To foster entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare at its school, Thomas Jefferson University developed the Jefferson Acceleration Zone, or JAZ. Every year the school hosts a “Shark Tank”-style competition called the JAZ Tank, and hemp and marijuana start-ups will headline in 2018.
Though past winners have featured innovation in chemotherapy and artificial insemination procedures, cannabis will be the theme this year. “CannaVation” is what organizers are calling it, and the competition is open to Jefferson students, staff, and alumni, as well as the general public.
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Considering the contest’s focus on health care, the cannabis theme could present some exciting potential. Whether it’s vaporizer dose control or re-inventing the grow house process, the CannaVation competition should create positive developments in using medical cannabis to treat patients.
“We want to see creative and different approaches to the industry, especially in ancillary businesses,” said Zoe Selzer McKinley, who serves as director at the Jefforson’s Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp. “We want businesses that have some development already in place,” he added.
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The grand prize winner will be handsomely rewarded with a cash prize of $10,000, plus free consulting services and legal support for patent application. Judges will also reward up to two runners-up, who will receive $5,000 and the same legal services. A fun small print detail for potential applicants: “JAZ reserves the right to award additional prizes.”