June 23, 2020 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – Today, MassBio®’s new mentoring program, MassCONNECT.DH, the only mentoring program in Massachusetts that supports the growth and success of digital health startups, kicked off its second mentorship cycle with an opening showcase. MassCONNECT.DH was launched in February 2020 and builds on the success of MassBio’s established mentoring program, MassCONNECT®, which has served the needs of early-stage entrepreneurs in the life sciences for over 10 years. This cycle’s cohort, a diverse array of startups that have come from across the United States and the globe, illuminate the prowess of Massachusetts’ digital health cluster and the resources it boasts to support early-stage startups.
During the event, the three selected digital health startups showcased their technologies virtually to industry veterans and prospective mentors for early feedback. The startups in this cycle, all of which were founded and/or cofounded by women, focus on discovering novel drugs for cancers and neurodegenerative diseases; on-demand and personalized telebehavioral health; and digital therapeutics to innovate pelvic health.
KPMG is the sponsor of this MassCONNECT.DH cycle. Evaluate is the in-kind sponsor.
“KPMG is excited to support the MassCONNECT.DH mentoring program,” said David Frey, Life Sciences Sector Leader for KPMG in the Boston HUB region. “This initiative highlights our firm’s emphasis on innovation and industry collaboration as key enablers of next-generation digital health capabilities. Working creatively to improve patient outcomes through digital health is paramount in an era of heightened health risk, and we are proud to support this distinguished program.”
“We’re excited to extend our support of the MassCONNECT program to their new Digital Health track,” said Tom Moore, Vice President of Account Management, Evaluate. “Digital health is one of the most innovative and promising areas of the life sciences industry, and we’re looking forward to helping this cycle’s participants capitalize on the potential of their technologies.”
Following this week’s showcase, entrepreneurs will be paired with a team of mentors, based on their individual objectives and needs, for eight weeks of hands-on coaching as they seek to develop business plans, launch companies and raise capital. The startups will then present in front of potential investors and partners.
The applicants chosen for mentorship are:
New Equilibrium Biosciences, Inc. (Boston, MA)
Co-founders: Virginia Burger, PhD, CEO; Peter Tompa, PhD
New Equilibrium is discovering novel drugs for cancers and neurodegenerative diseases by uncovering druggable poses of currently undrugged targets.
PainPal (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Co-founders: Yael Stern, CEO; Yarden Hod, CPO
PainPal is an on-demand and personalized telebehavioral health company for people with chronic pain, aiming to transform how chronic pain is treated.
Renalis (Chicago, IL)
Co-founders: Missy Lavender, MBA; Brandon Chen, MD; Elizabeth Wood, MSHC
Renalis is a developing digital therapeutics and online platforms to innovate pelvic health with a goal to increase patient engagement and adherence, decrease out-migration and ultimately, improve outcomes and reduce costs.
“I want to welcome New Equilibrium Bio, Renalis Health, and PainPal Health to the MassCONNECT community. They share MassBio’s mission and we are pleased to work with them to add value to the healthcare system and improve patients’ lives,” said John Hallinan, Chief Business Officer, MassBio. “We are honored that these outstanding entrepreneurs from Boston, Chicago, and Tel Aviv have entrusted us with their time and aspirations, and I am confident that we can accelerate their trajectory by connecting them to MassCONNECT mentors and the life sciences knowledge base in Massachusetts.”
To learn more about the MassCONNECT program, please visit: https://www.massbio.org/innovation-services/massconnect/.
MassBio’s MassCONNECT program is the only entrepreneur mentorship program in Massachusetts that dives deep into the life sciences. MassCONNECT matches entrepreneurs and founders with seasoned life sciences professionals to catalyze and commercialize innovation. The MassCONNECT process involves a two-month mentorship where industry experts guide entrepreneurs as they seek to develop business plans, launch companies, and raise capital. MassCONNECT mentors evaluate and provide feedback on commercial feasibility; identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and team up to furnish industry-specific business advice for innovative ideas in therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and health IT. Entrepreneurs gain invaluable advice and coaching on defining value proposition, developing pitches and building professional networks. For more information, or to apply to be a mentor, mentee or MBA project manager, visit https://www.massbio.org/innovation-services/massconnect/.