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BRiDGE: Breakthrough Research Initiative to Develop Global Entrepreneurs

Providing Resources for Startups—Developing Entrepreneurial Talent

BRiDGE℠ expands the resources available to bioengineering startup companies founded by Duke BME faculty, PhD students, and alumni — and develops their entrepreneurial skills.

Learn more about our companies »

Our Vision

"The challenge of bridging the funding gap that Duke Engineering startups faced resonated with my career experience. My wish for BRiDGE is that meaningful ideas will emerge and develop as fledgling companies."

Alan L. Kaganov
Bridge Donor and Duke Engineering Alumnus

Our goal is to provide a bridge for young startups to cross the entrepreneurial "valley of death" to arrive at a point at which they can attract private or public investment.

Ashutosh Chilkoti began to pursue this idea shortly after becoming Duke BME chair in 2013. It became a reality in 2018 thanks to a generous gift from Duke Engineering alumnus Alan L. Kaganov and matching funds from the Pratt School of Engineering and Duke BME.

what we provide

BRiDGE provides access to 2,000-square feet of lab and office space in The Chesterfield building, expert mentoring for company leaders, and an internship program for Duke Engineering students.

Work Space

The Chesterfield is a life sciences and technology research facility in downtown Durham, North Carolina redeveloped from a former cigarette factory.

The Chesterfield, located in downtown Durham, N.C. USAOur startup companies have access to:

  • Leased lab benches in shared laboratory
  • Leased cubicles
  • Cell culture room
  • Fume hood room
  • Shared equipment rooms
  • Shared offices and conference rooms
  • Building amenities


Through partnership with Duke’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Entrepreneurship @ Duke Engineering office, BRiDGE company leaders receive mentorship in the creation and refinement of their business plans.


This program provides summer internship opportunities to outstanding Duke Engineering students to obtain hands-on experience at new companies based in BRiDGE.

Our Companies


AccuBeing logo

Building a patient-derived screening platform to increase the precision of personalized cancer therapies to overcome drug resistance after standard chemotherapy fails, with the added goal of developing a drug response database for cancer drug discovery.

Deep Blue Medical Advances

Deep Blue logo

Developing a novel hernia mesh with integrated suture-like extensions that eliminates the key point of failure for conventional mesh fixation and provides superior anchor strength, to address the unacceptably high rate of hernia occurrence and recurrence.

Isolere Bio

Isolere logo

Developing IsoTag by fusing an antibody-binding domain to a stimulus responsive biopolymer, to provide a fast and inexpensive alternative to the current “gold” standard, protein A chromatography.

QATCH Technologies

QATCH Technologies logo

Developing coagulation time-monitoring devices and systems based on a technology invented at Zauscher Lab at Duke. This technology combines microfluidic systems with biosensors to enable extremely low sample volume requirements and on-chip pre-processing with many potential applications in the biomedical space.

Ramona Optics 

Ramona Optics develops and sells computational microscope hardware and machine learning software for large field-of-view (300mm by 200mm), high resolution (5-10 micron) imaging. Ramona Optics’ optical microscopes provide Gigapixel images in a small form factor, which opens up a variety of new applications in research, life sciences, and industry.