Here’s who’s pitching April 19 at BioMedSA BioFest 2023

By Iris Gonzalez
Lauren Cornell (left) and Bianca Cerqueira (right) examine some data from their mice study for Novothelium, courtesy photo.

BioMedSA, a member-driven organization promoting healthcare and biomedical industries in San Antonio, is hosting its annual spring event for bioscience entrepreneurs. 

The nonprofit is holding its annual BioFest Invest on April 19, starting at 8:00 am at the University of the Incarnate Word’s Sky Room. BioFest Invest connects potential investors nationwide with Texas bioscience companies seeking investment funding while sharing best practices, connections, and valuable advice.

“Collaboration is embedded in the life science industry, as companies routinely connect with other organizations in San Antonio,” BioMedSA CEO Heather Hanson said. “BioMedSA facilitates those collaborations as a hub for the life science industry in San Antonio.”

The day-long event, supported by over 40 sponsors, includes experienced experts on topics relevant to bioscience companies. Organizations that support bioscience entrepreneurs will also be on-site to provide information.

Investors come from all over the country to interact with the bioscience startups, with nine presenting on various topics at the event. So far, San Antonio Biofest Invest pitching companies have raised $1.4M, resulting in creating over 20 new jobs in San Antonio, Hansen said.

At BioMedSA’s inaugural BioFest Invest event last year, the pitch competition winner was a San Antonio company, Novothelium, which secured a contract with NVision for lab space and manufacturing capabilities. Novothelium founders Lauren Cornell and Bianca Cerqueira also connected with Bridge PTS to perform their pre-clinical study instead of outsourcing it to a company in Maryland as the two co-founders had initially planned. Novothleium is developing the first-ever nipple reconstruction matrix for breast cancer survivors.

In alphabetical order, here are the companies pitching at BioFest Invest 2023:

  • Carocell Bio recently relocated from the United Kingdom to San Antonio (with BioMedSA’s help) to develop its treatment for severe inflammatory disorders as part of cancer and burn treatment.
  • Eisana is a Houston-based oncology solution company providing a platform for multiple products to address cancer treatment issues.
  • EmergenceMed is a San Antonio startup developing airway technologies spun out from UT Health San Antonio and UTSA.
  • Forge Applied Science and Technology is based in San Antonio and is headed by a medical student at UT Health San Antonio who invented a desktop sterilizer during the pandemic.
  • Advanced Telesensors is producing remote patient monitoring technology in Austin.                
  • CellChorus applies visual AI to evaluate how individual cells move, behave, and interact in Houston.      
  • Humanate Digital is a digital health company based in College Station, Texas.        
  • IllumaRas is a Dripping Springs biomedical imaging company focused on illuminating mutant cancer cells.
  • Riverwalk Therapeutics is a San Antonio drug development company developing a suite of small molecules for potential efficacy in cancer.
  • SAVIDJ is a San Antonio company using artificial intelligence with eye and head tracking measures in various head-worn platform systems that detect and improve neurologic impairments.
  • Steradian Technologies in Houston has invented a low-cost diagnostic system that can detect the presence of a bacteria, virus, or biomarker within 30 seconds with 99% accuracy.       
  • Vitanova Biomedical is a San Antonio-based biotech startup developing a new way to treat cancer called photodynamic therapy that causes no side effects and can kill many types of cancers.
  • Vivifi Medical is a Houston company that has created the first suture-less laparoscopic technology for men’s reproductive health issues.
  • Vascular Perfusion Solutions, Inc. is a San Antonio startup with medical devices designed to preserve and resuscitate vascularized organs.

Register here to attend the BioFest sessions or watch the live pitch competition that starts at noon.

Hanson said many early-stage life science companies also decide to join BioMedSA’s membership program after attending BioFest. BioMedSA membership includes access to its Bio Business Solutions cost savings program, which leverages the purchasing power of members in regional organizations like BioMedSA to negotiate cost savings contracts for supplies and services.

“Our program is geared toward the entrepreneur in the healthcare space,” Hanson said. “BioMedSA belongs to a much larger consortium that negotiates reduced prices with life science vendors and other suppliers of needed services for startups.”

The featured image is of Lauren Cornell (left) and Bianca Cerqueira (right), co-founders of Novothelium and the winners of BioMedSA’s BioFest Invest 2022—photo credit: Startups San Antonio.

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