Startup Prize: Focus on Health announces finalists for 2022

The Louisiana Startup Prize announced the entrepreneurs who will be competing at this year’s Startup Prize’s final event, happening on August 27 in conjunction with the inaugural Startup Prize Innovation: Health Conference on August 26. The Prize Foundation along with presenting partners Ochsner LSU Health System of North Louisiana, Ochsner Ventures, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and LSU Health Shreveport, will be hosting the competition as well as the conference.

For 2022, Startup Prize continued its focus on health and health innovation, turning its past success with growing companies and assisting them in development, to make an impact in the incredibly important health sector. In order to participate, entrepreneurs needed to have a health-focused business, such as a medical or surgical device, therapeutic, health technology, health service, or drug research. The finalists will compete in two separate tracks (those that require FDA approval for their product to get to market and those that don’t), with each track awarding $10,000 cash prize and opportunity for further investment. Entrepreneurs from across the country participated, including Texas, California, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Virginia, Missouri, Georgia, and Louisiana.

“For the second year in a row, Startup Prize: Focus on Health has brought the best and the brightest in medical and health startups to our competition,” said Gregory. “We are proud of all the participants this year, and we look forward to hosting the finalists in Shreveport, as we continue to help evolve our city into a health innovation hub.”

To qualify for the prestigious Startup Prize finals, entrepreneurs were required to attend at least one online qualifying event this summer and submit a detailed survey and business plan. The qualifying events included roundtables, panels and keynotes from Startup Prize mentors around the country in topics ranging from accounting to legal to branding to more specialized ones on patenting and trademarks. Competitors gained valuable tools and insights as well as mentorship to take their concepts to the next level.

During the Startup Prize Finals, the five finalists will present their concepts to the Startup Prize investor judge panel and undergo rigorous questioning on the merits and feasibility of their businesses. The most exciting aspect of the finals is that members of the investor judge panel have the opportunity to invest further into any of these final projects. The grand prize winner for each track will be announced at a private awards brunch on August 28.

Startup Prize 2022 Finalists

Track 1 Finalists

BioSapien Inc.
Khatija Ali
San Diego, CA

BioSapien is a biotech company focused on developing localized drug delivery platforms made of 3D printed biodegradable materials, so therapeutic agents can be applied directly to affected cell areas.

Rhythio Medical
Kunal Shah & Savannah Esteve
Houston, TX

Rhythio Medical is developing a preventative solution for heart arrhythmias. The device is an injectable wire that can be placed directly in the heart and used to build artificial conduction pathways across damaged or scarred tissue to normalize heart rhythms.

Track 2 Finalists

Parrots Inc.
David Hojah
Seattle, WA

Parrots Inc has built “Polly,” an inclusive platform using AI/ML to give a smart voice and telecare to people with neurological disorders, empowering them with the ability to have real-time communication and control their environments as well as provide telecare services to improve patient-centered care and maximize independence.

Ali Al Jabry
St. Louis, MO

Kwema has created a personal safety device and comprehensive emergency response protocol to reduce response times for workplace violence in healthcare settings. The device comes in the form of an employee badge reel with a discreet duress button.

Oral Genome
Tina Saw
San Diego, CA

Oral Genome is a point of care dental wellness tracker that instantly and accurately uncovers your dental wellness through a discreet saliva test. Via an app, users receive immediate results for key wellness parameters, genetic predispositions and oral cancer screening markers.

Picture of Paul Savage, Jr.

Paul Savage, Jr.

Paul Savage, Jr. is a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana and is the owner, founder, & designer of Savage Creative Solutions. Savage Creative Solutions is a full-service, integrated marketing agency headquartered in Shreveport, LA with a growing national footprint across multiple industries. Savage is a local marketing and communication professional, entrepreneur, and accomplished author. His debut memoir, "Diary of A Testicular Cancer Survivor," has been featured on Amazon's best-seller list.

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