The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center seeks entrepreneurs to enter its M2D2 $200K Challenge, as the pitch competition celebrates its 10th year advancing the innovative ideas of early-stage medical device, diagnostic and biotech companies.
M2D2 assists entrepreneurs in those sectors with all aspects of moving new products and technologies from concept to commercialization in order to improve health outcomes. A joint venture of UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School in Worcester, M2D2 offers the resources of these institutions to entrepreneurs seeking medical assistance with clinical trials and expertise with the engineering and business side of product development.
Entrepreneurs interested in applying to compete in the challenge may do so at www.m2d2challenge.com. The entry deadline is Monday, Feb. 15.
The contest’s 15 finalists will present their inventions via teleconference before a panel of expert judges in the medical-device, biotech and venture capital sectors on Wednesday, March 24. The winners, to be announced in April, will share in a $200,000?purse of sponsor-provided in-kind assistance including lab and office space, engineering, product development, legal, regulatory, clinical and business services.
“We welcome innovations from early-stage life science startups that address the full range of health challenges. The competition is just one way M2D2 demonstrates its commitment to entrepreneurs and to the business and industry partnerships we’ve developed to support cutting-edge devices and technologies,” said Steven Tello, UMass Lowell’s vice provost of graduate, online and professional studies. A member of M2D2’s executive board, Tello is a key leader of UMass Lowell’s many entrepreneurship initiatives, which assist the university’s students and startups around the world.
M2D2 operates lab-based incubators in Lowell and Worcester and offers networking opportunities and other programs for startups. Since the center was founded in 2007, M2D2 has vetted more than 250 medical-device and biotech ventures for inclusion in its programs and provided support to more than 100 startups. In total, M2D2 resident companies have secured more than $150 million in external funding for their innovations.
“One strength of M2D2 lies in the partnership between UMass Medical School and UMass Lowell. Co-location of labs in Worcester and Lowell and access to our world-class faculty and researchers provide a real benefit to startups that enter this competition,” said M2D2 Co-director Dr. Nathaniel Hafer, director of operations in the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UMass Medical School, where he is an assistant professor of molecular medicine.
Many M2D2 resident companies have been competition winners, as the challenge typically fields more than 100 entries each spring.
“The M2D2 $200K Challenge is a great platform that features emerging innovations from around the world that aim to improve patient health. As we mark our 10th year, we are grateful for our sponsors’ support and proud to be a leader in the medical-device and biotech ecosystem, helping entrepreneurs take their inventions from the drawing board to the marketplace,” said Mary Ann Picard, M2D2’s director of operations.
Challenge sponsors include Amgen, Argenta Advisors LLC, Asahi-Intecc USA Medical, Boston Scientific, Deshpande Foundation, Hologic, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Kohler, MPR Associates Inc., Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council, Mintz, RQMIS and Sarepta Therapeutics.
Winners of last year’s challenge include RBI Medical, which is developing a medical device to improve pelvic health, Navigation Sciences, which is pioneering a new technology to assist in lung surgery and Cx Therapeutics, which is has invented a device to improve the health of pregnant women and prevent premature births.
“The M2D2 $200K Challenge was a fantastic experience for Cx Therapeutics. Winning the grand prize from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center allowed us to accelerate our product development and to increase our visibility in the investor community. I strongly encourage entrepreneurs in the life sciences sector to apply to this terrific program,” said Cx Therapeutics President Dr. Michael House, a physician and associate professor at Tufts Medical Center.