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DEED Announces Virtual Pitch Event Winners

Event focused on international medical technology startups interested in U.S. presence


August 19, 2020

St. Paul – Today, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced three winners in a virtual pitch competition for foreign-owned Medical Technology (MedTech) companies interested in establishing or expanding a U.S. presence. The virtual pitch took place on August 17 and was held in partnership with SelectUSA, Medical Alley Association, and Launch Minnesota.

The three winners were selected by an impartial panel of judges following a virtual pitch from each of the five finalists from four different countries. This virtual pitch event is the second of two pilot events organized by DEED’s Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) and SelectUSA. With the pilot completed, MTO will begin hosting quarterly virtual pitch events focused on Minnesota’s core and expanding industries.

“These pitch events help foreign-owned businesses get a better sense of all the Minnesota business ecosystem has to offer,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “By helping leaders recognize our state as a great place to establish and grow their business, we lay the foundation for future economic growth.”

“This virtual pitch series is the first of its kind organized by a state government office,” said MTO Executive Director Gabrielle Gerbaud. “The pitch events were intended to be in person, but went virtual due to the pandemic. The virtual events have proven to be a huge success.”

The virtual pitch competition had entries from 32 MedTech businesses from 13 countries, from which the five finalists were selected. The three winners will receive introductions to various Minnesota programs designed to help startups. They also got valuable feedback from competition judges.

The MedTech Virtual Pitch Competition winners are listed below:

• First place: contextflow, based in Austria, pitched a 3D image-based search engine that helps radiologists search x-ray images and provides literature and case studies on related conditions.

• Second place: AVVie GmbH, based in Austria, pitched a new type of heart valve that will prevent heart attacks in patients.

• Third place: Serenno Medical, based in Israel, pitched a method to monitor inpatient kidney output, thus creating early warnings for kidney failure.

Judges for the MedTech Virtual Pitch event included industry leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, investors and government officials, with representatives from 3M, the Mayo Clinic, Medical Alley Association, University of Minnesota and investors in Minnesota startups.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


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