December 10, 2021

Ole Miss grad student wins business competition with arterial placque removal device

Darkhorse Press

Rich Gentry (left), co-director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, presents University of Mississippi mechanical engineering graduate student Parker Brewster with a check for $10,000. Brewster won the Mid-South Business Model Competition for his medical device, Plaquectomy. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Sydney Gibson
University of Mississippi

A proposed arterial plaque-removing device developed by a University of Mississippi mechanical engineering graduate student and founder of Innovative Heart Technologies LLC was awarded first place in the 2021 Mid-South Business Model Competition.

Plaquectomy is designed to safely remove plaque from the arterial walls to create a larger arterial wall volume. The product concept was developed by Parker Brewster, of Flowood, who was awarded $10,000 as the winner of the competition.

The device creates an isolated environment around arterial plaque, and then removes the plaque by dissolving it and removing that dissolution from the body entirely while allowing blood to continue circulating.

“This has been a process three years in the making,” Brewster said. “I started off with an idea, moved into sketches, then CAD/3D rendering and then continued into advanced simulation with a multitude of software/packages.

“I have created simplified models and scaled-up 3D prints.”

Brewster participated in two accelerators: one focusing on business development in the medtech space, and the other focusing on customer discovery and product validation. He has also spoken with more than 500 professionals in the medical field to continue perfecting the device.

He has filed a provisional patent application and is working on the follow-up utility patent. He also has filed for copyrights and trademarks and created a website and a limited liability company.

All participants in the Mid-South BMC were evaluated by a panel of five judges: Diane Davis, John Alford, Steve Grantham, Teresa Hubbard and Josh Mabus. Rich Gentry, the Founders Chair of Entrepreneurship and co-director of the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was moderator of the event.

“The Business Model Competition is a great way for students to get exposed to the process of starting a company,” Gentry said. “We spend a lot of time getting students comfortable finding and talking to customers, which is a job skill that they can use to launch their venture or build value for an employer.

“We are so fortunate to have the support we do from the donors, students and the community.”

Besides Ole Miss, this year’s competition featured students from the University of Georgia and John Brown University. All six finalists who competed Nov. 11 were awarded prize money of $500.

As winner of the BMC, Brewster has gained a spot to compete in the spring Gillespie Business Plan Competition for a chance to win another $10,000 prize.

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