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Event Recap: M2D2 $200K Challenge Pitch-Off and Awards

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development (M2D2) is an organization that supports the state's smaller medical device and life science companies by providing resources and access to world-class research and talent from UMass Lowell and UMass Medical School.

On April 10th, they hosted their 13th annual $200K Challenge Pitch-Off and Awards event. This event is offered to the medical device and life science community to network, generate attention for their exciting research, and share ideas.

The night opened with a fireside chat with Ibraheem Badejo, Senior Director of External Innovation for Johnson & Johnson. Badejo shared insight on how startups can earn funding from J&J MedTech. Later, fifteen early stage startups competed against each other in a pitch-off event to win the $200K investment prize.

“What’s in a Winning Pitch?” with Ibraheem Badejo 

Should your MedTech startup seek funding from J&J MedTech? Badejo discussed J&J’s primary areas of investment interest, its investment decision making process, and other quick tips. 

Badejo explained that J&J invests into two primary areas: technologies and disease states.

  • Technologies include: advanced imaging and visualization; biomaterials and biologics; digital technology using AI/ML; infection prevention; robotic surgery and digital solutions; tissue regeneration and repair.

  • Disease states, encompassing: cardiovascular, neurovascular, obesity, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, interventional oncology, and surgical ophthalmology. 

Badejo also shared some insight into J&J’s investment decision making process, covering what his team looks for when companies pitch to them:



Have a clear strategic alignment.

Avoid poor strategic fit or priority

Invent and pitch transformative clinical solutions.

Pitch Incremental and derivative products.

Have differentiated technology and intellectual property.

Pitch products with a  limited competitive advantage.

Prove your idea works with preliminary evidence and data.

Pitch ideas and concepts.

Have pre-existing partnerships and investments.

Offer only licenses to the technology.

Three Tips for Startup Founders

Badejo also shared some quick tips for founders:

  • Tease the investors. Get them interested to learn more. Save the science and due diligence for later.

  • Be careful with time! Get their attention within 5 minutes or lose the opportunity.

  • Share ONLY the information that is requested by J&J MedTech. No more or less.

Who were the Winners of the Pitch-Off?

Fifteen companies were a part of the competition, but here were the three winners:

  • First Place: Relavo Medical represented by Sarah Lee, Founder & CEO. Relavo Medical creates a disinfecting connection device that reduces infection risk associated with dialysis.

  • Second Place: Endoshunt Medical represented by Tyler Zanon, CEO. Endoshunt Medical creates a temporary, minimally invasive hemorrhage control device which creates a size-adjustable channel inside the IVC or aorta.

  • Third Place: Neurara Biotech Inc. represented by Claire Dixon, CEO and Board Director. The company's device uses low-frequency electrostimulation to treat symptoms associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). 

You can get in touch with M2D2 on their website, here.

Nicholas Ewing is a recent college graduate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell who majored in international business. You can get in touch with him on his LinkedIn:


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