Denis Tamiev one of the entrepreneurs from Cystarters to pitch at the fair

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A winning Cystarter team (l to r): John LaMarche, Scott Cogdill, Denis and Paige Furman

Denis Tamiev, a graduate student in biochemistry in Professor Nigel Reuel's (CB&E) research group, participated in CYstarters this summer and his team's final presentation was selected as one of the best pitches and recognized with a $1,000 gift. In addition, his team will join more than 150 Iowa State University entrepreneurs competing in the pitch-offs at the Iowa State Fair during the first eight days of the fair.  From the daily pitches, 56 semifinalists will emerge to pitch again August 16 and 17 for a panel of judges.  Seven winning pitches will be announced on the last day of the fair. A "Best in Show" winner will receive a $5,000 award. President Wendy Wintersteen and senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert will present the awards during a 1:00 p.m. ceremony August 18 at the ISU exhibit.

Denis’ Cystarter team included two mentors, John LaMarche, who specializes in finance and has been a part of VentureIowa for a long time; and Scott Cogdill, who specializes in business development and sales, and Paige Furman, a rising sophomore in Biochemistry, who Denis recruited as part of the team to work on data acquisition and analysis. Denis' company, Curiosity (@SoilCuriosity), creates artificial intelligence solutions within microscopy to improve cellular counting and classification in healthcare.  His Cystarter experience will lead to a publication and will also become a chapter in his Ph.D. thesis.