LOWELL, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is kicking off its sixth annual M2D2 $100K Challenge, a nationwide competition that showcases the innovative ideas of early-stage medical device, diagnostic and biotech companies.

“Our goal is to help startups gain valuable services needed during the tenuous beginning stages of product development,” said Stephen McCarthy, UMass Lowell professor and director of M2D2. “Access to premium labs and other resources, along with experts and mentors can make the difference between failure and success. We hope emerging companies from across the country will enter the M2D2 $100K Challenge.” 

M2D2 assists entrepreneurs in the medical-device and biotech sector with all aspects of the process of moving new products from concept to commercialization. It is a joint venture of UMass Worcester, which provides medical expertise and assistance with clinical trials, and UMass Lowell, which offers expertise in business and engineering, and is home to M2D2’s innovation incubator for emerging companies. 

Since it was founded in 2007, M2D2 has worked with more than 100 client companies, which in turn have secured more than $40 million in external funding for their ventures.

Sponsors of this year’s M2D2 Challenge have donated a total of $100,000 in services for the winning companies. The sponsors are Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, MPR Product Development, Mintz Levin, Omni Components and R&Q (Regulatory & Quality Solutions). Companies selected through the competition will receive use of facilities including lab and meeting space, as well as engineering, product development, legal, regulatory, clinical and business services.

“Participating in the $100K Challenge and partnering with M2D2 provides Boston Scientific with access to new solutions in health care,” said Mark Boden, Boston Scientific’s vice president of research and development. “We get a look at the cutting-edge technologies emerging companies are working on and we are able to provide them with Boston Scientific’s world-class expertise.”

“The prize awarded to us through the M2D2 competition has increased the profile of our project nationally and has allowed us to meet milestones more quickly. Also, it was a great personal achievement for our small team, which has worked on this project relentlessly,” said Renee Carder of PixelExx, a past participant in the M2D2 Challenge.

The competition’s finalists will present before a panel of expert judges at UMass Lowell on Wednesday, March 22.

Companies interested in competing in the M2D2 $100K Challenge 2017 should submit an application by Monday, Feb. 13. Finalists will be announced Friday, March 3 and winners on Wednesday, April 5. Full details on the competition are available at www.uml.edu/Research/M2D2/100k-challenge.aspx.