Alison Burklund (left), co-founder and CTO and Dr. Amogha Tadimety (right), co-founder and CEO

For our Startup Spotlights, Times of Entrepreneurship scouted the most successful startups that spun out of top university competitions and programs. The impact of such awards can be many years in the making, especially in the DeepTech space.

Startup: Nanopath

The company is developing ultrasensitive, integrated platforms for diagnostics, using rare biomarkers. The first product, according to the company’s web site, “aims to dramatically shorten the diagnostic timeline for viral respiratory infections by eliminating nucleic acid amplification requirements” and has COVID-19 applications.


Interviewee: Alison Burklund, co-founder and CTO

Which university challenge did you win and when?

We won 2nd Place at the 2020 Rice Business Plan Competition.

What is your elevator pitch?

Nanopath is a diagnostics company. We’re working to develop ultrasensitive, integrated platforms for rare biomarker enrichment and characterization from complex biological samples. Our technology platform has applications to both infectious and chronic diseases.

What should we know about you?

The technology we are working to develop is an extension of years of work during our PhD work at Dartmouth’s Engineering School. We started our PhDs eager to use science to improve human health, and excited to learn about company creation and explore entrepreneurship. Our founders, including myself, Dr. Amogha Tadimety and Dr. John Zahng, are passionate about global health, health equity, and supporting women in STEM. We are very excited about this journey to translate our technology out of the lab.

What are you looking for?

We are currently looking to expand our team. If you have deep technical expertise in biosensing and/or nanotechnology and are interested in working with an early-stage, mission drive company, please feel free to reach out –

Why should someone invest in you?

When we initially incorporated the company in November 2019. Our focus was on developing a tool for the rapid diagnosis of bacterial infections – specifically, the rapid diagnosis of bloodstream infections, or sepsis. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we took a step back and asked ourselves whether our technology had applications to the ongoing global crisis. After talking with mentors, key opinion leaders, and industry leaders, we opted to pivot on our pilot clinical indication and to focus our platform development towards enabling point-of-care diagnosis for COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for new and innovative approaches to diagnosing disease. We’re working to develop an entirely new diagnostic paradigm. Our tool aims to capture the underlying disease biology, which current technologies almost ubiquitously fail to do. Our founders are highly motivated, passionate about health equity and global health, and strongly believe in the power of their technology to improve health worldwide.

Is there a clear evidence of success you would like to share?

Since our participation at RBPC we have proceeded to raise significant additional funding to support the development of our core platform technology.

How much money have you raised so far, and what is the number of employees in the startup?

So far we raised $125,000 in investment and over $30k of cash prizes from the Rice Student Business Plan Competition and are currently closing a larger seed round including other investors as well. Right now we are two full time employees – Amogha Tadimety and Alison Burklund and – we have a scientific co-founder and a host of excellent mentors!

What surprised you the most since winning the competition?

We have been very surprised and excited about the amount of traction we’ve had since the competition, in spite of the remote nature of the world right now! We have had interactions with so many potential partners as a result of them seeing us pitch remotely.

More info on the competition:

Name: Rice Business Plan Competition

Specialty: across categories

Prize: $350,000 investment for Grand Prize

This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit and connect with and