Cassi Henderson and colleagues win McKinsey Venture Academy competition.
A Gates Cambridge Scholar and her team have won a major social enterprise competition for their start-up company which aims to help children access life-saving medicines and nutrients.
Cassi Henderson [2015 – pictured left], who is doing a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and colleagues Theresa Maier and Graham Mills from JustMilk Ltd won the McKinsey Venture Academy 2016 competition. The McKinsey Venture Academy is a social enterprise competition for university students based in the UK and Ireland and focused on the potential social impact of the enterprise.
The prize includes seed funding of £10,000 and mentorship from McKinsey to help transform their idea into a real social enterprise.
The JustMilk project is developing an infant drug and nutrient delivery device with the potential to improve the safety, efficacy, and access to life-saving medications, vitamins and nutrients to breastfeeding infants globally.
JustMilk Ltd was co-founded by Maier and another Gates Scholar Rebekah Scheuerle  in 2015, based on technology developed in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.
Earlier this year, JustMilk Ltd was also nominated as a Business Weekly 2016 Start-up of the Year Finalist and came in at number 75 in the biannually index “Disrupt 100”. Each Disrupt 100 venture was sourced from over on million global start-ups and corporate ventures, has been scored against a specific criteria measuring the potential it has to affect an existing market or geography, introduce new customers into an existing market and/or creating a new market with significant customer demand.
In addition, JustMilk Ltd and the JustMilk non-profit also recently won the royal start-up competition Pitch@Palace, set up by the Duke of York as well as the Duke of York Entrepreneur of the Week.
- United States
- 2015 PhD Chemical Engineering
- Queens' College
With a background in biomedical engineering and product design, I am passionate about harnessing engineering advancements for the improvement of health. My research is focused on innovative solutions for the manufacture of affordable medical technology with an emphasis on local production in resource limited settings. In the future, I hope to continue to facilitate the transfer of the scientific developments in academic research into technology that increases accessibility to healthcare.
University of Pennsylvania
University of Cambridge
- United States
- 2013 PhD Chemical Engineering
- St John's College
I am so honored to be pursuing my PhD in chemical engineering at Cambridge! I will be studying biopharmaceutical development and drug delivery in the lab of Dr. Nigel Slater. Although therapeutic development is necessary globally, the world is in desperate need of affordable, optimized therapies and diagnostics for resource-limited environments. Millions of people do not have access to the electricity and refrigeration required for many current medical treatments. I hope to use my experience in polymeric drug delivery from The University of Texas, microfluidic diagnostics from U.C. Berkeley, vaccine commercialization from Merck Sharp and Dohme, and antibody purification development from Genentech to support me in my graduate studies. I plan on using the skills I acquire at Cambridge in a future career developing biotechnology-based solutions to world health problems.