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
- Moremme VA, LLC: Hormone-free vaginal suppository for vulvo-vaginal atrophy in post-menopausal women
- Watch the pitch video
Christin Glorioso, MD, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO; Priyanka Joshi, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
- NeuroAge Therapeutics: An aging clock-based drug discovery platform for neurodegenerative disorders
- Watch the pitch video
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
- 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
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.
Mayowa Agbaje-Williams, PharmD, MPH — Co-Founder — Moremme VA, LLC
Hormone-free vaginal suppository for vulvo-vaginal atrophy in post-menopausal women.
Cameron Carter, MS, ECHM — Co-Founder and CEO — Rose
Machine learning-driven platform to connect senior homeowners and renters to vetted home remodeling companies to age in place.
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, 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, PhD — Founder — Juxtopia, LLC
Intelligent, socially assistive robot to combat loneliness and detect Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in elderly African American women.
Christin Glorioso, MD, PhD — Co-Founder and CEO — NeuroAge Therapeutics
An aging clock-based drug discovery platform for neurodegenerative disorders.
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 — 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, 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, 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, DMD, MPH — Founder and CEO — Optigums, LLC
Life-changing innovations in periodontal disease linked to systemic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
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, MPH, MEng — Founder and CEO — SENSEable Dx
A continuous monitoring wearable enabling early sepsis detection.
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.
Devita T. Stallings, PhD, RN — Founder and CEO — Pressure Points, LLC
Digital health app for the self-management of hypertension in African American older adults.
Jennifer Villwock, 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, CPA, CFE — CEO — FraudFindr
SaaS product that provides data collection, transaction analysis, and reporting for financial exploitation cases.
Denice Wharton, MBA — Founder and CEO — Suma
Online management system that simplifies and streamlines the licensing and renewal process certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and other medical professionals.
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, 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.
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 — Richard M Fairbanks Professor of Aging Research — Indiana University
Victor Bustos — Entrepreneur in Residence — Apollo Health Ventures
Dr. Darryl Carter — Otter Immuno-oncology, LLC and University of Maryland, Baltimore
Yi-Yen Chen — Managing Director — Echo Investment Capital
Elaine Chung — Sr. Director, Strategic Marketing & Portfolio Growth — Eko Health
Janet DeFrino — Partner — 1843 Capital
Dr. Trivia Frazier — President and CEO — Obatala Sciences, Inc.
LaKisha Greenwade — CEO — Wearable Tech Ventures
Diane Ignar — Entrepreneur in Residece — NIA
Dr. Jonathan Jackson — Executive Director — CARE Research Center Mass General
Jun Jeon — Bio/Health Investor — Khosla Ventures
Adriana Krasniansky — Research Lead — Rock Health
Seo Lee — Director — SV Investment
Dr. Kim Martin — Entrepreneur in Residence — NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Bijo Mathew — Director — University of Texas at San Antonio / Institute for Economic Development
Ricky Mehra — Founder, Managing Partner — Continuum Health Ventures
Nakia Melecio — Senior Research Faculty — Georgia Institute of Technology
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 — Entrepreneur in Residence — NIA
Dr. Loleta Robinson — Entrepreneur in Residence — NIH SEED
Sharon Rodriguez — Partner — 1843 Capital
Sheri Rose — CEO — Thrive Center, Inc.
Reka Shinkle — VP, Global Strategic Marketing / Product Management — ID — Emergent
Sandra Smart — Technology & Commercialization Specialist — Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University
April Stanley — Analyst — Echo Investment Cap
Kwame Ulmer — Managing Partner — MedTech Impact Partners
Dr. Santosh Vetticaden — Board Member — NuFund Venture Group
Eric Waehner — VP Business Development — Recordati Rare Disease
Joseph Wei — Managing Director Technology — Ventures Group, LLC
Anthony Zlaket — Venture Capital Investor — UnityPoint Health Ventures