STEM City USA, Career Communications Group’s metaverse, hosted the gBETA MedTech Black Founder Accelerator on Tuesday. Sponsors for the pitch night included Boston Scientific. The event presenters were gener8tor’s Jackie Meija, director of gBETA MedTech, and Megan Baniecke, director of gBETA St. Thomas. Each team was offered $34,000.
gener8tor brings together startup founders, investors, corporations, job seekers, universities, musicians, and artists. The gener8tor platform includes more than 75 programs spanning startup accelerators, corporate programming, speaker series, conferences, skills accelerators, and fellowships. The gBETA program is one of many offered by gener8tor.
gBETA is a free 7-week accelerator offered to five early-stage companies per program. gBETA runs in more than twenty markets, including Oklahoma City, Northeast Wisconsin, Pensacola, Colorado, Anchorage, Cleveland, Detroit, Cheyenne, Madison, San Juan, Huntsville, and Houston. gBETA also has industry-specific programs. For example, gBETA Music Tech, the gBETA Social Impact program, and MedTech.
To date, 644 companies have completed the gBETA program, and together they have gone on to raise $295 Million. The gBETA MedTech program is a tribute to Minnesota’s success in healthcare innovation. The gBETA MedTech accelerator works with early-stage startups in the healthcare sector. So far, gener8tor has had seven programs and worked with thirty-eight companies. Together they have raised more than $47 million and created more than 177 jobs.
Earlier this year, Boston Scientific, decided to finance a gBETA program for Black entrepreneurs. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, gave additional financial support. BARDA supports the development of vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies. Other sponsors of the Black Founder Accelerator include Inflect Health, a healthcare innovation hub, Piper Sandler, an investment bank and financial services company, and Fox Rothschild, a Philadelphia-based law firm. Supporting partners include Mayo Clinic, Medical Alley, and the University of Minnesota, which provided mentorship to participating startups.
The Black founders in Tuesday’s program include Nicole Bishop of Quartolio, Wessam Sobol of Delve Health, Wendy Slone of bTech, Veronica Berry of TruDiary, and Dr. Jossy Onwude and Elena Musatea of Bold Health.
“At Bold Health, we started this journey with the desire to meet to serve the unmet needs in gut health,” said Mustatea, chief executive officer and cofounder of Bold Health. “I grew up with GI (gastrointestinal) symptoms, saw them in my family. As I went through my career working in strategy consulting, investment banking, and venture capital, I saw a number of companies doing innovation in digital health and vertical areas like diabetes. So I came together with Jossy from a medical background. Together, we made it our mission to improve the gut health of one billion people by providing convenient access to comprehensive specialty care. About 70 percent of the American population has GI symptoms. With the Bold Health application, members get access to a virtual GI care platform geared to patients with irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Celiac disease, food allergies, and Gastroesophageal reflux disease.”
TruDiary is an early-stage digital health platform that educates moms on the importance of visiting an OB-GYN early in the pregnancy journey and connecting them to the right doctor. They also help OB-GYNs review health information to focus on the specific needs of Black moms.
“My journey became relevant because when I became pregnant, I experienced extreme pregnancy complications to the point where I was bedridden,” said Veronica Berry, founder and CEO of TruDdiary. “I didn’t want another mom to experience what I did and TruDiary provides culturally relevant, value-based care to Black and Brown moms in underserved communities. We’re happy to announce that we’re piloting with Community Health Care Systems Inc. and serving over 250 women. Our platform offers information that’s critical to having a successful pregnancy,” Berry said.
Wessam Sonbol, cofounder and CEO of Delve Health, aims to reduce clinical trial costs and accelerate drug development by bringing clinical trials to patient homes. While bootstrapping, Delve achieved three million dollars in revenue in 2021.
“In 2012, my mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer,” Sonbol said. “Her only treatment option was to join a clinical trial. But the process was complicated, bureaucratic, and time-consuming. She passed away within six months of being diagnosed. My story is echoed every day across America. The Delve team is on a relentless mission to revolutionize the clinical trial process, making it faster and more cost-effective.”
Wendy Slone of bTECH is disrupting the wound care space.
“After watching my mother go through two amputations in less than three years, I’m determined to revolution the wound-healing space,” Slone said.
There are 34.3 million diabetic patients in the United States, and Slone aims to reduce the daily amputations due to diabetic foot ulcers, which runs into more than 2.2 million each year. Slone’s solution is called the Halcyon Smart Patch, which can be placed anywhere on the body to promote the natural wound healing process. The patch currently costs $160 per device.
Nicole Bishop is the founder and CEO of Quartolio.
“Information overload is widening the knowledge gap for professionals in the R&D pipeline,” said Bishop. That’s where Quartolio comes in, by leveraging millions of R&D outputs like clinical trials, patents, and filings into insights and actionable next steps. Recently, Quartolio was named a Global Covid-19 Innovator.