Medical technology companies from across the country will flock to Baltimore to compete in the 2023 MedTech Innovator Road Tour, the industry’s premiere showcase and competition for innovative technologies.
This will be the first time the MedTech Innovator Road Tour is held in Maryland. The road tour was initially slated to come to Maryland in 2020 but was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, for three days in March, Baltimore will become the epicenter of an industry focused on cutting-edge medical devices and diagnostic tools. MedTech Innovator will only host two U.S. pitch events this year, one in Los Angeles at the beginning of March, and one in Baltimore at the end of March.
“We outcompeted all the other East Coast cities to host this event,” said Stefanie Trop, Senior Manager of Business Development in the Office of Life Sciences, Maryland Department of Commerce. “This shows the industry that Maryland’s life sciences and medtech communities are really competitive with larger cities on the global stage. We had all the resources needed to attract the world-class event here.”
The MedTech Innovator Road Tour will be held over the course of three days, March 28-30, for the top startups that applied to the programs to pitch to a well-established network of judges from across the industry. The first day of the event will feature a newer program under the MedTech Innovator umbrella, BioTools Innovator, for startups developing life sciences tools and molecular diagnostics. The last two days will be dedicated to the long-running MedTech Innovator program, for companies commercializing medical devices and digital health solutions. In all, approximately 75 invited startups of over 1,300 applicants will participate over the three-day event.
Companies that compete in the showcase will vie not only for the honor of winning the event but also $500,000 in non-dilutive cash prizes. Additionally, the showcase offers participating companies high visibility, access to a network of investors and mentors who can help achieve the next level of growth, and continuing opportunities to engage with the organization, including a major presence at The MedTech Conference in October. Several Maryland companies have participated in previous BioTools Innovator and MedTech Innovator cohorts, experiences that have significantly accelerated their company growth.
At this time, the showcase has not yet finalized the startups that will be invited to pitch in Baltimore. Trop said she hopes several Maryland companies will be selected.
“We heavily promoted the opportunities to our Maryland companies and I know a number of them have applied. We have so many talented startup leaders and we want to see them succeed” she said. “We have a healthy and growing medtech community in Maryland. You can go from an idea to market right here.”
According to Department of Commerce data, there are more than 300 medical device and digital health companies in Maryland, with many more supply, engineering, and consulting firms that have crucial roles in supporting the industry. Those companies support an estimated 6,000 jobs in the state.
During the three-day event, there will be several programs held in parallel to the BioTools and MedTech Innovator Showcase, such as educational panels, workshops and networking sessions, open to members of the life sciences community that are not participating directly in the closed Showcase sessions. These events will not only allow local attendees to network with each other and the MedTech Innovator startups and judges, but also allow the state’s ecosystem to shine. Beyond showcasing the innovation of medtech companies, Trop said industry leaders will see the business infrastructure in Baltimore and the rest of Maryland. The robust landscape of biopharma, medtech and other life sciences companies will demonstrate the strength of the area and spotlight Maryland and Baltimore as a place you can come and grow your company, she said.
Ulyana Desiderio, Director of the Office of Life Sciences in the Department of Commerce, touted the strengths of the state’s life sciences and medtech industries.
“We really want to showcase Maryland’s medtech community. Maryland has a strong reputation for biotech. The medtech industry has gotten less attention but it is a strong industry,” she said. “We are excited to shine the spotlight on the medtech industry here.”
Desiderio added there is “wonderfully diverse expertise” in Maryland. “We have so many assets and so many different resources and players to make this industry thrive, and we are here to support it,” she said.