2023 $200K Challenge Recap

The 2023 $200K Challenge season brought with it record breaking application numbers and over 200 people headed to the UMass Lowell iHub to learn about the latest in healthcare innovation. This year’s Pitch-Off was an absolute success, and a joy to experience with all of you. Life sciences industry leaders, entrepreneurs from around the world, and medical device innovators joined us in Lowell to learn more about this year’s 15 Finalists.

The 2023 Finalists pitched their innovations on March 22nd in hopes of winning a share of the $275,000 prize purse. Part of this year’s prizes included $50,000 in non-dilutive funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and $25,000 in cash funding from M2D2.

Julie Chen, UMass Lowell Chancellor, welcomed everyone to the 2023 Challenge Pitch-Off, highlighting the growing presence of medtech innovation, investment, and development in the Massachusetts community.

Our Keynote Speakers: Two Life Sciences Veterans Working to Build a More Diverse Pool of Medtech Leaders

Since we combined the two $200K Challenge events into one massive Pitch-Off, this year we had two impressive and driven speakers who kicked off the night’s events. Kenn Turner, CEO and President of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and Brian Johnson, President of MassMEDIC, shared insights on leadership styles and encouraging diversity within organizations.

Kenn Turner shared how he builds a strong team through leadership. “[You want to] surround yourself with people who are more capable than you. If I’m the smartest guy in the room, I’m in the wrong room!”

Next up, 15 Impressive Startups Pitched Their Unique Solutions to a Packed House

Kyle Kruse from Global Interconnect Inc. joined us again as a fantastic event MC. With his good-natured jokes and big introductions for each presenter, he kept the energy high throughout the entire evening. He introduced the startups, who had 4 minutes to describe their technology and highlight the problem they could improve/solve.

After learning about the inspiring stories behind each startup and their innovation, the judges stepped away to deliberate and decide on the winners. This year, the judges selected 11 winners, the most we’ve ever seen in the $200K Challenge!


First Place Winner

Spheric Bio, a startup associated with MIT won the biggest prize of the evening, $50,000 from Mass Life Sciences. In addition to the cash award, they received in-kind support from Asahi-Intecc and Prime Path Medtech.

Second Place Winner

RevBio earned second place with their novel approach to bone adhesive and 3D printed material, receiving a $25,000 cash award from M2D2.

Third Place Winner

Medicsen, previously an IMPACT startup, won the third-place prize, in-kind support, and resources from Amgen.

In-Kind Support Winners:

Artemis Biosystems: In-kind support from MPR

EndoGlow: In-kind support from Johnson & Johnson

FemTherapeutics: In-kind support from Hologic and Inertia

Genomic Expression: In-kind support from Novo Nordisk

Levisonics Inc.: In-kind support from Argenta Advisors, Prime Path Medtech and MPR

Matregenix: In-kind support from Argenta Advisors

Meacor: In-kind support from Mintz and Prime Path Medtech

Vivifi Medical: In-kind support from Argenta Advisors

We thank the many life sciences startups who entered our 2023 $200K Challenge event. We continued to hear new ideas, learn about novel technologies, and we met passionate entrepreneurs focused on innovations in the healthcare and life sciences communities. We wish every entrant, Finalist, and winner much success as they advance their innovations from the lab to the clinic or marketplace.

Don’t Miss the Cycle 5 IMPACT Pitch-Off!

On April 4th, 10 medical device startups who are completing the M2D2 IMPACT accelerator program will pitch their innovations to a panel of industry leaders and key players for the chance to win major prizes from medtech organizations. Startups and attendees will have a chance to talk about their solutions, and network with local life sciences leaders from biotech organizations. You can join us for free.