MedTech Innovator Names Alva Health as 2021 Global Competition Winner at The MedTech Conference


Startup Receives $350K Grand Prize for Real-Time, Wearable Stroke Monitor for Older Americans Living with High Stroke Risk

LOS ANGELES & MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MedTech Innovator, the largest accelerator of medical devices in the world, today announced Alva Health as the winner of its 2021 Global Competition. The winning company was determined by a live audience vote on Sept. 29 during The MedTech Conference, powered by AdvaMed.

Alva Health a medical technology startup based in New Haven, Conn. is developing a real-time, wearable stroke monitor for older Americans living with high stroke risk.

“Alva Health’s mission is to develop, commercialize, and make accessible a first-in-class medical device that accurately detects strokes using patient-worn wearables,” said Sandra Saldana, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Alva Health. “This award represents a recognition of the tremendous clinical unmet need for patients, and an important milestone in Alva Health’s journey. We are grateful to the MedTech Innovator community for their support and for the opportunity to receive mentorship from top leaders in the medical device industry, as we work toward fulfilling our mission to deliver this much needed technology to the millions of people who are at high risk for stroke.”

MedTech Innovator received over 1,100 applications in this year’s cycle. 195 companies were invited to pitch during the MedTech Innovator Road Tour, with 50 companies ultimately receiving a slot in the 2021 Cohort. Alva Health is the recipient of the $350,000 grand prize which will be used to advance its business goals and objectives. The company has also been awarded a one-year AdvaMed Accel membership and will be profiled in the MedTech Strategist. BioDevekCaretaker MedicalCooler Heads Care, and Nutromics were runners-up and received a prize of $25,000 as finalists selected from this year’s MedTech Innovator Accelerator program.

“There was a general feeling of electricity and gratitude being back at The Medtech Conference in person this year. It was an honor to announce Alva Health as the grand prize winner after a live audience vote for their wearable stroke monitor that promises to up level the stroke care space,” said Paul Grand, founding CEO of MedTech Innovator. “Each year, we are on a mission to find the most promising startups from around the globe and connect them with the right stakeholders with the goal of reaching patients and improving lives. I can say with full confidence that not only Alva Health, but all of this year’s finalist companies are on track to bring life-changing health solutions into the hands of clinicians and their patients.”

Alva Health participated in the MedTech Innovator 2021 Accelerator program, which provides early stage companies with in-depth, customized mentorship from key leaders in the medtech industry, exclusive virtual networking opportunities and workshops, and pitch sessions with investors, manufacturers, providers, and customers.

Currently in its ninth year, the MedTech Innovator competition awarded over $500K in cash prizes and in-kind awards. Participating companies gained increasing amounts of exposure to industry leaders through online application reviews, online pitch sessions, and virtual competitions.

Judges of the 2021 final competition included: 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; Jacob Goble, innovation leader, medical products division, W.L. Gore & Associates.

“Congratulations to Alva Health for being named the 2021 MedTech Innovator grand prize winner,” said Susan Morano, vice president, business development and strategic operations for the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies. “All 50 companies selected for this year’s MedTech Innovator Showcase and Accelerator program show great promise in elevating patient care in their respective fields, and we look forward to watching these entrepreneurs bring value to the industry.”

“As with every year of MedTech Innovator’s competitions, this year was extremely inspiring and featured cutting-edge innovations from around the world,” said Christos Monovoukas, vice president and Global M&A Leader, Business Development, Olympus. “Congratulations to Alva Health on this major accomplishment –– we are eager to follow their progress in the stroke care field.”

MedTech Innovator also announced winners of the in-kind awards. Caira Surgical and Neurent Medical each received the JLABS Award, valued at $25,000. Kairos Technologies received the Oliver Healthcare Packaging Award, which provides exclusive technical and consultation services in the development of the sterile barrier system for their device, valued at $25,000. Evren Technologies was voted the winner of the $10,000 Best Video Award for their one-minute pitch video.

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.

MedTech Innovator’s founding sponsors are Johnson & Johnson and RCT Ventures. Annual program sponsors include Asahi Intecc, Becton Dickinson, NIPRO Medical Corp., Olympus Medical Systems Group, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Edwards Lifesciences LLC, Fujikura Ltd., Jabil Healthcare, Maxim Integrated Ventures, and others. 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 and on LinkedIn. To receive industry insights and highlights about MedTech Innovator’s current and alumni participant companies, subscribe to its monthly newsletter.


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