When he was in high school, Kyle Garb witnessed first-hand from a family friend the severe pain that burn patients experience during their treatment and recovery.
Now a senior industrial design student at Philadelphia University, Garb will have the opportunity to present his proposal for a less painful medication applicator to AOL co-founder Steve Case during a $10,000 student speed pitch competition in Philadelphia Sept. 29.
Garb was one of eight area college students selected to deliver a 60-second funding pitch as an offshoot of the larger Rise of the Rest startup funding event during its Philadelphia tour stop. Garb will deliver his pitch to Case and two others outside the National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St., at 3 p.m. tomorrow. The winner will be announced at the main pitch competition starting at 4 p.m.
“This innovative application device will revolutionize the treatment of burn patients,” said Garb, who is working on the device for his senior capstone project. “It will be deliver the topical treatment without direct contact with the patient’s skin, which can be very painful.”
Since finding out he was selected to participate, Garb, of Madison, Ct., has been working with PhilaU Blackstone LaunchPad Director Zoe McKinley on perfecting his pitch. After he delivers his 60-second pitch, there will be a one-minute Q&A before the judges.
“We are excited to have Kyle representing PhilaU at this special student pitch event,” said McKinley, who also is director of PhilaU’s Entrepreneurship Center. “Opportunities such as this, no matter the outcome tomorrow, help move innovative ideas farther down the path and closer to impacting many lives.”
In addition to reducing pain through an innovative medical application, Garb said his device would improve the precision of treatment and use less medication than current methods. “My goal is to advance a successful treatment delivery system that improves on what is currently available and can help make treatment and recovery better for burn patients,” he said.
The Rise of the Rest, spearheaded by Case, is a nationwide effort to encourage entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Case and his team have visited 14 cities and invested $1.5 million in businesses. The winner of the tomorrow’s main Rise of the Rest pitch competition in Philadelphia will receive $100,000 in startup funding.
In addition to co-founding AOL, Case served as chairman of AOL Time Warner and is currently chairman of the Case Foundation and CEO of Revolution LLC, which includes such well-known businesses as LivingSocial, Zipcar and Exclusive Resorts. Other judges for the student pitch competition include Amy Stursburg, Blackstone Charitable Foundation executive director, and Steve Tang, CEO, University City Science Center.