Emerging Startups Pitch For BioChallenge Prize

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans BioInnovation Center, located at 1441 Canal St., supports Louisiana life sciences entrepreneurs through the BioChallenge, an annual pitch competition for emerging startups.

         The 3rd annual pitch competition takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 4:00 p.m., followed by a networking reception at 6:00 p.m.

         The event is free and open to the public.

         Company executive summaries are scored by independent entrepreneurship experts to select the top finalists who go on to pitch in front of a panel of judges for cash and services prizes during the Innovation Louisiana life science entrepreneurship conference. Since 2012, startups have won more than $30,000 in cash and services prizes in the BioChallenge.

         To be eligible, participating companies must be officially incorporated in or have significant operations in Louisiana, be core technology based in the life sciences (including but not limited to biology, health sciences, sports science, genetics, engineering, health IT, environmental science, etc.), meet with the NOBIC team at least once for coaching prior to pitch event and be available to attend BioChallenge pitch competition.

         This year’s finalists include:

         AxoSim Technologies – a contract research organization dedicated to improving preclinical pharmaceutical development. Using advanced “nerve-on-a-chip” technology, AxoSim facilitates the prediction of neurological safety and efficacy early in the drug development pipeline. By providing an alternative to animal testing, pharmaceutical companies will have access to high content data faster and earlier than currently possible.

         Crescentium – whose initial product, the GemView LM, is designed to provide critical care physicians with a safe, inexpensive method of performing surgical procedures like tracheostomies while eliminating complications inherent in current procedures. The GemView LM gives physicians the advantage of continuous visualization of the larynx, trachea or lungs without obstructing or removing the patient’s airway.

         ORA Estuaries – who grow oyster reefs into living coastal protection infrastructure. The company has developed OysterBreak, which takes advantage of the oyster’s inherent nature of clustering to form a coastal protection structure. The oysters not only form a natural breakwater that helps prevent shoreline erosion, but also help filter the water and grow faster than the sea level rise due to climate change.

         Taxor Diagnostics – who designed a diagnostic test to help doctors and patients personalize breast cancer treatment decisions by predicting whether a certain chemotherapy will be successful for a patient’s specific type of cancer. By making this prediction, patients can be spared from ineffective chemotherapy regimens and their side effects and also save valuable treatment time.

         In the first round of competition, submitted executive summaries were scored by an independent panel of judges on several criteria, including business and product descriptions, market analysis, management team, and potential for investment.

         Finalists received pitch coaching by NOBIC’s commercialization team before their scheduled 10-minute pitches today.

         The current top prize is $25,000, and growing.

         BioChallenge finalists have raised more than $10 million in funding to develop critical healthcare treatments and technologies.

         For more information

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