MassMedical IGNITE innovative medical leaders women medtech leadersMassMEDIC announced today that it concluded its 2021 MedTech IGNITE accelerator program for medical device companies.

Boston-based MassMEDIC (the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council) had 12 startups in the 2021 IGNITE cohort, with the companies including developers of wearables, diagnostics and surgical devices across areas such as women’s health, neurology, oncology, infectious disease, diabetes and cardiology.

The IGNITE cohort participated in virtual classes run by medtech executives with expertise in a number of areas, while it also included virtual networking events and fireside chats with industry luminaries. Participating startups also worked on pitches with feedback from VCs and experienced mentors.

Winners were selected by their peers, with each cohort founder presenting their corporate pitch to the cohort. They were scored on product market fit, business plan and team strength.

Encora Therapeutics won the competition, bringing in a cash award of $20,000. AOA Dx came in second, collecting $7,500 and Phiex Technologies and OxiWear tied for third, each receiving $1,250.

“We are extremely proud of the 2021 IGNITE Cohort,” MassMEDIC VP Rachel Robinson said in a news release. “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.”

Robinson noted that an initial financial investment in the program made three years ago by the Mass Life Sciences Center is now “reaping great ROI,” with IGNITE founders collectively raising $70 million in funding to date.

IGNITE helps medtech startups establish offices, hire teams, partner with strategic and engage professional services firms, attracting startups from across Massachusetts, the rest of the U.S. and globally. MassMEDIC said IGNITE has a focus on inclusion and diversity among its founders, too, with 43% female founders across the last three cohorts.

“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,” Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President and CEO Kenn Turner said. “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 12 startups in the cohort and their founders were:

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

IGNITE corporate sponsors also awarded in-kind services, with Alira Health selecting Phiex Technologies and OxiWear receiving services from Boyd Technologies and a 3D printer from Formlabs. Agile Search selected Kalia Health and Wilson Sonsini chose Isola Therapeutics. Teijin and Kohler and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center supported the IGNITE 2021 program.