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Phoenix-area medical startup wins $100,000 in Rise of the Rest competition

(Twitter Photo)

PHOENIX — A pair of Phoenix-area entrepreneurs have been awarded $100,000 for winning a startup competition led by AOL co-founder Steve Case.

NeoLight, based at ASU SkySong, was one of five businesses to earn money during Rise of the Rest Road Trip across America.

The Scottsdale-based company, started by two Arizona State University graduates, created a device that treats jaundice in newborns and received the prize Friday over seven other local businesses.

CEO Vivek Kopparthi and co-founder Garrett Chase have said their phototherapy incubator was more efficient, less costly and safer than standard hospital treatments.

After winning, Kopparthi shouted, “Let’s go save some babies!”

The tour rewarded startups in a handful of cities over a few days — Lincoln-Omaha, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake-Provo, Utah and Albuquerque, New Mexico before closing out in Phoenix on Oct. 7.

Each city was allowed up to eight entries.

The company had already gained $600,000 earlier this year in a round of seed funding.

Kopparthi told the Phoenix Business Journal, “We will use the money for commercialization. Our job is to get it to market and save all those babies.”

Mayor Greg Stanton and ASU President Michael Crow attended the tour finale.