, who recently announced its $560 million exit to Allergan, raised seed-stage, Series A, B and C funding from investors from across the US and Canada as a Chicago-based, pre-commercialization pharma startup. The afternoon also include five-minute presentations by fifteen Chicagoland ventures representing Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago Innovation Mentors, Illinois Institute of Technology, MATTER, Northwestern University, PROPEL, University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago.

It was an exciting day to celebrate all science-based innovation occurring across Chicago.

For more information on PROPEL or the iBIO Institute, visit www.ibiopropel.org. For more information on Diagnostic Photonics, visit http://www.diagnosticphotonics.com/.


PROPEL is a group of programs aimed at increasing the number and success rate of early-stage life sciences companies in Illinois. PROPEL helps guide the development of formation-stage and early-stage life sciences companies by providing entrepreneurs with access to specialized resources and expertise to prepare them for early-stage funding. PROPEL is a Center of the iBIO Institute. To learn more about PROPEL and its programs, visit www.ibiopropel.org.

About iBIO Institute

The mission of the iBIO Institute is to orchestrate business leadership in delivery of world-class educational programs and job-creating new technology ventures. The Institute’s EDUCATE Center delivers science and math programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. The Institute’s PROPEL Center increases the number and success rate of early-stage life sciences companies in Illinois. To learn more about iBIO Institute and its programs, visit www.ibioinstitute.org.