FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 17, 2021
Parallax Advanced Research program seeks to make it easier for medical technology research to develop into local companies
Applications are open for the second round of funding through the new MedTech Launch Fund, which aims to pump a total of $550,000 into MedTech startups across the Dayton Region. The MedTech Launch Fund will accelerate the development of medical technology opportunities in the Dayton Region by funding alpha prototype development to validate and advance a technology’s commercial viability and move it towards commercialization through a startup company. $150,000 was awarded to two companies through the first round of funding last fall.
The MedTech Launch Fund is part of a new collaborative effort to align the Dayton Region’s healthcare specialization, defense research assets and entrepreneurial ecosystem to spin out new medical technologies faster. Launch Dayton partner organization Parallax Advanced Research was awarded a $200,000 Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF) grant from Ohio Third Frontier last June to launch this new initiative. The effort is also supported by $330,000 from the Economic Development Administration’s i6 program.
“Dayton has a wealth of untapped innovation that is ready to take the MedTech industry to new heights. The Launch Dayton MedTech Launch Fund helps to unveil that talent, funds that talent to further develop their innovations and connects them to investors who can help scale their businesses. We’re looking forward to meeting new and familiar entrepreneurs in the second round and helping them achieve their business goals,” said Dennis Andersh, Parallax CEO.
The time to market for medical technology is longer than other industries because it can take years to complete the necessary testing to meet regulatory standards. While the Dayton region is rich in institutions, entrepreneurs who want to get those technologies out of the labs and into the healthcare system often lack the resources necessary to build and test prototypes; lack of access to experts who can help build regulatory compliance strategies; and lack a workforce to tap when the company is pre-revenue and pre-investment.
The MedTech Launch Fund will provide that gap funding to help regional MedTech entrepreneurs build the prototypes they need to seek angel and pre-seed investment. Entrepreneurs' Center will collaborate to connect these entrepreneurs with experts to build regulatory strategy, and ONEIL Center at Wright State University will collaborate to match these MedTech startup companies with student interns.
"We saw some great technologies and some passionate entrepreneurs in the first round and ultimately funded two,” said MedTech Launch Fund Selection Committee chair Andrew Cothrel. “We’re excited to see some of those unfunded technologies make some progress and come back in round two, and to see lots of new applications. Given how hard it is to find pre-seed capital, we think the fund can make a real difference in getting these technologies on a path towards reaching the patients who will benefit."
Through the MedTech Launch Fund, up to $550,000 in grant funding will be competitively awarded to projects to perform validation activities such as prototyping, demonstration and assessment of critical failure points in subsequent development, scale-up, and commercialization in order to generate proof of viability needed to move technologies into the hands of Ohio startup companies to take to market.
“MedTech” is defined broadly to include medical devices, diagnostics, imaging, patient monitoring, surgical tools, implants, therapies, supplements and medical foods, wellness, performance optimization, prevention, hygiene, life science research tools, therapeutic methods, health data mining and application of artificial intelligence, healthcare delivery cost reduction and workflow/efficiency improvement, patient safety, and all other aspects of technologies intended to protect, improve, or otherwise optimize human health.
The fund will source technologies from two tracks:
Researcher Track: Technologies originating in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), University of Dayton or Wright State University will be eligible for up to $400,000 in total awards. These technologies must have moved beyond basic research and already have intellectual property protections in place, such as a provisional or full patent application submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and/or trade secret protections in place. The technologies cannot already be licensed to a commercial partner. Each project is eligible for up to $75,000.
Entrepreneur Track: Technologies originating outside of these three institutions, but geographically located in or with significant ties to the eight-county greater Dayton Region (Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Champaign, Preble, Shelby, & Darke counties) will be eligible for up to $150,000 in total awards. Some level of intellectual property protection must be in place, and the concepts must be beyond basic research. Each project is eligible for up to $75,000.
Want a piece of the MedTech Launch Fund for your startup? Apply for the second round of funding by March 16, 2021 for the Entrepreneur Track here: https://gust.com/programs/medtech-launch-fund.
University researchers & technologists have until March 29, 2021 to apply here: https://gust.com/programs/medtech-launch-fund-researcher-track.
Projects that fit the program will be invited to pitch the selection committee in May 2021. Notifications of acceptance into fund and project kick off will be in June 2021. Questions about the program can be directed to John Owen, Launch Dayton program manager, at email@example.com.
The MedTech Launch Fund is backed by Launch Dayton partner organizations. Launch Dayton is a collaborative effort to connect entrepreneurs to peers, resources, and supporters, and to tell the stories of our region’s thriving startup community. Launch Dayton partners believe everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to determine their own economic prosperity.
Parallax and the Entrepreneurs’ Center are both proud partners in the Launch Dayton community.
About Parallax Advanced Research
Parallax is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that tackles global challenges by accelerating innovation and developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry and academia across Ohio and the Nation. Together with academia, Parallax accelerates innovation that leads to new breakthroughs. Together with government, Parallax tackles critical global challenges and delivers new solutions. Together with industry, Parallax develops groundbreaking ideas and speeds them to market.
About Launch Dayton
Launch Dayton is a collaborative effort of regional entrepreneurial support organizations to connect and support Dayton’s entrepreneur and startup community. Launch Dayton partners believe everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to determine their own economic prosperity. The Launch Dayton community exists to support and inspire all Daytonians who are building businesses. Launch Dayton partners collaborate to build an easily accessible environment, run high-caliber programming and connect a network of champions, mentors and resource providers.
About the Entrepreneurs’ Center
Entrepreneurs’ Center (EC) offers solutions to entrepreneurs by assisting small businesses, scalable high-tech startups, and research institutes ready to commercialize. Mentorship, connections, business planning, professional services, and technology commercialization programs are available at little-to-no cost to local entrepreneurs. The EC also manages multiple properties offering affordable, flexible space solutions such as co-working, shared space, and private offices. In partnership with the University of Dayton, the EC drives innovation in the region as the anchor tenant at The Arcade revitalization project in downtown Dayton, scheduled to open in February 2021.