Worcester, April 15, 2015 –A “smart pancreas” producer that automates glucose and insulin delivery to hospitalized diabetic patients, Admetsys won both the $2,500 first prize and the $1,000 audience choice award at The Venture Forum’s ninth annual Five-Minute Pitch Contest last night. Rapidly absorbent sutures company VitaThreads, LLC took the $1,500 second prize, and Articulate Labs won special mention from the judges for its successful orthopedic device that speeds recovery from knee surgery. AMProtection, which has developed an antimicrobial surface treatment for orthopedic implants, won the $500 poster session prize for the second year in a row.
Admetsys CEO Jeff Valk gave the winning presentation on the company he founded seven years ago with his father, endocrinologist and the company’s chief scientist, Tim Valk. Poised to begin prototype production within months and then clinical trials for its fully automated intravenous glucose control system early next year, Boston-based Admetsys expects to improve the economics of healthcare by addressing the nation’s diabetic epidemic, which accounts for more than one in five healthcare dollars spent annually.
VitaThreads grew from the work of two WPI biomedical engineering professors on a microthread device developed from fibrin, the body’s own wound healing matrix. President and CEO Adam Colette, PhD, showed the audience the first prototype of the dissolvable suture material, and explained that the company’s first market would be aesthetic surgeons with customers seeking less costly procedures and lower odds of complications with post-surgical sutures.
Returning for a second year, AMProtection won the poster award for its description of a tethered antimicrobial peptide it has developed for orthopedic implants, such as a hip replacement. Co-founders Todd Alexander and Lindsay Lozeau seek to improve patient outcomes by reducing infection stemming from orthopedic surgery.
Gold sponsors InnoLoft and the WPI Robert Foisie School of Business, and silver sponsor Gesmer Updegrove underwrote the prizes and the event’s reception, with additional support from Boynton Angels, Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds, Vector 5 Collaborative, Mirick O’Connell, Bowditch & Dewey, Greenberg, Rosenblatt, Kull & Bitsoli, P.C., Paul Horn, Davideo Company and media partner Worcester Business Journal.
The Venture Forum recently grew out of two decades of operation as the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Venture Forum. It offers a foundation for learning and connecting with resources essential to launching and growing successful technology businesses, typically through meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at WPI. For more information, visit theventureforum.org.
Contact: Allison Chisolm, 508-856-7207
See pdf press release