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PixelEXX Tops M2D2 Competition

Company Seeks to Improve Cancer-diagnosing Technology

UMass Lowell Image
Winners of M2D2’s venture competition included (l-r) Manav Mehta, Gel4Med; Bryan McLaughlin, Micro-Leads; Raja Srinivas and Madhavi Gavini, Novopyxis; Naraj Agarwal, Wellumina; Renee Carder, PixelEXX; Carl Vause, Soft Robotics and Rathi Srinivas, Novopyxis.

04/21/2015
By David Perry

PixelEXX Systems, a Chicago-based imaging company that looks to shrink pixels to improve endoscopy and better diagnose cancer, won first place and $35,000 of in-kind services in the 2015 Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) New Venture Competition.

Named winner at the contest finals held at the Boston law firm Mintz Levin Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C,  PixelEXX topped the field of 64 medical-device startups, one from as far away as Israel. The previous week, the competition’s 15 finalists pitched ideas to a panel of judges in a packed Moloney Ballroom at University Crossing. 

Renee Carder, PixelEXX’s vice president of technology, called the quality of the presenters, “phenomenal,” and said first place “was just the icing on the cake.”

Carder says she looks forward to working further with M2D2, as well as Boston Scientific and Smith & Nephew, contest co-sponsors.

“Their insights will be particularly valuable as we continue to refine our commercialization and product strategy,” Carder said.

As minimally-invasive surgeries increase, so does the demand for smaller, smarter tools, says Carder. PixelEXX thinks small as it develops a camera the size of the grain of sand with pixels the size of 100 strands of DNA. Such nanotechnology will help doctors reach previously elusive organs and body regions to better spot injury and disease, she said.
In all, sponsors awarded $100,000 of in-kind services to the startups.

Three teams – Micro-Leads, Novopyxis and Wellumina – shared second place, Gel4Med took third, Soft Robotics landed fourth place and Nido Surgical was fifth. Admetsys and Resorbium shared honorable mention and the People’s Choice award went to Protector Medical.

M2D2 is a joint venture of UMass Lowell and UMass Worcester, offering inventors and entrepreneurs easy, affordable access to world-renowned researchers and resources.

The program, which helps entrepreneurs bring medical-device ideas to market, is based at the university. In June, a fully-equipped shared lab space opens in the Innovation hub on Canal Street in Lowell.

In addition to M2D2, Mintz Levin, Smith & Nephew and Boston Scientific, co-sponsors included Omni Components and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.