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Life science researchers across Michigan to pitch innovation ideas at 2018 Biomedical Innovation Cup

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — What if we could better treat, and even prevent recurrence of, triple negative breast cancer? Or what if we could improve patient compliance and lower the stress associated with IVF treatment?

Breakthrough new innovations like these could take another step on the path to commercialization and eventual patient impact at the 2018 Biomedical Innovation Cup on May 16 at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS).

Teams from the University of Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) for Life Sciences Innovation Hub — funded by the Michigan Economic Corporation (MEDC) -- will pitch their biomedical innovations to investment “sharks” for a chance to be crowned this year’s winner. The event caps off the annual MGCS, the two-day venture capital investment event in Ypsilanti, Michigan, May 15-16.

Michigan Medicine’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) team is once again hosting this event, which will feature guest host Sandra Cochrane, M.B.A., assistant dean and director of the WMed Innovation Center at Western Michigan University. Innovation Cup is the culmination of entrepreneurial training that prepares MTRAC for Life Sciences teams to seek investors for their potential innovations.

“Increasingly, Michigan is a nexus of emerging life science companies and research organizations pushing boundaries,” notes Cochrane. “The Biomedical Innovation Cup is a unique opportunity for our growing innovation ecosystem to showcase its strength as a biomedical hub to the world.”

At the Innovation Cup, five teams will pitch their projects, which range from a new method for the early detection of treatment-resistant cancer mutations to a 3D-printed ear splint for correcting congenital deformities in newborns. They’ll be judged by a panel of biomedical investment experts from Grand Angels Venture Fund, Tappan Hill Ventures, Bloom Burton & Co Ltd., and RiverVest Venture Partners.

Click here for the full list of projects and judges.

"With this pitch showcase, MTRAC Hub for Life Sciences teams benefit from gaining a 'real-life' perspective on their projects and commercialization plans,” said Brad Martin, Ph.D., FFMI Senior Director of Commercialization Programs. “Getting honest feedback from investors who can provide the funding critical for success is incredibly valuable. It’s one step closer to taking their new technologies to market, where they can ultimately help patients.”

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

FFMI and the Office of Technology Transfer at U-M co-manage MTRAC for Life Sciences, offering education, mentoring, and resources to world-class biomedical researchers at U-M, across the state, and beyond. 

For more information, visit



Written by Lauren James, FFMI Communications

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