Finalist Pitch-Off

It's back, it's virtual, and it's FREE!

Awards Celebration

Thursday, Sept. 17 @ 5pm ET

Thursday, Oct. 1 @ 5pm ET

Join innovators, investors, researchers, academics, and students on Zoom for our 2 signature Challenge events:

Challenge Sponsors

About the Challenge

The $200K Challenge is an annual start-up competition hosted by M2D2 focused on identifying and rewarding disruptive companies in the medical technology and biotechnology industries.

Every year we receive scores of entries from entrepreneurs worldwide. This year, 15 finalists (Meet them here!) 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.  Watch last year's winning pitches.

We welcome innovations that address the full range of medical device challenges, and this year we're especially interested in ideas that can benefit from our association with the BARDA DRIVe initiative.

NEW EVENT: Deshpande Foundation sponsors first M2D2 International MedTech Forum, October 8.

If you attended last year’s M2D2 $200K Challenge, you saw three Finalist teams from India present ideas that stretched the boundaries of what we’ve seen in previous years. One team was named a Challenge winner and another has set up shop in the Boston/Cambridge life sciences innovation ecosystem.

The pandemic halted Deshpande Foundation’s plans to bring more Finalist teams to Massachusetts for the 2020 Challenge. So we’ve created a virtual forum for them to make their pitches. Join us on October 8 to see their eye-opening ideas!

2012-2020 Infographic

(click to enlarge)

Monday, January 6: Entries open

Thursday, January 23: Live Webinar: "All About the Challenge." DOWNLOAD THE POWERPOINT

Tuesday, February 4: FREE Venture Funding Happy Hour. CHECK OUT OUR RECAP

Sunday, February 16: Entries close

Wednesday, March 4: Finalists announced. LEARN ABOUT THIS YEAR'S FINALISTS

Thursday, September 10: Finalist applications & posters due

Through Wednesday, September 16: Coaching sessions for Finalists

Wednesday, September 16: Finalist slide decks due

Thursday, September 17: Virtual Finalist Pitch-Off  GET FREE TICKETS

Thursday, October 1: Virtual Awards Celebration  GET FREE TICKETS

Thursday, October 8: 1st M2D2 International MedTech Forum GET FREE TICKETS

Key Challenge dates—Mark your calendar!

About M2D2

The Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is a lifeline for the state’s smaller medical device companies, offering inventors and executives easy, affordable, and coordinated access to world-class researchers and resources at the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the University of Massachusetts. 

M2D2 leverages the engineering, business and clinical strengths of the UMass campuses in Lowell and Worcester to provide fee-based services in the areas of business planning, product prototype development and clinical pathway assistance.

M2D2 is proud to be the only BARDA DRIVe accelerator in New England. BARDA’s DRIVe aims to empower people and give them a greater role in their health outcomes. They are actively seeking better ways to detect threats, point-of-use indicators, biological and physiological sensing technologies.

Thanks to a recent $7.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), M2D2 is also currently playing a large role in the development of CAPCaT, a new Center for Advancing Point-of-Care Technologies focused on heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders. 

Key Dates at a Glance


Is there an application fee?

The application fee for the first 25 entrants is $25 and $50 for all other entrants.

How do I apply?

You need to register on our online platform here, complete an online questionnaire, and upload the required documentation. 

Who can enter?

Inventors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and university researchers are all welcome to enter the challenge!

Do I need to have a registered company to apply?

No, university researchers and research teams are encouraged to apply. In the field where it asks for company name, type "none."

Can I enter as part of a team?

Yes! You can enter as an individual or team working in academic, research, or commercial start-up setting and have an innovative product or solution.

Does an applicant have to give up any equity?

No, no equity is taken.

When do I need to submit my application?

You or your team leader needs to complete and submit all the application materials before the midnight deadline on February 16, 2020 EST.

Are travel expenses paid?

No, applicant start-up companies are responsible for their travel costs related to attending pitch events and mandatory in-person events, where applicable.

What are the eligibility criteria for the M2D2 $200K Challenge program?

M2D2 seeks early to mid-stage start-ups in the medical device and biotech spaces. Specific areas of focus can be found here. We encourage those who are developing a product and/or service in the healthcare areas outlined to apply.

How do you select finalists for the M2D2 $200K Challenge?

M2D2, along with its Challenge sponsors, evaluates all applications based on value, strength, and execution plan. The company strength for each category is evaluated using multiple metrics.

  • Value – product, customer validation, business model & healthcare economics, competition, IP, market opportunity, and patient benefit
  • Strength – team strength, development plan, responsiveness/coachable, freedom to operate, regulatory & clinical burden, funding to date, resources needed
  • Execution plan – stage of development, evidence, time to market, traction, partnerships & relationships, time to key milestones, upcoming funding
  • Interaction with M2D2 and program sponsors is also used as an evaluation metric.

We just raised a Series E, can we still apply?

Yes! M2D2 encourages applications from companies at all stages of fundraising, from friends and family to seed and beyond to apply to the $200K Challenge. Preference is given to companies with transformative potential and those who will benefit the most from working with M2D2 and the Challenge sponsors.

We are developing a transformative healthcare technology at a university research lab. Can we apply?

Yes! Ventures involving technologies licensed from universities or research labs are encouraged to apply.

I noticed there is coaching available for finalists. What is this like?

All finalists are offered coaching appointments to meet with subject matter and pitch experts to refine their presentations and be ready for the pitch-off showcase event on March 25th. Coaching is organized by Mintz and is held at their offices in Boston.

If I am selected as a finalist do I have to attend the pitch event on March 25th in person?

Yes! You will gain the most value and exposure from pitching in person and interacting with the Challenge sponsors and investors.

Do I need to relocate to participate in the $200K Challenge?

No, but we hope one reason you’re applying is to gain access to the Boston ecosystem. This is a great way to do it!

We are based outside the U.S. Can we apply to the $200K Challenge?

Yes, international applicants are welcomed and are encouraged to apply.

I applied previously but didn’t receive an award. Should I reapply?

Yes, you should apply again as long as the proposal isn’t identical. The needs of the industry and sponsor interests are constantly evolving and can change from year to year. Any updates that took place over the past year should be highlighted in your application.

What are the key dates I should be aware of?

Application deadline: February 16, 2020

Finalists announced: March 4, 2020

Finalist materials due: final application & poster due March 17th, 2020. Slide deck due March 24, 2020

Finalist showcase pitch-off: March 25, 2020, at UMass Lowell, Lowell MA

Awards announcement event: April 7, 2020, at Mintz, One Financial Center, Boston MA

Will finalists be notified ahead of time if they should attend the awards event on April 7th?

No! All finalists are expected to attend the awards event and be prepared to present their slide deck to the audience. It is a great opportunity for networking with Challenge sponsors, investors, fellow entrepreneurs, and others. Poster sessions are provided to all finalists at this event.

If I’m not selected as a finalist, will I receive a written explanation?

Unfortunately, due to the high number of applications, we cannot provide a written explanation to every applicant who isn’t selected as a finalist. Most times, it is due to not being properly aligned with the call for applications.

UroRelief, with a non-invasive device for treatment of overactive bladder

3rd Place Winners

NPT Rapid Testing, who are developing a novel diagnostic for accurate and early detection of bloodstream infections

Kinnos, with an innovative infection control device

Dynocardia, developers of a wearable cNIBP monitor for outpatient monitoring and #hypertension management

Asahi Intecc Award: Neurovascular Diagnostics, with an RNA expression diagnostic to detect biomarkers of unruptured intercranial aneurysms

Amgen Award: EnLiSense, who developed a clinically relevant wearable electrochemical biosensor system

Deshpande Award: BuzzArk Simulations, with a VR simulation of natural orifice surgery procedures

Hologic Award: UroMonitor, whose device simplifies and improves diagnosis and treatment of stress urinary incontinence

Boston Scientific Award: Respirix, who are developing non-invasive cardiac monitor for congestive heart failure patients

Johnson & Johnson Award: Endovascular Engineering, with a novel platform for mechanical thrombectomy in stroke

MPR Award: ARO Medical, with their minimally invasive treatment device for orthopedic surgery

2nd Place Winners

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Award: EnClear Therapies, with a treatment device to stop progress of neurodegenerative diseases

1st Place Winners

Check out last year's winners and see the winning pitches.

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