For 2020, Deshpande Foundation Again Sponsoring India-based $200K Challenge Finalists

Team India at the 2019 M2D2 $200K Challenge Pitch-Off
Team India’s jerseys won serious style points at the 2019 Challenge Pitch-Off!

For the second year, the Deshpande Foundation has announced it will sponsor up to three early-stage India-based life sciences companies that are chosen as finalists in the M2D2 $200K Challenge. This generous sponsorship will cover all travel and housing expenses for those teams, as well as tours around the Massachusetts life sciences innovation ecosystem and introductions to potential mentors and investors. 

“The Foundation’s generosity in making the Challenge accessible to these bright young innovators is phenomenal,” said M2D2 Director of Operations Mary Ann Picard. “Last year’s sponsored finalists, BuzzArk Simulations, IMOV Motiontech, and MediSim VR, brought products and ideas that opened a lot of eyes. Everyone involved in the Challenge is very, very excited to see what’s coming from India this year.” 

Bridging the distance to advance life-saving innovations

Enter the 2020 M2D2 $200K Challenge by February 16

“We are thrilled with the last year’s results and the success the finalists have achieved,” said Raj Melville, Executive Director of the Deshpande Foundation. “We hope these examples will motivate more health and medical technology innovators in India to take advantage of this unique opportunity with M2D2’s $200K Challenge.” 

Year One: A stellar success for India-based Challenge Finalists

In 2019, the first year of this sponsorship program, the Foundation sponsored three finalists from the Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre (HTIC) at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras.  They were:

  • BuzzArk Simulations, creators of a virtual reality simulator for natural orifice surgery training 
  • IMOV Motiontech, who are developing a minimally invasive electrophysiology device for diagnosis and treatment
  • MediSim VR, developers of a haptic enabled VR surgery simulator. 
BuzzArk Simulations receives award at 2019 M2D2 $200K Challenge
M2D2’s Mary Ann Picard with Ragul Puhazhendi, Founder of BuzzArk Simulations, at the 2019 $200K Challenge Awards Celebration.

BuzzArk Simulations took home one of the Challenge’s three second-place awards; both they and IMOV Motiontech continue to develop their products at their respective Chennai bases. 

Read the blog post to learn more: “A Passage FROM India: Chennai-based startups compete in 2019 $200K Challenge.”

And MediSim? You could say their tickets to the Challenge were one-way, as they leveraged M2D2’s connections with investors and legal experts to establish their permanent presence in the heart of the Bay State healthcare community. MediSim co-founder Adith Chinnaswami gives this update: 

“The Challenge was a major milestone in our journey. The contest and the mentorship provided us with not just valuable inputs from all sectors of the ecosystem, but also helped us expand our horizons. Over the past year, we have made it through to the Johnson and Johnson Innovation center at Cambridge.

“Our first product is close to completion and ready for beta testing. We are exploring options on how to penetrate the market in U.S and are in talks with potential customers. We are looking forward to 2020 with confidence taken from the learnings of 2019, and more particularly the M2D2 event.”

2020 M2D2 $200K Challenge entries close February 16.

Interested India-based medical device, medtech, and biotech startups can email M2D2 Director of Operations, Mary Ann Picard, for more information:

About the Deshpande Foundation

The Deshpande Foundation will pay travel expenses for India-based startups who are named M2D2 $200K Challenge finalists.

The Deshpande Foundation supports sustainable, scalable social and economic impact through innovation and entrepreneurship in United States, Canada, and India. 

M2D2 $200K Challenge entries close at midnight, February 16, 2020.
Find complete details, rules, and link to entry form here.