2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the M2D2 $200K Challenge, and as the March 24 Finalist Pitch-Off approaches, the excitement is building. Not just for the innovations we’re expecting to see (each year is more amazing than the one before). But also for three big pieces of news:
- The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) will be awarding a total of $50,000 cash to at least one Massachusetts-based Finalist. This is the second consecutive Challenge in which MLSC is “sweetening the pot.”
- M2D2 will get into the action too, awarding $25,000 to another Finalist.
- Kenn Turner, the new President & CEO of MLSC, will deliver keynote remarks.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Pitch-Off will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 24, beginning at 5:00 pm eastern time. Life sciences entrepreneurs, investors, academics, researchers, students, and media from anywhere are invited. Tickets are free with registration.
Meet Kenn Turner
Kenn Turner is President & CEO of MLSC, an economic development and investment agency dedicated to supporting the growth and development of the life sciences in Massachusetts. He directs and oversees the center’s operations, investment strategy, programs, and partnerships.
Prior to joining the MLSC in October, Kenn served as Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Compliance with Massport. He oversaw and managed the Authority’s multiple diversity programs including business and supplier diversity and workforce diversity, as well as all compliance initiatives associated with Massport’s Disadvantaged/Minority/Women Business Enterprise Programs.
A retired U.S. Navy Captain and submarine nuclear weapons officer with 26 years of service, Kenn holds a B.S. degree in Liberal Arts from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join medical technology and biotech innovators from around the world for this year’s $200K Challenge,” said Kenn. “Our partners at M2D2 and the broader UMass Lowell campus are helping drive a thriving life sciences cluster spurring economic and workforce development in the Merrimack Valley and beyond. The Life Sciences Center is excited to continue its support and partnership with M2D2 to aid startups in bringing their ideas to market to improve patient outcomes.”
Upping the ante for the 10th Anniversary
Mary Ann Picard, M2D2 Director of Operations, remarked on the two cash awards. “Fifty thousand dollars in cash is an eye-popping sum for any life sciences startup—I’ll never forget the amazed and grateful reaction of Michael House of Cx Therapeutics when he was named the 2020 winner. MLSC’s generosity is yet another chapter in their 10-year story of support of M2D2 and our ecosystem.
“It’s also recognition that Lowell, away from the spotlight of the ‘617,’ can be a springboard to a global presence for life sciences innovators. And as for M2D2, we’re pleased that we can give a life-saving innovation a financial boost with a $25,000 cash prize of our own. Will next year be the $300K Challenge? Stay tuned!”
About the M2D2 $200K Challenge
The $200K Challenge is an annual start-up competition hosted by M2D2 focused on identifying and rewarding disruptive companies in the medical technology and biotechnology industries. Tickets are free to both of this year’s virtual 10th Anniversary events:
Every year we receive scores of entries from entrepreneurs worldwide. This year, 15 finalists will become eligible to win a share of our $200,000 purse of sponsor-provided, in-kind services. These services include lab and office space; engineering, product development, legal, regulatory, clinical, and business services. Past winners have been empowered to bring their innovations to life—and to market. Watch last year’s winning pitches.