MassMEDIC’s IGNITE Program Closes Record Year; Announces Winners

Virtual Accelerator Graduates Secure $25+ Million in Funding

BOSTON, March 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MassMEDIC, the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council, announced today the successful conclusion of the 2020 program of its medtech virtual accelerator, MedTech IGNITE. The MedTech IGNITE 2020 program culminated with a live pitch event last week, where the top two winners took home cash prizes. In just two years since the accelerator’s relaunch, 38 medtech startups have completed the program and successfully expanded their networks, making critical connections to support product and technology development and funding.

To date, more than half of the IGNITE companies have collectively secured over $25 million in financing through SBIR grants, prizes and seed funding. And 50 percent of those companies are female led. Coremap, co-founded by Sarah Kalil, announced a Series A round of $10.5M in September of 2020 and opened a Boston design headquarters in January 2021. IGNITE company founders and CEOs have also won significant prizes including MassChallenge and the BRIght Futures Prize and two IGNITE founders were 2019 MLSC MassNextGen Entrepreneurs. Several IGNITE companies have initiatives underway with strategics, leading teaching hospitals and other partners.

MedTech IGNITE is creating a pipeline of medtech startups who will help fuel the future of the Commonwealth’s medtech ecosystem by establishing offices, hiring teams, partnering with strategics and engaging professional services firms. The program has attracted startups from across the Commonwealth, the US and globally, with a focus on inclusion and diversity among its founders including 33 percent female founders.

“Congratulations to our winners and to the entire 2020 IGNITE Cohort. While these 22 company founders faced unprecedented challenges, each made huge strides over the course of the program honing their pitch, advancing their technology and building their networks. The success of our IGNITE companies in securing funding during the current environment is validation of their potential and innovation. We are confident that investment in these ventures will continue to contribute to the Commonwealth’s economy and the greater medtech ecosystem,” said Brian Johnson, President of MassMEDIC. “MassMEDIC is committed to supporting and growing the Commonwealth’s medtech startup ecosystem. This program would not be possible without the involvement of members of the entire community and we thank all of our sponsors, the IGNITE Steering Committee, Judges, Mentors and Faculty for their time, expertise and support.”

At the 2020 MedTech IGNITE Virtual Accelerator final event on February 24th, six finalists presented over Zoom to an expert panel of judges and audience of nearly 200 guests. The top winner, who will receive $15,000 in cash is Cellens, co-founded by Jean Pham and Dr. Igor Sokolov. Second place prize of $5,000 went to Nicole Black, Ph.D., founder of Beacon Bio.

In-kind services were awarded from each of the IGNITE corporate sponsors. Alira Health selected Cellens; VeraDermics will receive services from Boyd Technologies and Nesa Medtech won services from Propel. MassMEDIC thanks all of the sponsors including the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC).

Applications for the 2021 IGNITE Cohort will be accepted beginning March 15. Visit for more information.

About the MedTech IGNITE winners:

Beacon Bio: Founded by Nicole Black, Beacon Bio aims to turn up the volume on the eardrum through novel materials and 3D printing approaches to tissue regeneration. Our team's first innovation, PhonoGraft, aims to reduce the invasiveness of tympanoplasty procedures for damaged eardrums and to improve patient healing and hearing outcomes.

Cellens: Co-founded by Jean N. Pham and Dr. Igor Sokolov, Cellens is committed to bringing clarity and confidence to patients and physicians through noninvasive cancer detection. We strive to advance the current standard of care by offering an easily integrable suite of products in cancer detection.

Nesa Medtech: Founded by Sreekar Kothamachu, Nesa Medtech is transforming women’s health by developing a revolutionary minimally invasive, safe, effective and uterus-preserving technology to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids.

VeraDermics: Co-founded by Drs. Tim Durso and Reid Waldman, VeraDermics Inc. is revolutionizing the treatment of pediatric warts by combining the most effective therapy with a patient-friendly drug-delivery platform. 

The MedTech IGNITE Program is a virtual accelerator offering an experiential training, mentorship, and networking curriculum, to attract and nurture the next generation of medtech founders and entrepreneurs. IGNITE was relaunched in 2019 with support from a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and our sponsors, Alira Health, Boyd Technologies and Propel.

About MassMEDIC:
The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC), an organization of more than 300 manufacturers, suppliers, research institutions, and academic health centers, promotes the unique interests of the Bay State’s growing and vibrant medical device sector. Through a variety of programs, informational seminars, advocacy campaigns and other projects, MassMEDIC provides medical device manufacturers and suppliers with information on industry trends and regulatory policies and creates forums that allow members to exchange ideas and information on issues affecting the industry. For more information on MassMEDIC, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.



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