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. 

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The 2020 M2D2 $200K Challenge is Here!

Judges at the 2019 M2D2 $200K Challenge
The Challenge’s judges represent major global life sciences players.

The $200K Challenge is back for its ninth consecutive year! Hosted by M2D2, this event focuses on identifying and rewarding disruptive companies in the medical technology and biotechnology industries. We want to see your innovations brought to life.

Every year we receive scores of entries (nearly 150 in 2019) from life sciences entrepreneurs worldwide. India, China, and Australia are just a few of the many countries involved in the 2019 200K Challenge. Last year, our judges selected 12 winners—a Challenge record!

Looking ahead to the 2020 $200K Challenge

Enter the 2020 M2D2 $200K Challenge by February 16

This year, up to 20 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. See last year’s winning pitches.

M2D2 Director of Operations Mary Ann Picard shared her excitement for this year’s challenge. “We welcome innovations that address the full range of medical device challenges. We have seen the number of entries and attendees for the $200K Challenge rise every year, and we are excited to see applicants reach a new high.”

A direct connection to the global life sciences industry

The $200K Challenge offers finalists a unique opportunity to showcase their innovations and research to the event sponsors, many of which are recognized international leaders in the development of medical device, biotech, and therapeutic advances.

“The sponsors see this event as an opportunity as a way to get out of the office and see what is happening ‘on the ground’ in early-stage startups,” said Picard. Several sponsors have specific criteria for which they are seeking to award during the challenge. Check out our $200K Challenge Rules page for more information. 

“The startups who take advantage of all opportunities offered are the most successful,” added Picard. “Finalists for the $200K Challenge receive free coaching on their pitches from our sponsors and event mentors. No matter how groundbreaking your idea is, without a strong, compelling pitch, it’ll never get off the launch pad.”

Answering the nation’s health security call

Mohan Thanikachalam, CEO of Dynocardia, pitches at the 2019 M2D2 $200K Challenge.
Dynocardia’s Mohan Thanikachalam pitched his way to BARDA support in 2019.

M2D2 is the only New England-based accelerator for DRIVe, a program of BARDA, an office within the US Department of Homeland Security. BARDA seeks to accelerate the development and availability of transformative technologies to protect Americans from health security threats. “The Challenge is an outstanding opportunity for life sciences startups to connect with BARDA funding and support,” said Picard. “BARDA took special notice of one of our 2019 winners, Dynocardia, and has been instrumental in the advancement of their technology.”

Learn more about BARDA DRIVe and the funding opportunities available for your startup.

Innovation out of India

Last year, the Deshpande Foundation fully funded the travel for three of our 19 Challenge Finalists from their base of operations, the Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre at the India Institute of Technology-Madras. BuzzArk Simulations won the second place Desphande Award for their VR simulation of natural orifice surgery procedures.

And while they didn’t take home an award, startup MediSim used the Challenge as their bridge to the Boston medtech ecosystem. “During their visit to Massachusetts, MediSim made a wealth of connections through M2D2 for funding, legal and regulatory guidance, and even real estate,” said Picard. “As a result they’ve established a physical presence in Boston, setting up shop to do the intensive work of getting their simulator to market.”

Key Challenge dates—Mark your Calendar!

Thank you to our sponsors for making the 2020 $200K Challenge possible:

The 2020 M2D2 $200K Challenge boasts more sponsors than ever.

$200K Challenge Entries are open through February 16.  ENTER THE CHALLENGE HERE.

For further information and updates, past winners, upcoming events, and more, please visit

M2D2 Resident Company Allergy Amulet’s CEO Named One of 2019’s 100 Coolest People in Food and Drink

Allergy Amulet CEO Abigail Barnes

M2D2 resident companies continue to make news in 2019. In June, Business Insider ranked the 100 most influential and interesting people in the food and drink industry. This list includes other notable names, like Sarah Kauss, founder of S’well, Meghan Markle, and Andy Levitt, founder of Purple Carrot. Abigail Barnes, CEO of Allergy Amulet, was listed at number 22! She was recognized for developing the Allergy Amulet, and the positive impact this food sensor will have for people managing food allergies.

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M2D2 Resident Company LaunchPad Medical Approved for FDA Clinical Studies

Last week, another M2D2 resident company achieved a significant milestone. LaunchPad Medical received approval from the FDA to start a clinical study examing the safety and success of their bone adhesive biomaterial, Tetranite®.

About LaunchPad Medical

LaunchPad Medical, Inc. is primarily involved with the development of an injectable, self-setting osteoconductive bone adhesive material (Tetranite®). While the company’s focus is to use this technology within the dental market, they have also been working on developing adhesive applications for a larger scope of the orthopedics market. 

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RQMIS Inc. Announces UMass M2D2 Sponsorship

M2D2, its resident companies, and the medical device and biotech innovation community in Lowell and Worcester are pleased to welcome RQMIS Inc. as an M2D2 Platinum Corporate Sponsor.

Based in Amesbury, Massachusetts and with sister companies in the UK and Spain, RQMIS provides therapeutically focused, comprehensive regulatory consultation to the global medical device, pharmaceutical, combination product, dietary supplement and human tissue industry. As part of its M2D2 Sponsorship, RQMIS will participate in the $200K Challenge, including the call for applications, applicant screening, and judging the final competition showcase. Regularly throughout the year, RQMIS will offer educational sessions and host office hours to provide mentoring and share insights with M2D2 resident start-up companies.

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M2D2 Resident Company Glyscend Receives New Funding from Breakout Labs

This year has brought many exciting achievements for M2D2 resident companies—and here’s one more. Glyscend, a polymer therapeutics company focused on revolutionizing Type 2 diabetes treatment, has been named one of two startup labs selected to receive funding from Breakout Labs. Glyscend operates facilities at both M2D2 in Lowell and at the Johns Hopkins Fast Forward facility in Baltimore.

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UMass Lowell Receives Funding from MLSC to Advance New Continuous Manufacturing Process

This spring UMass Lowell Department of Chemical Engineering, and the UML’s Massachusetts Biomanufacturing Center received funding through the Massachusetts Life Science Center “Building Breakthroughs” program. The funding will support continuous bioprocessing manufacturing as an alternative to batch manufacturing. This new process is being explored in the manufacturing of small molecule drugs by the pharmaceutical industry. event where organizations received funding The research grant is part of a consortium that includes the M2D2 resident company (and 2018 $200K Challenge finalist) Versatope Therapeutics, who have developed an exosome-like vesicle technology currently used for vaccines. With this funding, these organizations are creating a truly transformative “continuous manufacturing” process for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Continue reading

M2D2 resident company LivOnyx named a 2019 winner in MLSC MassNextGen Initiative

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (far left), LivOnyx President/Co-Founder Carmela Mascio (second from left), and MLSC President Travis McCready (third from right) at the MassNextGen winners announcement event on June 19.

We’re thrilled to spread the word that one of our innovative resident companies, LivOnyx, has been named one of five 2019 winners in the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MSLC) Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative. LivOnyx will receive $87,500 in funding, as well as access for a year to a network of executive coaches.  

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New EZ BAA Portal Makes BARDA DRIVe Submissions Easier, Speeds Grant Awards.

The new BARDA DRIVe online portal speeds the awarding of grants to health security innovators.

The BARDA DRIVe team is pleased to announce that the new, easy-to-use EZ BAA online Portal is now live as of April 23, 2019. This Portal will replace the existing PDF-based process, helping to improve the user experience, data integrity, and data security. The system will also streamline internal processes, helping DRIVe’s program teams continue to make awards in as few as 30 days.

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