The Westchester County Association (WCA), through its BLUEPRINT for Westchester economic development initiative, tonight announced Databean LLC, a Mt. Vernon-based clinical research organization, as the winner of the “Pitch to the Pros” contest, the first-day highlight of the organization’s groundbreaking two-day conference, Health Tech ’14: Fueling Innovation in Westchester. Databean LLC will receive a $10,000 cash grant, plus a coveted spot in the WCA’s BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network, through which it will receive one year of rent-free private office space, complimentary professional services, advertising in local media, and access to financing and mentoring in Westchester County. As a first runner-up, Amrita Health Foods, a producer of plant-based nutrition bars, also will join the Accelerator Network...
“The relationship-building made possible by this event is of tremendous importance," explained Nuala Ronan, managing partner of Databean. “I haven’t seen this kind of energy, this excitement, this vibe [at this conference] since I was in Palo Alto ten years ago. Winning the Accelerate Westchester pitch competition is significant for Databean, but the real value is the exposure to the healthcare organizations, legal and financial firms, and biotech companies in the region.”
“Pitch to the Pros” is just one of the many exciting sessions taking place at Health Tech ’14:Fueling Innovation in Westchester. Nearly 600 people have registered to attend the conference, which is calling attention to the County’s vibrant health innovation economy spurred by the region’s $15 billion healthcare industry. Westchester’s health innovation sector encompasses world-class hospitals and healthcare providers, global biotech companies such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and a new biosciences business incubator at New York Medical College, among other initiatives to support entrepreneurial growth companies.
The afternoon started with a panel discussion focused on entrepreneurs, where experts in startup law, finance, and business development presented advice on how to launch new businesses. Immediately following the panel, ten startups—six finalists vying for the top prize, and four runners-up who had a chance to present their “elevator pitch”—presented their own "big ideas" before a crowd of 300+ investors, venture capitalists, experts in startup law and crowdfunding, real estate and business leaders, and young professionals.
“We chose Databean because they have reached a point in their business that is scalable,” explained John Ritacco, president and chief executive officer of CMS Bank. “The BLUEPRINT Accelerator wants to attract new businesses in health tech, biotech, medtech, and other areas of innovation. There were many viable companies here, but Databean is positioned to grow to a level that benefits Westchester.”
The panel of judges included Brian Aoaeh, Partner, KEC Holdings; Dennis Goett, Principal, Sage Capital Solutions; Mark Kronenfeld, MD, Vice Chairman of Anesthesiology, Maimonides Medical Center; Jack Kopnisky, President & CEO, Sterling National Bank, Chair, BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network; John Cohn, Managing Director, Diamond Capital Advisors; Stan Freimuth, CEO, Debt Resolve, Inc.; and John Ritacco, President & CEO, CMS Bank.
“This pitch contest attracted some of the region’s most promising early stage companies,” said Marissa Brett, executive director of the BLUEPRINT for Westchester. “We congratulate Databean, and look forward to supporting their growth through our Accelerator Network. We also encourage all of tonight’s presenters to take root in Westchester, and take advantage of the resources our community has to offer. Anyone wanting to start or grow a business needs to look no further than Westchester County.”
All pitch competition participants submitted a written application and business plan prior to the event. The top six submissions were selected for the live pitch session.
The following companies presented their pitches:Databean
is a clinical research organization providing services that guide life sciences companies through regulatory and clinical processes necessary for product approval. Databean is based in Mt. Vernon, New York. For more information, visit www.databean.com.Video SEO Pro
was founded by David Vogel and Neco Turnkienicz. The Westchester County-based agency provides online video production, video marketing, and video SEO services. For more information, visit http://myvideoseopro.com.Healthjump, Inc
. Led by Chief Executive Officer Mark Aboitiz, Healthjump, Inc. provides health IT services for providers and their patients, including a patient portal designed to increase patient engagement and health management. Visit http://www.healthjumpinc.com/index.php for more information.Cathi Locati Co.
“Areola architect” and artist Cathy Locati provides breast cancer survivors and breast re-construction patients with photorealistic nipples and aerolas tattooed in 3D, among other services. Locati is a resident of Tarrytown, New York. For more information, visit http://cathilocatico.weebly.com.Amrita Health Foods
Founded by Arshad Bahl, Amrita Health Foods produces plant-based nutrition bars that are gluten, dairy, and soy-free, made with non-GMO ingredients, and free of the most common allergens. For more information, visit http://amritahealthfoods.com.Vital Care Telehealth Services Co-founded by Christopher Gaur, Vital Care provides personalized remote patient healthcare monitoring for providers and individuals. Using portable telehealth technology, healthcare providers can interact with patients at home within a customizable regimen. Visit www.myvics.com to learn more.
Four other startups tried out their elevator pitches:
Raadysan Biotech is a startup biotech aiming to produce scientific breakthroughs in the development of novel anti-cancer therapeutics. Founded by Rakhee Gupte, Ph.D., RBL has discovered a novel molecular target (MT) for breast cancer that will revolutionize the development of anti-cancer drugs in the future. To learn more, visit https://gust.com/companies/raadysan_biotech_llc
Innovative Neurons is a medical device company developing and commercializing a retractable, multi-needle syringe. The company was founded by Hilario Castillo.
FlexTraPower is an early-stage company founded by Linh Le and Ngyuen Ngyuen. Their mission is to design and improve consumer-oriented products through the development of “flexible electronics technology.” A core product in development is a grapheme-based flexible temperature sensor array that delivers accurate, fast response times. Visit http://www.flextrapower.com/# for more information.
MedCap was founded by Owais Ansari. The company is developing technologies for prescription drug caps that will monitor drug quantity and intake times, enabling health professionals to monitor prescription adherence.
Day Two of “Health Tech 14: Fueling Innovation in Westchester” on May 8th features 40 panelists and speakers in healthcare, biotechnology, medical technology, technology transfer, law, finance, real estate and funding who will share their experience and insights. For additional information, please visit http://www.healthtech2014.com