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From Ideas to Impact: COZAD Fuels Student Startups at the New Venture Challenge

Updated: Jun 29

BioPhia is proud to be a long-time supporter of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus-wide Cozad New Venture Challenge. Cozad is an educational program that provides mentoring and guides students through the phases of venture creation, teaching them how to validate their startup ideas and learn critical entrepreneurship skills.


This year, we’re supporting two promising ventures:

  • Defendo -- is developing endometriosis screening tests to expedite access to treatment, mitigate the risk of infertility, and prevent other unnecessary complications.

  • MenoPatch -- is empowering women with customizable and non-invasive relief from menopause symptoms with a convenient skin patch.


In 2024, Cozad awarded more than $500,000 in funding and in-kind prizes, thanks to generous sponsorship, alum donations, and corporate partner support. For more information about the many student entrepreneurship efforts on the Illinois campus, visit

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