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Houston’s TMCx Accelerator Debuts First Class of Device Startups

Xconomy Texas — 

[Corrected 12/01/16, 10:19 am. See below.Houston—The Texas Medical Center’s startup accelerator TMCx will host a demo day Thursday featuring medical device startups.

The group of nine startups have been housed at TMCx over the last three months working on projects including devices for more precise spinal tap procedures, an exoskeleton for seniors and the physically disabled, and a closed-loop catheter system for liver patients, among others.

The demo day brings to an end the second of two classes of startups at TMCx this year. The first class, which specialized in digital health, presented in front of investors in June. TMC split the program in two this year after hosting its first accelerator class last year without having those companies specialize.

“From a curriculum standpoint, you have one track on how to build and scale and run a business that’s relevant to all [healthcare startups],” says Erik Halvorsen, the chief of TMC’s Innovation Institute, which runs the accelerator. “But to be able to customize the other track to be very specific for medical devices from prototyping, design, materials, regulatory path, preclinical and clinical testing, we can really focus on their needs.”

Halvorsen says he has seen the founders bond over the shared experience of building a healthcare startup, but has also been struck by the sheer diversity of the entrepreneurs. “We’ve got companies from all over the country and Mexico; the founders are international,” he says. “But the range of ages: we’ve got entrepreneurs in their young 20s and two founders—a husband and wife—who are in their 70s. It’s fascinating to have them in the mix.”

These are the startups making their pitches today:

Allotrope Medical (Houston): Provides precise ureter identification during minimally invasive surgery.
Blumio (San Francisco): Is developing a sensor that can measure blood pressure continuously, without the need to rely on the use of an inflatable cuff.  [Due to incorrect information provided, a company no longer part of the class was included in the list and Bloomio was left out.]
Briteseed (Chicago): Is developing smart surgical tools for surgeons.
Flexios (Houston): Provides streamlined surgical solutions for tendon repair that it claims improve strength, smoothness, and patient satisfaction.
IntuiTap Medical (Houston): Is a handheld device that aims to eliminate the guesswork from spinal taps.
Otricath (Houston): Is a closed-loop catheter system that it says changes the rules in the delivery of treatment for liver cancer.
NovaScan (Milwaukee): Developed an oncology diagnostic platform that aims to provide highly accurate, instantaneous detection of cancer without capital equipment.
Voyager Biomedical (College Station, TX): Developed … Next Page »

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