Hawkeye Surgical Lighting, a University of Iowa startup founded by neurosurgery resident David Christianson and medical student Anthony Piscopo, won $100,000 at the first InnoVenture Challenge at Temple Theatre on Dec. 7 in Des Moines.
InnoVenture Iowa invited early-stage entrepreneurs to participate in its challenge, a pitch competition that brought together three startup companies to compete on-stage for the $100,000 award. Other finalists were The Hummingbirds, a platform that enables businesses and organizations to find and work with hyper-local content creators to drive revenue and recognition, and Clayton Farms (formerly Nebullam), which builds vertically integrated, direct-to-consumer indoor farms serving customers in Ames and Minneapolis.
Hawkeye Surgical Lighting developed the first voice and motion-controlled surgical headlight that integrates with an iOS through Bluetooth.
Christianson and Piscopo identified and addressed a need of surgeons for a light, bright, and comfortable pair of surgical eyeglasses. The two built Hawkeye Surgical Lighting with Christianson taking the technical and Piscopo the entrepreneurial lead. When a surgeon shines a light toward a patient’s brain or spine, the tumor lights up in a bright red color. This allows the surgeon to carefully remove the entire tumor.
InnoVenture Iowa is a $30 million co-investment fund designed to support early-stage startup companies in biosciences, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. Eligible companies must be headquartered, or have significant operations, in Iowa.