Over 25 Researchers, Entrepreneurs and Companies to Join TMC Innovation Accelerator Cohorts

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HOUSTON, TX (January 18, 2023) – Texas Medical Center Innovation (TMCi) announced today that eight startups are set to join the Spring 2023 Accelerator for HealthTech cohort, and 21 participants are set to join the 2023 Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics cohort.

TMCi’s accelerator programs bring innovative entrepreneurs and companies from around the world to the TMC Innovation Factory in Houston, connecting them with researchers and experts from across TMC’s campuses to solve unmet clinical needs and reach the next business milestone.

“At TMC Innovation, we start with a promise of uniting cutting-edge innovators in science and medicine with the talent found at the Texas Medical Center. Our 2023 cohort members are tackling some of the most critical issues we face today in healthcare. We are excited to welcome a new group of researchers and companies to the TMC Innovation Factory, and to work collaboratively with our new cohort members and our partners from across the Texas Medical Center,” said Emily Reiser, Associate Director of TMC Innovation.

TMCi HealthTech Accelerator

The HealthTech Accelerator is a six-month program that supports digital health and medical device startups by bringing together experts from different markets to create real-life solutions, enhance clinical collaborations, increase fundraising opportunities, and create relationships with the TMC Medical Campuses network of institutions. The participants represent specialty areas in maternal medicine, mental health, diagnostics, patient experience, and artificial intelligence.

The TMCi Accelerator for HealthTech cohort was selected after a diligence bootcamp held in November 2022. From early to growth stage, the new cohort will be supported by a team of experts in clinical validation, funding, and deployment.

“Uniting talented professionals from across the globe provides a unique opportunity for innovation, creativity, and development in diverse areas of expertise. Our tailored program maximizes participants’ experiences while determining the best match between these companies and Texas Medical Center’s network,” said Devin Dunn, Head of Accelerator for Healthtech at TMCi.

The TMCi Accelerator for HealthTech was launched in 2014 and over 225 companies have participated in the program. The 2023 cohort kicks off their program in January and will continue through May.

The participating companies include:

  • Bloom Standard (Roseville, MN) – Bloom Standard is deploying the first self-driving pediatric ultrasound to earlier diagnose heart and lung conditions in primary care, remote and under-resourced areas.
  • Ejenta (San Francisco, CA) – Ejenta automates remote monitoring and care using AI technology exclusively licensed from NASA. ‘Intelligent agents’ learn from connected devices, claims and EMR data to monitor patients, predict health and to provide automated support for patients and automated workflow for clinicians.
  • Kintsugi (Berkeley, CA) – Kintsugi is on a mission to see mental health more clearly by developing novel voice biomarker infrastructure to detect signs of depression and anxiety from short clips of free form speech.
  • Lana Health (San Francisco, CA) – Lana is modernizing patient experiences, across the care continuum with an end-to-end, scalable platform, enabling frictionless care transitions, high patient satisfaction and better clinical outcomes.
  • Liberate Medical (Crestwood, KY) – Liberate Medical improves outcomes for mechanically ventilated patients using its breakthrough, non-invasive, respiratory muscle protective, neurostimulation device, VentFree.
  • Limbix (Palo Alto, CA) – Limbix is improving mental health with accessible technology. Limbix creates Digital Therapeutics that can be used to increase access to affordable, effective behavioral health care by giving providers immediate, safe, and evidenced based treatment options.
  • Nua Surgical (Galway, Ireland) – Nua Surgical is an award-winning Irish start-up dedicated to innovating in women’s health. Their novel C-Section retractor improves access and visualization during delivery, making it a safer surgery.
  • Prana Thoracic (Houston, TX) – Prana Thoracic is dedicated to developing solutions for the detection and intervention of early-stage lung cancer. They are developing the first minimally invasive, tissue-sparing nodulectomy tool for early interception of suspicious pulmonary nodules.

Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics

21 researchers and companies have been selected to join the 2023 Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics. Launched in 2021, the nine-month program – funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and partnered with the Gulf Coast Consortia and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) – supports investigators and early-stage biotechnology companies spearheading groundbreaking work in the area of cancer therapeutics. Throughout the program, participants will be mentored by a world-class group of scientific, business, and innovation leaders to ultimately be positioned to apply for grants and pitch to investors and corporate partners to further the development of their innovative cancer solutions.

“For this third cohort, we focused on a strategic and extensive recruitment process, including the evaluation of 1,679 cancer research projects. From 56 applications, we selected 21 participants that will gain access to valuable resources, integrated training and mentorship to prepare for clinical trials,” said Ahmed AlRawi, Program Manager, Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics. “Our 2023 cohort represents our most diverse cohort to date, including eight companies led by women entrepreneurs. We are excited to continue the momentum and build off the successes of our previous years.”

Since its launch, 45 participants have gone through the accelerator program. Collectively, the entrepreneurs have raised more than $90M in funding (from NIH, CPIRT, and venture capital) and three projects are in the clinic. 2023 cohort participants are focused on a wide range of therapeutic assets, including small molecule (38%), antibody (28%), peptide/protein (19%), cell therapy (14%) and other (15%). The 2023 cohort kicks off their nine-month program in January.

The participants include:

  • Amit K. Tripathi – UNT-Health Science Center
  • Darshan Gandhi (ImproveBio, LLC)
  • Frank McKeon (Tract Pharmaceutical) – University of Houston
  • Hemanta Baruah (Aakha Biologics)
  • Joshua Gruber – UT-Southwestern
  • Kyoji Tsuchikama – UT Health Science Center-Houston
  • Michael Buszczak – UT-Southwestern
  • Nadezhda (Nadia) German -Texas Tech-Lubbock
  • Parsa Modareszadeh (HemePro Therapeutics) – UT-Dallas
  • Robert Kruse (HydroGene Therapeutics)
  • Xiang Zhang – Baylor College of Medicine
  • Youngwook Won (Singular Immune, Inc.)
  • Zhi-Ping Liu (Raphael Pharmaceutical LLC) – UT-Southwestern
  • Jonathan Arambula (InnovoTEX Inc.)
  • Isaac Chan – UT-Southwestern
  • Ruptakine Inc. – UT Health Science Center-Houston
  • Jim Song (Tranquility Biodesign) – Texas A&M-College Station
  • Rosa Selenia Guerra-Resendez (Quetzal Bio, LLC) – Rice University
  • Cassian Yee (Mongoose Bio, LLC) – UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Manjeet Rao (Niragen, Inc.) – UT Health Science Center-San Antonio
  • Guillermo Vela (NeuScience)


About Texas Medical Center (TMC) — the world’s most comprehensive life science ecosystem—is at the forefront of advancing life sciences. TMC is on a mission to further accelerate the pace of healing by harnessing our collective expertise in innovation, research, development, production, and patient care within a single, centralized medical ecosystem. With over 70+ million square feet and 120,000+ employees, we will bring a new economic impact of $63 billion, TMC is leveraging the collective power by pioneering a revolutionary life sciences initiative to house the entire treatment life cycle from discovery to delivery, within a single, world-class medical complex, on a scale never before seen.

About TMC Innovation (TMCi): Housed in the TMC Innovation Factory, TMC Innovation forms, fosters, recruits, and funds healthcare companies worldwide that are writing the future of healthcare. TMCi performs diligence on the companies seeking to progress toward clinical and business milestones in collaboration with TMC’s Medical Campus member institutions and our global network of advisors and embedded corporate partners. We align these resources through our globally recognized programs:  BiodesignAccelerator for Cancer Therapeutics, and Health Tech.

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