3rd Annual CAPCaT Big Company/Little Company Showcase Spotlights Point-Of-Care Innovations and Strategic Partnerships

For the third year, M2D2 and the Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies (CAPCaT) in Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Disorders will present their Big Company/Little Company Showcase.

Happening virtually on Thursday, June 16 from 9am to 1:30 ET, the Showcase is a high-value informational and networking event for life sciences startups seeking to initiate conversations about strategic partnerships with suitable corporate entities.

A gathering of innovators, investors, and mentors

Speaking at the Showcase will be three respected medtech leaders: Girardin Jean-Louis, Mara Aspinall, and Kadir Kadhiresan. The centerpiece of the event will be point-of-care product pitches from six recent winners of grant funding from the NIH-supported CAPCaT program. These innovators will receive valuable feedback from a panel of investors and insiders.

M2D2 Director of Operations Mary Ann Picard noted, “Strategic partnerships, in which a startup can tap into a big corporation’s physical, financial, and mentoring resources, are unquestionably critical for accelerating a life-saving innovation to market. But for startups the process is wrapped in mystery. We put on this event every year in an effort to pull back the curtain. If there’s one insight they should take away from the Showcase, it’s that strategic partnerships need to be part of their long-term plan, whether for go-to-market or exit.”

Keynote speaker: Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD

Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis

The event’s Keynote Speaker is Girardin Jean-Louis, Director of the Center on Translational Sleep and Circadian Studies and PRIDE Institute at the University of Miami. The overarching goal of his research is to address multi-level barriers hindering adoption of healthful practices in minoritized communities. His research findings have appeared in 215 scientific conference proceedings and book chapters and 235 peer-reviewed scientific journals. In 2020 he was named ‘Pioneer in Minority Health and Health Disparities’ and one of The Community of Scholars’ most inspiring Black scientists in America. In 2021, he received the Sleep Research Society’s Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award.

See 6 leading-edge point-of-care innovations.

Following the keynote address, six startup point-of-care device innovators will take the (virtual) lectern to pitch their NIH grant-winning products:

  • Cardio Sounds – Device to provide heart and lung predictive clinical intelligence
  • Cognita Labs – CareCOPD precision care platform
  • NEATCap – Solution to mitigate neonatal noise exposure
  • Respira Labs – Next-generation cardiopulmonary disease-targeting inhalation products
  • SafeBVM – Device to ensure safe and optimal airflow in use of manual bag valve mask ventilators
  • VitaScan – Rapid blood testing for nutrition biomarkers.

Expert Advisory Panel

The Showcase’s Expert Advisory Panel comprises industry influencers and experts in the point-of-care digital health device/diagnostics and health equity spaces. These authorities will ask questions of the pitch presenters and weave invaluable information specifically aimed at preparing startups for strategic “big company/little company” partnerships. Panelists will include:

John Benco, PhD — Senior Director of Business Development & Technology Strategy, Siemens Healthcare

Lana CaronInnovation Lead, Phillips Ventures

Jennifer Joe, MD — CEO, Vanguard.Health LLC

Varun RamdevanGlobal Digital Innovation Lead, Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Bryan Buchholz, PhD, of UMass Lowell and a co-principal NIH grant investigator for CAPCaT, said of the 2022 lineup: “We at CAPCaT are naturally thrilled to have connected these six innovators with generous NIH grant funding. But it’s also about quality. There is great potential for these innovations to bring significant improvements to patient care and health outcomes.”

Nate Hafer, PhD, Director of Operations for the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational and a member of the CAPCaT leadership team added, “I think it’s absolutely worth noting that these six, like thousands of other life sciences innovators, have been persevering through the pandemic to advance their ideas. We salute the global community of researchers, who’ve kept their focus on their life-saving, life-improving goals.”

Chattin’ with 2 medtech leaders

The event will also feature a “fireside chat” conversation with Mara Aspinall, Managing Director, Healthcare Investment & Policy at Bluestone Venture Partners and Kadir Kadhiresan, PhD, Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation. These two high-level industry insiders will share and discuss their perspectives on the state of diagnostic and point-of-care technologies in 2022.

A Q&A portal will allow showcase attendees to participate in this discussion. Following the fireside chat will be a presentation on small business funding opportunities and business programming available from the NIH.

NIH Programs and Funding

Following the fireside chat, NIH executives from the Office of Translational Alliances and Coordination (OTAC) will take over with a valuable discussion about all the resources available through their office and programs. OTAC coordinates the NHLBI Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, as well as two translational research initiatives directed at advancing new technologies from the university to the marketplace: the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) and the NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) programs.

Mary Ann Picard concluded, “I would encourage anyone developing a point-of care product to attend the Showcase. You can learn from the feedback given during the pitches. You can bring your own questions to the fireside chat. You can make new and possibly transformative connections. And because the Showcase is once again virtual this year, you can attend from anywhere.”   

Save the date ­— June 16 — on your calendar, and register now (it’s free).