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CNY Biotech Accelerator selects teams for Medical Device Innovation Challenge

By Eric Reinhardt (


Upstate Medical University’s CNY Biotech Accelerator is located at 841 E. Fayette St. in Syracuse. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University’s CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) has selected the participants for this year’s Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC).

The program — supported through a grant from Empire State Development — is now in its fifth year.

The committee selected the teams from a pool of 33 applicants, the largest batch of applications for the competition to date.

The participants selected for 2021 Medical Device Innovation Challenge include Oratel Diagnostics, Rubitection, Dancing Eyes, JelikaLite, DB Therapeutics, and MindTrace.

“We are very excited about the six selected teams, three of which are women-founded companies,” Kathi Durdon, executive director of the CNYBAC, said. “Our graduate teams to date have generated significant achievements and we’re confident the latest cohort of innovative teams will achieve similar success.”

Five of the participating teams are from New York state and the other is based in Pennsylvania. Teams taking part may participate from anywhere in the U.S., Upstate Medical said.

Durdon also noted that the pool of applications also included the greatest number of Upstate Medical faculty-founded company applications at four. The committee selected one of those teams and the other three are receiving independent support through the SUNY Research Foundation and the Innovation Law Center at the Syracuse University College of Law.

“We had a great response from mentors this year as well,” Durdon said. “We are able to team up four to five mentors per team. Mentors are aligned based on team needs — regulatory, manufacturing, product design, intellectual property protection, etc.”

Medical Device Innovation Challenge participants receive six months of “intensive” mentorship, Innovation Law Center commercialization research, free workspace, and use of equipment in the CNYBAC Creation Garage, along with access to Upstate academic medical-center expertise and core facilities throughout the six-month program.



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