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Medtech Winners Shine in MassMEDIC’s 2021 IGNITE

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Bright ideas in diagnostics, remote patient monitoring, wearables, and medical device sterilization were honored as winners in the 2021 accelerator program.

Four medtech innovators have been recognized for their brilliant showing in MassMEDIC’s 2021 medtech accelerator program, MedTech IGNITE. This year’s cohort included 12 startups developing wearables, diagnostics, and other medical device solutions in the fields of neurology, women’s health, oncology, infectious disease, diabetes, and cardiology.

Each cohort founder pitched their work to their cohort peers and were scored on three criteria: product market fit, business plan, and strength of the team. The winning companies and founders awarded cash prizes are:

  • Third place (tie): Phiex Technologies (founded by CL Tian) and OxiWear (founded by Shavini Fernando) each received $1,250
  • Second Place: AOA Dx (co-founded by Oriana Papin-Zoghbi, Anna Jeter and Alex Fischer) received $7,500
  • First Place: Encora Therapeutics (co-founded by Trang Luu, Daniel Carballo, Kyle Pina and Allison Davanzo) received $20,000

“We are extremely proud of the 2021 IGNITE Cohort. IGNITE is designed to identify, nurture and support medtech entrepreneurs from around the world. We made a concerted effort this year to expand the footprint and the 2021 cohort had the largest representation of female founders at 59 percent while featuring a fantastic group of teams from around the globe. Although the program was run virtually again this year, that did not deter the founders from developing strong bonds and inspiring each other—and making great strides to advance their ventures,” stated Rachel Robinson, vice president of MassMEDIC, in a news release.

“The initial financial investment three years ago in this program by the Mass Life Sciences Center is now reaping great ROI," she continued. "The IGNITE founders to date have collectively raised $70 million in funding, due to their innovation, persistence and drive. MassMEDIC is committed to supporting and growing the Commonwealth’s and greater New England’s medtech ecosystem, and IGNITE is playing an important role in connecting all stakeholders with the medtech leaders of the future.”

Added Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) President and CEO Kenn Turner: “The Life Sciences Center is a proud partner of the MassMEDIC Ignite program to support promising medtech startups and drive diversity and gender parity in the sector. I want to congratulate this year’s cohort which represents a dynamic group of CEOs and founders who demonstrate the best of our region’s thriving ecosystem.”

The 2021 IGNITE cohort participated in virtual master classes run by medtech executives with expertise in legal, regulatory, manufacturing, HR, and financing. In addition, they attended virtual networking events and fireside chats with medtech industry luminaries while honing their pitches with feedback from VCs and experienced mentors, according to the release.

In-kind services were awarded from IGNITE corporate sponsors including: Alira Health selected Phiex Technologies; OxiWear will receive services from Boyd Technologies; Agile Search selected Kalia Health; and Isola Therapeutics was selected by Wilson Sonsini. Formlabs donated a 3D printer to OxiWear. The IGNITE 2021 program was also supported by Teijin and Kohler, and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC).

Several startups in the cohort presented their ideas during MassMEDIC's full day of sessions at BIOMEDevice Boston. The 2021 IGNITE Cohort includes:

  1. Alva Health Inc. Founder: Sandra Saldana, Ph.D.
  2. AOA Dx Co-Founders: Oriana Papin-Zoghbi, Anna Jeter, Alex Fisher
  3. CRIAM KNOWLEDGE Founder: Vitor Crespo, Vania Fernandes
  4. Dialysis X Founder: Oluwagbebemi D. Oyeniyi
  5. Encora Therapeutics Co-Founders: Daniel Carballo, Trang Luu, Kyle Pina, Allison Davanzo
  6. InnoTech Precision Medicine Founder: Roya Khosravi-Far, Ph.D., PLD
  7. Isola Therapeutics Co-Founders: Brian Craig, Dwight Meglan
  8. Kalia Health Co-Founders: Happy Ghosh, Denali Dahl
  9. Kleincise Inc. Founder: Dara Azar, Ph.D.
  10. OxiWear Founder: Shavini Fernando
  11. Phiex Technologies Founder: CL Tian
  12. Ruby Nanomed Co-Founders: Lorena Dieguez, Sara Abalde-Cela, Paulina Piairo, Enrique Sanchez

The MedTech IGNITE Program was relaunched in 2019 with support from a grant from MLSC. IGNITE sponsors include Agile Search, Alira Health, Boyd Technologies, Formlabs, Kohler, Teijin and Wilson Sonsini. The program has attracted startups from across MA, the United States, and globally, with a focus on inclusion and diversity among its founders including 43 percent female founders across the last three cohorts, MassMEDIC reported.

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