MedTech Innovator Announces Finalists for $500K 8th Annual Industry Accelerator Competition

MedTech Innovator Announces Finalists for $500,000 Annual Industry Accelerator Competition

Six additional companies selected to compete for 2020 Execution Award

LOS ANGELES, Thursday, 24 September, 2020 – MedTech Innovator, the largest accelerator of medical devices in the world, today announced the finalists for MedTech Innovator’s eighth annual competition: Cellvie, Circadia Health, Lief Therapeutics, Moray Medical, and Rhaeos. Virtual attendees of The MedTech Conference, the largest gathering of medtech industry leaders in North America, powered by AdvaMed, will vote online to choose the Grand Prize winner on Tuesday, October 6. The Grand Prize winner will take home a $350,000 non-dilutive cash prize and the title of MedTech Innovator 2020. The remaining four finalists will each receive a $25,000 cash prize, and several incubator space awards will be presented from JLABS. In total, $500,000 in prizes will be awarded.

MedTech Innovator received more than 1,000 applications from startups in 45 countries and 48 U.S. states for inclusion in its 2020 program. The five finalist companies are developing medical technology innovations in cardiology, pulmonology, mental health, and neurology:

  • cellvie is developing a device-enabled mitochondria transplantation therapy for heart disease. The company is based in Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • Circadia Health is developing a contactless remote monitoring system for early detection of respiratory failure. The company is based in London.
  • Lief Therapeutics is developing a wearable ECG and digital therapeutic for mental health, providing remote patient monitoring with a HIPAA-compliant clinician dashboard. The company is based in San Francisco.
  • Moray Medical is developing a robotic catheter that makes delivery of therapies inside the beating heart as easy as moving a cursor on a computer screen. The company is located in Mountain View, Calif.
  • Rhaeos is developing a wearable for the noninvasive monitoring of ventricular shunt function for hydrocephalus patients. The company is based in Evanston, Ill.

During the competition, each of the five companies will have seven minutes to pitch their technology and answer questions from a panel of five judges. After the presentations, the online audience will vote in real-time to select the winner.

“All 30 companies that participated in this year’s Accelerator are on an important path to improving patient lives by developing innovations that address critical gaps in today’s health care system,” said Paul Grand, MedTech Innovator CEO. “It’s always a difficult process to select only a few companies out of such an impressive pool—and with such high-caliber technologies, this year proved exceptionally challenging. Although this year has brought its own unique challenges and uncertainties, we feel proud to be a part of an ecosystem that continues to innovate for patients so that they can live longer, happier lives.”

The judges participating in this year’s Grand Finals are: Stephen Ralph, innovation marketing leader, Medical Products Division, W. L. Gore & Associates; Alp Akonur, director, Renal Innovation, Baxter Healthcare Corporation; Tonja Curtis-Danowski, vice president, Business Development, Johnson & Johnson; Tomoko Ishikura, business development advisor, Nipro Corporation; Christos Monovoukas, vice president, Global M&A Leader, Business Development, Olympus.

Finalists Announced for Execution Award with AdvaMed Accel

MedTech Innovator also announced it will present the Execution Award in conjunction with AdvaMed Accel’s Virginia Shimer Rybski Memorial Award, which recognizes the potential of a promising entrepreneur or entrepreneurial medical technology company. The 6 companies competing for the Execution Award competition on Wednesday, September 30, are Aksense, Envision Endoscopy, Forcen, MOWOOT, Puzzle Medical Devices, and Vena Vitals. The winner of the Execution Award competition will receive a $25,000 cash prize, a one-year AdvaMed membership, and a profile in an upcoming issue of the MedTech Strategist.

Judges for the Execution Award competition are Viral Gandhi, exploration, Advanced Technology, Edwards Lifesciences; Michael Pereira, chief strategy and technology officer, Ximedica; Yoshinori Terai, president and chief executive officer, Asahi Intecc USA; Kathryn Zavala, chief operating officer, MedTech Innovator; Jemima Escamilla, consultant, RCT Ventures.

Together with the senior leadership teams of its corporate partners and nearly 200 industry judges, MedTech Innovator evaluated the pitches of 190 candidates out of more than 1,000 applications from 45 countries and 48 U.S. states. 50 companies were then selected to participate in the MedTech Innovator Showcase program, which prominently features the most innovative medtech startups from around the world. 30 of the 50 Showcase companies also received a place in the MedTech Innovator Accelerator program, specifically designed for early stage companies.

Since 2013, MedTech Innovator has reviewed more than 4,000 startups and graduated 258 companies that have gone on to raise more than $1.9 billion in follow-on funding and bring 54 products to the market. MedTech Innovator works closely with stakeholders across the industry to promote the growth of early to mid-stage startups. In collaboration with 20 corporate partners, as well as a broader network of more than 100 investors, business development representatives, and industry experts, MedTech Innovator provides startups with individualized mentorship and feedback, funding opportunities, and continual engagement with peers and advisors. A list of the 2020 Showcase and Accelerator companies can be found here.

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About MedTech Innovator

Based in Los Angeles, Calif., MedTech Innovator is the largest accelerator of medical device companies in the world and the premier nonprofit startup accelerator in the medical technology industry.[i] Its mission is to improve the lives of patients by accelerating the growth of companies that are transforming the healthcare system. MedTech Innovator matches healthcare industry leaders with innovative early-stage and emerging growth medtech companies for mentorship and support.

MedTech Innovator’s founding sponsors are Johnson & Johnson and RCT Ventures. Annual program sponsors also include Baxter, NIPRO Medical Corp., Olympus Medical Systems Group, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Asahi Intecc, Edwards Lifesciences LLC, Fujikura Ltd., Jabil Healthcare, Maxim Integrated Ventures, EdgeOne Medical, Experien Group, Greenlight Guru, Proxima Clinical Research, Westwood & Wilshire, and Ximedica. The organization’s industry partners include AdvaMed, Health+Commerce, MedTech Strategist, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

For more information about MedTech Innovator, visit and follow @MedTechAwards on Twitter. To receive industry insights and highlights about MedTech Innovator’s current and alumni participant companies, subscribe to its monthly newsletter.


Media Contact:
Lara Lingenbrink


[i] Gibbs, M., Johnson, B., Silva, B. A., & Berube, K. (2020, July 10). Q2 2020 Life Science Accelerators Insights Cipher Bio. Retrieved September 15, 2020, from