MedTech Innovator Announces Finalists for $500K 9th Annual Industry Competition


MedTech Innovator Announces Finalists for $500K 9th Annual Industry Competition

Additional five companies selected to compete for 2021 Execution Award

LOS ANGELES, September 21, 2021 – MedTech Innovator, the largest accelerator of medical devices in the world, today announced that Alva Health, BioDevek, Caretaker Medical, Cooler Heads Care, and Nutromics have been selected as finalists out of 1,100 applicants to compete for the title of MedTech Innovator 2021. Attendees of The MedTech Conference, the largest gathering of medtech industry leaders in North America, powered by AdvaMed, will vote for the Grand Prize winner of $350,000 on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

The five finalist companies are:

  • Alva Health is developing a real-time, wearable stroke monitor for older Americans living with high stroke risk.
  • BioDevek is developing an endoscopically-sprayable adhesive hydrogel to seal and protect surgical lesions after polyp removal.
  • Caretaker Medical is developing a wireless finger sensor for continuous “beat by beat” blood pressure and hemodynamics remote monitoring.
  • Cooler Heads Care is developing an affordable wearable device so chemo patients can keep their hair.
  • Nutromics is developing a wearable continuous molecular monitoring platform that can track drugs, hormones, metabolites, and proteins.

During the competition finals, which will be held in-person on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at The MedTech Conference, each of the five companies will have seven minutes to pitch their technology and answer questions from a panel of three judges. After the presentations, the audience will vote in real-time to select the winners. The first-place startup will take home a $350,000 non-dilutive cash prize and the title of MedTech Innovator 2021. The remaining four finalists will each receive a $25,000 cash prize. Additionally, incubator space awards will be presented from JLABS. In total, more than $500,000 in prizes will be awarded.

The judges participating in this year’s Grand Finals are: Christos Monovoukas, vice president, Global M&A Leader / Business Development, Olympus; Tonja Curtis-Danowski, vice president, Business Development, Johnson & Johnson; Arvind Shresta, director of Innovation, Urology & Critical Care, Becton Dickinson.

“Every year I am more impressed by the caliber of companies that take part in our Accelerator and Showcase programs,” said Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator. “This year’s five finalist companies are developing products that have the ability to really shake up the industry and provide significant value to patients. We are thrilled to be back in-person for our final competition at The MedTech Conference and we know the live audience will have an extremely tough decision deciding this year’s winner.”

Together with the senior leadership teams of its corporate partners and over 200 industry judges, MedTech Innovator evaluated the pitches of 195 candidates out of more than 1,100 applicants from 54 countries and 42 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. 25 of the 50 Showcase companies also received a place in MedTech Innovator’s Accelerator program, specifically designed for early stage companies.

Since 2013, MedTech Innovator has reviewed more than 6,000 startups and graduated 340 companies that have gone on to raise nearly $3 billion in follow-on funding and have brought over 80 products to market. MedTech Innovator works closely with stakeholders across the industry to promote the growth of early and mid-stage startups. In collaboration with 25 corporate partners, as well as a broader network of more than 200 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 complete list of the 2021 Showcase and Accelerator companies can be found here.

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 five companies competing for the Execution Award competition on Wednesday, Sept. 22, are CAIRA Surgical, Evren Technologies, Lifelet Medical, Otolith Labs, and PATH EX. The winner of the Execution Award competition will receive a $25,000 cash prize and a one-year AdvaMed membership.

Judges for the Execution Award competition are: Ilana Neftin, senior manager, Corporate Development, Dexcom; Kenny Tran, business development / project manager, Asahi Intecc; Virginia Giddings, advanced technology exploration, Edwards Lifesciences; Jacob Goble, innovation leader, medical products division, W.L. Gore & Associates; Kathryn Zavala, chief operating officer, MedTech Innovator.

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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 health care system. MedTech Innovator matches health care industry leaders with innovative early stage and emerging-growth medtech companies for mentorship and support.

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

Media Contact

Jenna Dougherty



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[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