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Medical-device Startups Compete for $50,000 in Services

Competition Showcases Best New Product Ideas from Early-stage Companies


Contacts for media:  Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or and Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or


LOWELL, Mass. – Fifteen teams of entrepreneurs from early-stage companies will pitch their ideas for new products and vie for $50,000 in services at the M2D2 New Venture Competition on Wednesday, March 26 from 5 to 9 p.m. at UMass Lowell. 

The contest is co-sponsored by the emptyMassachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP and Smith & Nephew

From presentations about cutting-edge devices for dental and knee surgery to new materials for bone regeneration, pitches will focus on innovative ways to address industry needs in sports medicine, joint reconstruction and physical trauma. Teams hail not only from Massachusetts but also Ireland, South Africa and other points across the globe. The event will be held at the M2D2 Innovation Hub, Wannalancit Business Center, second floor, East Campus, 600 Suffolk St., Lowell, regardless of weather conditions.

Participants and their innovative devices will include:

  • Aleeva Medical, San Jose, Calif. – spinal disc hydration filament
  • Articulate Labs, Austin, Texas – neuromuscular electrical stimulation for quadriceps
  • BeTH, Boston – adjustable prosthetic device
  • Cocoon Biotech Inc., Boston – hydrogel injection for osteoarthritis
  • Diacoustic Medical Devices, Lowell and Stellenbosch, South Africa – cardiac murmur assessment
  • EvoPump, West Newton – drug-delivery patch pump
  • Flow Forward Medical, Lowell – kidney disease vascular access pump
  • Guided Surgery Solutions, Wellesley – dental-implant guide
  • Innovoss Inc., Andover – synthetic bone material
  • Leveraged Developments, Stratham, N.H. – intravenous infusion pump
  • OrthoGraft, Troy, N.H. – bone regeneration biomaterial
  • ProDural, Cork, Ireland – syringe with visual confirmation
  • RIHOF, Providence, R.I. – knee-ligament surgery alignment device
  • Sano LLC, Wellesley – disposable biomarker detection
  • Vivonics IPASS, Waltham – brain-pressure monitor    

Winners will share $50,000 in in-kind services, including facilities, engineering, legal, business and medical-device assistance from M2D2, a joint initiative of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Worcester campuses; Smith & Nephew; and Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, where the winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 8.

The contest’s expert judges are Tom Sommer, president, Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council; Enrico Picozza, venture partner, HLM; Michael Gordon, founder and CEO, Center for Competitive Success; Laura Whitsitt, divisional senior vice president, research and emerging technologies and Jeff Thomas, vice president and head of business development, Smith & Nephew; and Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, UMass Medical School professor of pediatrics and molecular medicine, associate provost for global health and director of the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science. 

Last year’s event drew more than 200 leaders in the medical, financial, legal and business communities to M2D2 for an evening of networking and research sessions, along with the competition. 

M2D2 is a lifeline for startup medical-device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources, as well as business incubator space on the UMass Lowell campus. 

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, engineering, education, fine arts, health, humanities, liberal arts, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.