Feb. 10, 2022
Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or [email protected]
Entrepreneurs sought for M2D2 $200K Challenge
Contest marks 11th year featuring cutting-edge biotech, medical inventions
LOWELL, Mass. – The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center seeks entrepreneurs to enter its M2D2 $200K Challenge, a pitch competition that advances the innovative ideas of early-stage medical device, diagnostic and biotech companies around the world.
M2D2 assists entrepreneurs in these sectors with all aspects of moving new products and technologies from concept to commercialization to improve health outcomes. A joint venture of UMass Lowell and UMass Chan 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 sides of product development.
Entrepreneurs interested in applying to compete in the challenge may do so at www.m2d2challenge.com. The entry deadline is Sunday, Feb. 20.
The competition welcomes innovations that address the full range of medical device, biotech and therapeutic challenges, particularly those that are of interest to Amgen, Asahi-Intecc, Boston Scientific, BARDA, Draper, Hologic, Johnson & Johnson and Sarepta Therapeutics. Additional $200K Challenge sponsors are Argenta Advisors in the reimbursement space, RQMIS in the regulatory space, Mintz in the legal patent space, and MPR Associates in the product development space.
The contest’s 15 finalists will present their inventions before a panel of expert judges at UMass Lowell on Tuesday, March 22. Amar (Amarpreet) Singh Sawhney, chairman and CEO of Instylla Inc., an organization developing new liquid embolics for tumor embolization and hemostasis, will be the event’s keynote speaker. He will deliver the address “Considerations for Medtech in Startup Innovation.”
“Having spent the last 30 years in medtech innovation, one cannot help but develop some rules of thumb to evaluate opportunities based on pattern recognition of failures and successes. I hope to share some of these learnings with other entrepreneurs, in case they can be helpful to them, as they continue to be for me,” he said.
Contest 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.
“The M2D2 $200K Challenge has proven critical in supporting the growth and success of numerous medical device/life science startups for more than a decade,” said Steven Tello, UMass Lowell’s vice provost of graduate, online and professional studies. “Together with our corporate and state partners, we have awarded more than $1.2 million in funding and services to entrepreneurs bringing new treatments, diagnostics and services that will improve the health and well-being of our shared communities.” 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 Chan 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 Chan, 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.
“Now in our 11th year, the M2D2 $200K Challenge is a great showcase for emerging products and technologies that seek to improve patient health. M2D2 is proud to be a leader in the medical-device and biotech ecosystem and we thank our sponsors for their support in helping entrepreneurs take their inventions from the drawing board to the marketplace,” said Mary Ann Picard, M2D2’s director of operations.
Challenge sponsors include the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Amgen, Argenta Advisors, Asahi Intecc, Boston Scientific, Draper, Hologic, Johnson & Johnson, MassMEDIC, Mintz, MPR, RQMIS and Sarepta Therapeutics.
Last year’s grand prize winner was Acoustica Bio, a Cambridge-based company that has developed a means to reformulate intravenous medications so they can be administered via an injection under the skin.
Full details on the competition are available at www.m2d2challenge.com.
M2D2, the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, is a joint initiative of the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the UMass system. Its aim is to help new biotech and medical device entrepreneurs develop technologies every step of the way, from proof-of-concept to commercialization. Affiliated faculty and staff have assisted more than 100 startup companies and entrepreneurs since the program kicked off in the spring of 2007. www.uml.edu/m2d2.