Sling Health Demo Day at Cortex in St. Louis draws 20 teams

Sling Health 7

Sling Health, founded in 2013 at Washington University in St. Louis, hosted the 7th annual Demo Day at Cortex Innovation Community on Saturday, April 13.

Sling Health is a national network of student-run biotechnology incubator with chapters at Harvard, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, LSU, Georgia Tech, Emory, Drexel, Texas Tech, and UCLA.

Sling Health forms teams of medical, engineering, and business students to innovate in healthcare, guiding the teams through a yearlong collaborative period aimed at incubating technologies and helping medical technology entrepreneurs launch their ideas.

Sling Health’s teams spent the past year training in design thinking with access to resources for prototyping, funding, mentorship. The year offered networking opportunities as well, in preparation for the prospect of pitching at the event and attracting the attention of investors.

The Demo Day event drew 20 teams from nine Sling Health chapters around the country. Participants spent the day in panel discussions with successful alumni companies, healthcare leaders, and venture capitalists.

The Public Capstone Event Programming kicked off following Alumni Presentations by ERP Sidekick and Rezilient, both based in St. Louis.

Sumita Pennathur, Ph.D., a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California in Santa Barbara delivered the evening’s keynote address. Dr. Pennathur founded four companies, including Alveo Technologies and Laxmi Therapeutic Devices.

She encouraged the participants to blaze their own trails, cautioning aspiring entrepreneurs not to attempt to replicate the successes of others, but to seek mentors and strive to cultivate their own unique talents and innovative ideas.

Sling Health selected eight teams and companies as Podium Finalists to present at the event, including CommuniCare+, Engine 2 Photonics, erGO, and Hive, all teams from Washington University in St. Louis.

Joe Beggs, CEO of HIVE, commented about his experience.

“Demo Day was such an exciting and unique opportunity to network with entrepreneurs from around the country. HIVE gained exposure to the lively start-up community in St. Louis and formed key connections with local business leaders. In all, Demo Day was a pivotal moment in HIVE’s path to market, and we are so grateful to the Sling Health Executive board for the countless hours they put into making the whole event run smoothly.”

All six Podium Finalist teams are receiving a prize of $1000 of in-kind legal consultation from Husch Blackwell.

InnoHealth Diagnostics – Emory and Georgia Tech was awarded $5,000 in cash.  Aaida – University of Michigan and – University of Pennsylvania tied for second place, each receiving $1250 in cash. Honorable mentions were awarded to Engine 2 Photonics and Ergo – both of Washington University in St. Louis, and to Orix – University of Michigan.

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