The Scorpion Pit sounds like a place that came out of a summer blockbuster movie, but for upcoming startups in the biotechnology field, it’s just the right amount of venom they need to help move their business forward.
At the BioAccel Solutions Challenge, seven startups competed for a cut of $100,000 in funding and pitched to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs from the Valley.
The five categories of startups included, digital, wearable & mobile health, regenerative wound and aesthetic therapy, simplified access to care, eliminating Type 2 endoleaks and the wildcard for student entrepreneurs.
Francine Hardaway, founder Stealthmode Partners, said she wanted to participate as a judge because “I want to help this sector gain traction and to do that we need some breakout companies. We need to help the ones that have a chance get funding. Innovation in Arizona is on fire.”
The startups who pitched and won included:
Saccadous – a noninvasive eye-tracking solution for diagnosing, tracking and advancing the treatment of neurological diseases and disorders like Traumatic Brain Injuries.
RightBio Metrics – a medical device ensuring the accurate placement of gastric tubes. They were one of the runner’s up in Venture Madness and currently one of the 25 semifinalists in the Spring 2015 ACA Innovation Challenge.
Winner – Tiny Kicks – a wearable smart sensor that helps pregnant moms monitor fetal health
Saguaro Medical Technologies – developed a novel Liquid Embolic material intended to treat abnormalities in the peripheral and neuro vasculature and other vascular procedures such as renal embolization.
Winner – Omni Bioceutical Innovations – a regenerative skin and wound care product that can be used in conjunction with cosmetic laser and non-surgical procedures
Neolight – a medical device that helps treat Jaundice in newborn and pre-term babies.
EpiFinder – a mobile app that help neurologists effectively diagnose epilepsy syndromes at the point-of-care. EpiFinder came out of the SeedSpot incubator and an Edson Finalist winning $12,500 in seed funding and office space.
Community program manager BioAccel, Remington Turner said this year the Challenge has doubled in size of applicants and attendance, and he’s seen an increase in support from the Arizona community.
“We are excited to continue going forward into next year. The Solutions Challenge is intended to reverse the paradigm of technology development and address unmet health needs,” Turner said.
The cash prizes for TinyKicks and Omni are yet to be determined, but both winners are in negotiations to receive up to $50,000 each.
Turner said that both student teams were offered new venture startup packages which includes in-kind support from mentors and service providers.
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Read more about startups getting funded and winning pitch competitions at AZ Tech Beat.