New BexarBio pitch competition May 1 features biomedical startups

By Iris Gonzalez
Innovation and research were highlighted in San Antonio's State of the Bioscience Industry event for 2018.

VelocityTX is hosting an inaugural pitch competition for biotech entrepreneurs on May 1. The BexarBio pitch competition, sponsored by Bexar County’s Economic and Community Development Department, will feature four biomedical startups competing for $100,000 in cash prizes.

The competition takes place 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Free tickets to attend are available here.

The BexarBio finalists include Betty’s Co., HERA BiotechNeuro Rehab VR, and NeuraStasis.

Betty’s Co won first place in the 2021 TechFuel pitch competition. San Antonio-based founder and CEO Jennifer Newell launched a virtual care platform for young women in Texas that aims to grow into an online health store and mobile clinic focused on women’s healthcare.

San Antonio startup HERA Biotech closed an oversubscribed $1.9 million seed financing round that will help the company bring the world’s first non-surgical diagnostic test for endometriosis to market. The only diagnostic method available now to detect endometriosis is by laparoscopic surgery and pathology of the biopsied tissue. Hera’s MetriDx test only requires a sample of the patient’s endometrium collected during an in-office procedure similar to a Pap smear.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Neuro Rehab VR is developing virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) therapy exercises for physical and cognitive therapy sessions. Neuro Rehab VR has raised $1.8 million from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) seed grant for its therapy system that can be used with neurological and orthopedic inpatient patients regardless of age.

NeuraStasis was formed from the medical device innovation program at the Houston-based Texas Medical Center with the ultimate vision of delaying brain damage. Their BlueStem medical device is a non-invasive electrical neuro-stimulator that addresses the long-term damage from strokes. It’s designed to help more people walk out of the hospital without stroke-induced disabilities.

The grand prize winner will receive $75,000, and the first runner-up will receive $15,000. The second runner-up, selected by a live audience, will receive $10,000.

Applicants must have received less than $4.5 million from third-party investors and generated less than $2 million in annualized revenue. If selected as a final prize winner, the company must maintain a presence, either through an office or remote employee, within Bexar County for at least six months after the prize money award date.

The inaugural pitch competition will serve as “a platform to identify emerging trends and technologies that potentially transform the academic, industry, and military sectors,” said David Fonseca, VelocityTX CEO. “It also allows private companies to network with key stakeholders in the local biotech community, including academic institutions, research centers, and military organizations.”

The annual bioscience-focused pitch competition will help VelocityTX attract the best innovators globally to pitch their ideas for revolutionary new biotech products and services here in San Antonio, Fonseca said. 

“We’re looking to identify emerging trends and technologies that potentially transform the academic, industry, and military sectors,” Fonseca added. “Tech Fuel powered by Tech Bloc served as inspiration. Bexar County has a track record of supporting this event and having excellent outcomes. We want to build on that success.”

The featured image is of a gloved hand holding a petri dish; image courtesy of Unsplash. 


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