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Past Start-Up Challenge Cohorts

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2022 Winners and Pitch Videos

Meet the 2022 Challenge prize winners! Each individual or team received a $60,000 cash award. Congratulations to:

Mayowa Agbaje-Williams, PharmD, MPH, Co-Founder and Challenge team lead; Janet Akande-Dokun, PhD, Co-Founder; Oreoluwa Adedoyin, PhD, Co-Founder

Mayowa Agbaje-Williams, PharmD, MPH, Co-Founder and Challenge team lead; Janet Akande-Dokun, PhD, Co-Founder; Oreoluwa Adedoyin, PhD, Co-Founder

Christin Glorioso, MD, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO; Priyanka Joshi, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

NeuroAge co-founders

Devita T. Stallings, PhD, RN

Devita T. Stallings, PhD, RN
  • Pressure Points, LLC: Digital health app for the self-management of hypertension in African American older adults
  • Watch the pitch video

Cameron Carter, MS, ECHM, Co-Founder and CEO; Joseph Akoni, MS, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Cameron Carter, MS, ECHM, Co-Founder and CEO; Joseph Akoni, MS, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer 
  • Rose: Machine learning-driven platform to connect senior homeowners and renters to vetted home remodeling companies to age in place
  • Watch the pitch video

Denice Wharton, MBA, Founder and CEO

Denice Wharton, MBA
  • Suma: Online management system that simplifies and streamlines the licensing and renewal process certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and other medical professionals
  • Watch the pitch video

2022 Finalists

2022 finalist

The finalists represent a diverse group of researchers and entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas for science-driven technologies and products that have the potential to advance the fields of aging and age-related diseases. They are engaged in a wide range of research and development to create everything from digital health solutions to devices to therapeutics for aging Americans.

Finalists built their business skills by participating in a four-month entrepreneurial bootcamp where they received valuable resources and worked with mentors and NIA staff to develop their innovations and foster diversity in aging research and eliminate health disparities, and ultimately competed for a $60,000 cash award.

Brittany Cassin

Brittany Cassin, MBA — CEO & Co-Founder — DigiCARE Realized Inc.
Machine learning–powered software that uses electronic health record data for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias with 80% performance accuracy for 1-year prediction horizon.

Steffany Chamut

Steffany Chamut, DDS, MPH, FICD — Team Lead — Next S-Miles: Bringing Oral Health Data to Life
Digital, whole-person/patient-centered health care platform that combines artificial intelligence and science to enhance healthy aging through oral health.

Jayfus Tucker Doswell

Jayfus Tucker Doswell, PhD — Founder — Juxtopia, LLC
Intelligent, socially assistive robot to combat loneliness and detect Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in elderly African American women.

Zachary Hermes

Zachary Hermes, MD, MBA, MPA, JM — Founder — Odyssey Health
Digital platform that provides personalized, on-demand dementia care strategies to improve caregivers’ well-being and reduce acute care utilization for people living with dementia.

Corey Hubbard

Corey Hubbard — Founder — DreamHighr, Inc.
Platform leveraging artificial intelligence, blockchain, and social media to engage and recruit underrepresented groups for Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials.

Robert Izuta

Robert Izuta, MS — Co-Founder — Elvee Performance Technologies, LLC Easy-to-use, wearable gait monitor for dual task assessment targeting early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment.

Brenda Jamerson

Brenda Jamerson, PharmD — Founder — iSimcha, LLC
Clinical trial recruitment platform leveraging community engagement and lay language medical research education tools to increase participation from older, ethnically diverse populations.

Katalin Janosi-Fair

Katalin Janosi-Fair, DMD, MPH — Founder and CEO — Optigums, LLC
Life-changing innovations in periodontal disease linked to systemic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Eric Jutkowitz

Eric Jutkowitz, PhD — Co-Founder and CEO — Plans4Care
Provides family caregivers personalized dementia care on-demand to address care challenges that would otherwise lead to costly health care utilization

Tamara Lambert

Tamara Lambert, MPH, MEng — Founder and CEO — SENSEable Dx
A continuous monitoring wearable enabling early sepsis detection.

Reginald Mbawuike

Reginald Mbawuike, MBA — Co-Founder, CEO, and COO — Generating Innovation Ventures & Enterprises, Inc.
SaaS software providing symptoms pathology data to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities.

Jennifer Villwock

Jennifer Willwock, MD, FAAOA — Team Lead — AROMA Sensory Diagnostics & Therapeutics
Affordable, Rapid, Olfactory Measurement Array (AROMA) with machine learning on a web-based app for noninvasive, patient-friendly, early, and actionable dementia screening.

Karen Webber

Karen Webber, CPA, CFE — CEO — FraudFindr
SaaS product that provides data collection, transaction analysis, and reporting for financial exploitation cases.

Lanie Yeung

Lanie Yeung, MPA — Founder and CEO — Hydro Gummy
Hydro Gummy is 90% water and electrolyte-enhanced, designed and formulated as a hydration delivery to older adults.

Maryam Zolnoori

Maryam Zolnoori, PhD — Team Lead — ADscreen
An automated speech-processing based screening algorithm for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, for use in home health care with unique capabilities for modeling properties of patients’ verbal communication with clinicians.

2022 Mentors

NIA Start-up Challenge mentors are an expert group of scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs who volunteer their time and expertise to coach our finalist teams. Mentor input is pivotal in improving pitches and moving the Challenge companies forward.

Malaz Boustani

Malaz Boustani — Richard M Fairbanks Professor of Aging Research — Indiana University

Victor Bustos

Victor Bustos — Entrepreneur in Residence — Apollo Health Ventures

Darryl Carter

Dr. Darryl Carter — Otter Immuno-oncology, LLC and University of Maryland, Baltimore

Yi-Yen Chen

Yi-Yen Chen — Managing Director — Echo Investment Capital

Elaine Chung

Elaine Chung — Sr. Director, Strategic Marketing & Portfolio Growth — Eko Health

janet defrino

Janet DeFrino — Partner — 1843 Capital

Trivia Frazier

Dr. Trivia Frazier — President and CEO — Obatala Sciences, Inc.

LaKisha Greenwade

LaKisha Greenwade — CEO — Wearable Tech Ventures

Diane Ignar

Diane Ignar — Entrepreneur in Residence — NIA

Jonathan Jackson

Dr. Jonathan Jackson — Executive Director — CARE Research Center Mass General

Jun Jeon

Jun Jeon — Bio/Health Investor — Khosla Ventures

Adriana Krasniansky

Adriana Krasniansky — Research Lead — Rock Health

Seo Lee

Seo Lee — Director — SV Investment

Dr. Kim Martin — Entrepreneur in Residence — NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

bijo mathew

Bijo Mathew — Director — University of Texas at San Antonio / Institute for Economic Development

Ricky Mehra — Founder, Managing Partner — Continuum Health Ventures

Nakia Melecio

Nakia Melecio — Senior Research Faculty — Georgia Institute of Technology

Ravi Mistry

Ravi Mistry — Member/Officer — Impact India Investment Partners, LLC

Jacinta Nagler — Managing Director — Connexion Life Sciences

Ulili Onovakpuri — Partner — Kapor Capital

Jillian Racoosin — Deputy Executive — Director Foundation for Social Connection

John Reinhart

John Reinhart — Entrepreneur in Residence — NIA

Loleta Robinson

Dr. Loleta Robinson — Entrepreneur in Residence — NIH SEED

Sharon Rodriguez

Sharon Rodriguez — Partner — 1843 Capital

Sheri Rose

Sheri Rose — CEO — Thrive Center, Inc.

Reka Shinkle

Reka Shinkle — VP, Global Strategic Marketing / Product Management — ID — Emergent

Sandra Smart

Sandra Smart — Technology & Commercialization Specialist — Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University

April Stanley — Analyst — Echo Investment Cap

Kwame Ulmer

Kwame Ulmer — Managing Partner — MedTech Impact Partners

santosh vetticaden

Dr. Santosh Vetticaden — Board Member — NuFund Venture Group

Eric Waehner — VP Business Development — Recordati Rare Disease

Joseph Wei

Joseph Wei — Managing Director Technology — Ventures Group, LLC

Anthony Zlaket

Anthony Zlaket — Venture Capital Investor — UnityPoint Health Ventures





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