MedTech Innovator, a non-profit start-up accelerator in the medical technology industry, has announced the five companies—Flosonics Medical, Forest Devices, Koya, OncoRes Medical, and Venari Medical—that have been selected as finalists to compete for the title of “MedTech Innovator 2019”. A press release reports that these finalists were chosen from more than 800 applicants, and that attendees of The MedTech Conference (23–25 September, Boston, USA) will vote for the Grand Prize winner on 24 September.

The five finalist companies are developing medical technology innovations in critical care, breast cancer, and chronic venous and vascular diseases:

  • Flosonics Medical = developing a wireless, wearable sensor that uses non-invasive ultrasound to provide real-time hemodynamic monitoring and improve the management of critically ill patients.
  • Forest Devices = developing a portable device that uses electroencephalogram monitoring and machine learning to diagnose large vessel occlusions and other stroke subtypes, enabling first responders to triage patients to proper stroke centres.
  • Koya = developing a wearable smart device that delivers patient-specific compression therapy to treat chronic vascular diseases, starting with oedema.
  • OncoRes Medical = developing a high resolution, handheld, surgeon-operated imaging tools to increase surgical accuracy and more effectively identify and remove tumours during breast cancer surgery.
  • Venari Medical = developing the first non-thermal, office-based medical device that activates the body’s natural healing response to help patients achieve painless, permanent treatment of chronic venous disease.

During the competition finals, each of the five companies will have seven minutes to pitch their technology and answer questions from a panel of four judges. After the presentations, the audience will vote in real-time to select the winners. The first-place start-up will take home a $350,000 non-dilutive cash prize. The remaining four finalists will each receive a $25,000 cash prize, and several incubator space awards will be presented from JLABS, the Gore Innovation Center, and Magnify at UCLA. In total, more than $500,000 in prizes will be awarded.

The finals judges are Christos Monovoukas (global leader, Mergers and Acquisitions/Business Development, Olympus); Jennifer Kozak (vice president, New Business Development, Johnson & Johnson); Heather Walsh (director, External Innovation, Baxter International); and Sean Coyer, (lLeader, Digital Health Innovations and Ventures, Gore Innovation Center).

Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator, comments: “Each year, the audience at The MedTech Conference is faced with the difficult decision of choosing only one winner out of a group of impressive and transformative start-ups, and this year will be no exception. Even though only one company is voted the grand prize winner, all 50 companies in the 2019 cohort are on an important path to improving patient lives and the healthcare system as a whole through their innovative technologies.”

Together with the senior leadership teams of its corporate partners and more than 200 industry judges, MedTech Innovator travelled to evaluate more than 150 candidates in person out of over 800 applications from 34 countries and 45 US states. Fifty companies were then selected to participate in the MedTech Innovator Showcase programme, which aims to prominently feature the most innovative medtech start-ups from around the world. Twenty-five of the 50 Showcase companies also received a place in the MedTech Innovator Accelerator programme, specifically designed for early stage companies.