Emerging biomedical startup BioAesthetics walked away with a $25,000 check after presenting the winning pitch at the BioChallenge, the annual pitch competition for Louisiana-based life sciences startups hosted by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center that takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
BioAesthetics co-inventor Nicholas Pashos pitched his company that provides surgeons with Nipple-Areolar Complex (NAC) grafts for the next step in NAC reconstruction. They are improving reconstruction options for breast cancer patients after they undergo mastectomies. BioAesthetics has a potential revenue is around $340 million per year in the U.S. alone and hopes to gain FDA clearance by 2018.
While the competition is open to all life sciences startups in Louisiana, the four companies that made it to the final round were all from New Orleans. BioAesthetics pitched alongside Flux Diagnostics, InnoGenomics, and Zenopharm.
- Flux Diagnostics aims to revolutionize rapid, low-cost diagnostics for various diseases like dengue fever without the need for extensive training or complex equipment.
- InnoGenomics is developing genetic testing solutions that solve crimes and save lives, including a minimally invasive blood test to detect and monitor cancer.
- Zenopharm, a Xavier University of Louisiana spinout, is developing a drug to treat and prevent the recurrence of breast cancer more effectively than current treatments.
The BioChallenge is part of the Innovation Louisiana conference, the annual life sciences entrepreneurship conference that attracts attendees and speakers from across the country. The events throughout the week are aimed at educating innovators, fostering collaboration, and giving the wider community insights into the groundbreaking research being done across Louisiana both within universities and in startups.
Judges for the pitch competition included industry experts and investors from Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Becton Dickinson, Louisiana Funds, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Houston Angel Network, and Mercury Fund.
In addition to the grand prize, InnoGenomics was awarded the $2,500 Audience Favorite award, based on the winner of text votes submitted by event attendees.