Innovation Louisiana, the life science entrepreneurship conference for regional researchers, investors and startups, kicked off yesterday with the second annual BioChallenge. Four emerging companies pitched at the event hosted by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.
Local biotechnology startup MiniVax took home the top prize package worth more than $20,000 in cash, legal services, office space and consulting services. The company is developing a treatment for Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), a deadly fungal infection that affects immunocompromised patients.
TRUE-See Systems, which offers clinicians the tools, training and technology to take standardized digital pictures that are accurate and reliable, came in second place at the BioChallenge. The company won over $5,000 in professional services.
The BioChallenge was judged by industry and investment experts including: Jennifer Hartt, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania; Randy Hubbell, Ethicon Biosurgery; Joseph F. Lovett, Louisiana Fund; Jonathan Miller, Silicon Valley Bank; and Clayton White, South Coast Angel Fund.
Companies were judged on their product concept, market and risk analysis, management, and financial projections.
Advano, which specializes in the manufacturing and processing of nanoparticles, and the forensics company developing products for human DNA identification testing, InnoGemonics, also pitched. The four finalists were chosen from an applicant pool of 19.
MiniVax was also a finalist at the inaugural BioChallenge, competing against Bioceptive, Body Evolution, ReactWell and VoiceHIT.