SALT LAKE CITY, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Winners of the First Big Idea Canvas Challenge were announced today with first prize awarded to NoDK (pronounced No Decay), a simple device to eliminate tooth decay. Tooth decay, or caries, is a leading health concern throughout the world with millions of children and adults having little or no access to dental care. NoDK is a pen-like device that can easily be dispensed in a cavity, stopping pain and bacterial decay with over 95% effectiveness. Dr. Steve Duffin of Oregon began working on the idea over 10 years ago and it has been the subject of initial testing throughout Ecuador and Ghana. Ghana, for example is a country of 25 million people with fewer than 250 dentists in total. "This is truly a breakthrough and exactly the kind of undiscovered gem we hoped a global Big Idea Challenge would be able to uncover and highlight," said Paul Ahlstrom, creator of the Big Idea Canvas (BigIdeaCanvas.com) and founder of Alta Ventures and the Alta Innovation Institute that sponsored the competition.
"The Big Idea Canvas (BIC) has been a labor of love of mine for the past couple of years and I created it to help entrepreneurs think differently about how to assess their ideas prior to jumping into new company creation," said Ahlstrom. The Canvas breaks an idea into 5 main categories (pain, solution, potential, market entry strategy and potential for exit). Once entrepreneurs complete the Canvas it generates a hypothesis for the idea which then needs to be tested and validated. The inaugural BIC competition garnered submissions from over 12 countries and many states throughout the US. "We had no idea the quality and reach we would get, but it's gratifying to see how this has been helping so many entrepreneurs," said Ahlstrom. The Canvas, now available online (www.bigideacanvas.com), has had over 5,000 downloads and is free to all those that want to access it. Runners up in the competition were CodeKnack, a big idea of Peruvian born Anasofia Monteblanco and IntelAgent, the big idea of Jason Smith. CodeKnack is an online education platform that teaches children computer science and coding skills using AI and IntelAgent is a unique data visualization platform. The winners were announced today at the Pacific Alliance Venture Capital Conference in Lima, Peru to a packed house.
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SOURCE Alta Innovation Institute