Pitch competition to highlight South Louisiana’s role as major supporter of innovative healthcare companies | Sponsored: Cox Business

From auto-sanitizing breathing tubes to artificial intelligence advancements, seven emerging healthcare-focused startup companies will pitch their innovative medical solutions at the Get Started Medical pitch contest held on November 5. The startups, including one from Lafayette, will explain how their inventions could change the face of healthcare for a chance to win $30,000 to help make their ideas a reality.

Sponsored by Cox Business in partnership with Ochsner Lafayette General and Opportunity Machine, the public is invited to participate virtually as a member of the live audience. The competition  will bring together some of the best and brightest minds from around the country. Registration is now open for the event at innovatesouth.org/get-started-medical/.

“One of the biggest challenges for our country and the world is the rising costs of healthcare,” explained Leigh King, vice president of Cox Business, a sponsor of Opportunity Health. “We know that if we do our part to help foster new innovative technologies and ideas, it can benefit everybody.

King added that Cox’s support for startups is an important part of the company’s identity, particularly since it was founded by entrepreneur James M. Cox. “He always had a passion for people willing to invest and start businesses, and that tradition continues today,” King said. “We want to help entrepreneurs not only start their businesses but see their ideas flourish and help solve the most pressing healthcare issues of our times.”

Representatives from the companies have been in Louisiana since September 14 working closely with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette faculty and students as part of the Opportunity Machine. They will continue their work for the next several months. Several Louisiana-based companies are serving as mentors to help the startups learn more about financing, marketing, legal issues, insurance, implementing new devices in medical facilities, and more.

“The partnership is a win-win for everyone,” said Dr. Henry Chu, interim director of the Louisiana Center for Health Innovation. “Faculty mentors will increase exposure by networking with local and national healthcare professionals, identifying potential new funding opportunities such as grants, research, and developing product commercialization. Students will explore entrepreneurship, learn new skills, and network for great job opportunities.”

This year’s participating companies are Crosscope from Mountain View, California; General Genomics from Midland, Texas; Kinnos’ from Brooklyn, New York; NEVAP from San Jose, California; Prep Tech from Lafayette, Louisiana; Protean BioDiagnostics from Orlando, Florida; and SafeBVM from Chesterfield, Missouri. Although their specific medical specialties vary, the companies in the cohort are using advanced technology such as artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, precision medicine, and a focus on sanitation to improve patient care and overall efficiency in medicine.

The event will be broadcast online at 1 p.m. Friday, November 5. The event is free, but registration is required.

Other Opportunity Health supporters include Opportunity Machine, Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, VieMed, CGI, Acadian Companies, LHC Group, Ochsner Lafayette General, Tides Medical, Innovation Ochsner, Louisiana Center for Health Innovation, and Louisiana Economic Development.

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