12 Irish start-ups to pitch for MedTech Innovator placement

24 Apr 2023

The Shelbourne Hotel in 2018. Image: Tom Flemming (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The chosen start-ups will have the chance to meet international experts, mentors and investors, with this year’s cohort featuring multiple Trinity and RCSI spinouts.

A cohort of 34 promising start-ups are being pitted against each other for a top prize and a potential spot in this year‘s MedTech Innovator accelerator.

MedTech Innovator, based in California, is one of the world’s most recognisable competitions and accelerators for start-ups creating new technologies in the medtech, digital health and diagnostic space.

The annual pitching event is taking place today (24 April) at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel, with the participating start-ups selected from a pool of more than 1,000 international applications. Among the successful applicants are 12 Irish companies.

Today’s event is being held in partnership with Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). This is part of the two organisations’ Knowledge Transfer consortium, which aims to improve the sharing of expertise, process and procedures.

Five start-ups will be selected to pitch at a follow-up event tomorrow, after which the judges and conference audience will select a winner. The event will also serve as a stepping stone for some of the companies to join the prestigious MedTech Innovator 2023 programme.

A total of $800,000 will be awarded this year, which includes a new $300,000 prize for mid-stage companies.

Trinity start-up development manager Neil Gordon said the event is a “unique opportunity” for the 12 Irish companies to meet and engage with “Irish and international experts, mentors and investors”.

Two of the Irish companies are Trinity spin-outs. MitrAdapt is developing a repair device for mitral regurgitation, which is a type of heart valve disease where certain valves don’t close properly.

Plio Surgical, meanwhile, is developing a minimally invasive implant for colorectal surgeries that heal fast and avoid any post-surgical complications such as leakage.

Last year, Plio Surgical was one of many companies watching the 2022 MedTech Innovator pitching event, in preparation for pitching their own emerging tech ideas.

Last year’s event featured 27 companies from across Europe, including Irish start-ups  VertigeniusSymPhysis Medical, InjurySense, Phyxiom, Pumpinheart and Head Diagnostics.

Three of the companies in this year’s Irish cohort are RCSI spin-outs. Returning for a second year is Pumpinheart, a company that is creating a novel device to treat HFpEF, a heart failure condition where the left ventricle doesn’t fill with blood properly.

Tympulse is developing novel regenerative materials for the ENT surgical market, while LEP Biomedical aims to make technology to eliminate uncontrolled inflammation and fibrosis in eye surgeries.

Last year, MedTech Innovator founder and CEO Paul Grand spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about why he’s a “big fan” of Ireland’s medical technology space.

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The Shelbourne Hotel in 2018. Image: Tom Flemming via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic