MedTech Innovator Announces Finalists for $500,000 6th Annual Industry Competition


Additional five companies revealed to compete for 2018 Execution Award

LOS ANGELES, September 17, 2018 – MedTech Innovator, the premier nonprofit startup accelerator in the medical technology industry, today announced that AblaCare, CroiValve, FineHeart, Sana Health, and Spect have been selected as finalists to compete for the title of MedTech Innovator of 2018, out of over 700 applicants. The Grand Prize winner of $350,000 will be determined by the vote of the audience at the largest gathering of medtech industry leaders in North America on Sept. 25 in Philadelphia, PA at The MedTech Conference, powered by AdvaMed.

The five finalist companies are developing medical technology innovations in pain management, cardiovascular, women’s health and ophthalmology:

  • AblaCare is developing a minimally invasive device and procedure to treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome linked to infertility. The company is based in Paris, France.
  • CroiValve is developing a minimally invasive device for tricuspid regurgitation that employs quick, well-established techniques to repair the tricuspid valve without the need for surgery. The company is based in Dublin, Ireland.
  • FineHeart is developing a wirelessly powered, pulsatile intraventricular miniature pump for severe heart failure disease management. The company is based in Pessac, France.
  • Sana Health is developing a neuromodulation device that integrates a heart rate variability sensor for personalized chronic pain management. The company is based in San Francisco.
  • Spect is developing a screening platform combining proprietary hardware with machine learning to democratize access to eye care. The company is based in Palo Alto, Calif.

During the competition finals, which will be held as a conference plenary session at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, each of the five companies will have seven minutes to pitch their technology and answer questions from a panel of four judges. At the conclusion of the presentations, the audience of more than 1,400 will vote in real-time to select the winners. The first-place startup will take home a $350,000 non-dilutive cash prize. The remaining four finalists will each receive a $25,000 cash prize, and several incubator space awards will be presented from JLABS, the Gore Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, and Magnify at UCLA. In total, more than $500,000 in prizes will be awarded.

The finals judges are Anne E. Sissel, Vice President and Head / Baxter Ventures, Baxter Healthcare Corporation; Jennifer Kozak, Vice President, New Business Development, Johnson & Johnson; Christos Monovoukas, Vice President, Business Development and Strategy, Olympus; and Linda Elkins, Chief Technical Officer, Gore Innovation Center.

“The audience at The MedTech Conference has a tough decision in front of them, because all five companies are equally impressive and have been mentored for the past four months by the senior leadership of our industry,” said MedTech Innovator CEO Paul Grand. “While only one company will be chosen as the 2018 winner, the most exciting and rewarding aspect of MedTech Innovator is knowing that all 50 of the companies in this year’s program are on their way to transforming the healthcare industry and improving the lives of patients.”

Over 700 companies applied to the MedTech Innovator 2018 Showcase and Accelerator program. The pool of applicants was first narrowed to 150 companies, determined by feedback from a highly engaged network of industry-experts involved in the judging process at 14 regional pitch events. Fifty companies were then selected to participate in the MedTech Innovator Showcase program, which prominently features the most innovative medtech startups from around the world. Twenty-five of the fifty Showcase companies also receive a place in the MedTech Innovator Accelerator program, specifically designed for early-stage companies.

Finalists Announced for Execution Award with AdvaMed Accel

MedTech Innovator also is pleased to once again present its 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 five companies that will compete for the Execution Award competition on Monday, Sept. 24, are AtaCor Medical, AuriGen Medical, PercuSense, PhotoniCare, and Pneumonics. The winner of the Execution Award competition will receive a $25,000 cash prize and a one-year AdvaMed membership.

Judges for the Execution competition are Dr. Alan Russell, Director, Disruptive Health Technology Institute Carnegie Mellon University; Lily Yeung, Vice President, Molex Ventures; Tracy MacNeal, President, XimedicaDx / EVP, Corporate Development, Ximedica; James Kaiser, Strategist, Corporate Venture Group, HOYA Corporation; Jenell Robinson, Vice President, Clinical Value & Provider Relations, MedTech Innovator.


About MedTech Innovator
Based in Los Angeles, Calif., MedTech Innovator is the premier nonprofit startup accelerator in the medical technology industry. Our 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. Founding sponsors include Johnson & Johnson and RCT Ventures, and annual program partners include AdvaMed, Amgen, Baxter, BD, BTG, EdgeOne Medical, Fujikura Ltd, Grant Thornton, Health + Commerce, HOYA Corp, MedTech Strategist, NIPRO Medical Corp., Nordson Medical, Olympus, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Ximedica. 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 our monthly monthly newsletter.

Media Contact:
Lara Lingenbrink