$200K Challenge 2022
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The $200K Challenge is a global competition for early-stage medical device and biotech technologies. University spin-outs are welcomed and encouraged to apply. The $200K Challenge is being sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Asahi Intecc, AmgenBoston Scientific, HologicMassMEDIC, Mintz LevinMPR, Sarepta Therapeutics, Argenta Advisors, RQMIS Inc., BARDA DRIVe and Draper.

Any questions may be directed to maryann_picard@uml.edu or alexei_teague@uml.edu 


Is there an application fee?

  • No, there is no application fee.

Who can enter?

  • Inventors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and university researchers are all welcome to enter the challenge!

Do I need to have a registered company to apply?

  • No, university researchers and research teams are encouraged to apply. In the field where it asks for company name, type "none."

Can I enter as part of a team?

  • Yes! You can enter as an individual or team working in academic, research, or commercial start-up setting and have an innovative product or solution. 

Does an applicant have to give up any equity?

  • No, no equity is taken.

When do I need to submit my application?

  • You or your team leader needs to complete and submit all the application materials before the midnight deadline on Monday, February 20th, 2022 EST.

What are the eligibility criteria for the M2D2 $200K Challenge program?

  • M2D2 seeks early to mid-stage start-ups in the medical device and biotech spaces. Specific areas of focus can be found here. We encourage those who are developing a product and/or service in the healthcare areas outlined to apply.

How do you select finalists for the M2D2 $200K Challenge?

  • M2D2, along with its Challenge sponsors, evaluates all applications based on value, strength, and execution plan. The company strength for each category is evaluated using multiple metrics.
  • Value – product, customer validation, business model & healthcare economics, competition, IP, market opportunity, and patient benefit
  • Strength – team strength, development plan, responsiveness/coachable, freedom to operate, regulatory & clinical burden, funding to date, resources needed
  • Execution plan – stage of development, evidence, time to market, traction, partnerships & relationships, time to key milestones, upcoming funding
  • Interaction with M2D2 and program sponsors is also used as an evaluation metric.

We just raised a Series E, can we still apply?

  • Yes! M2D2 encourages applications from companies at all stages of fundraising, from friends and family to seed and beyond to apply to the $200K Challenge. Preference is given to companies with transformative potential and those who will benefit the most from working with M2D2 and the Challenge sponsors.

We are developing a transformative healthcare technology at a university research lab. Can we apply?

  • Yes! Ventures involving technologies licensed from universities or research labs are encouraged to apply.

I noticed there is coaching available for finalists. What is this like?

  • All finalists are offered coaching appointments to meet with subject matter and pitch experts to refine their presentations and be ready for the pitch-off showcase event on March 22nd. Coaching is organized by Mintz and is held online via Webex.

We are based outside the U.S. Can we apply to the $200K Challenge?

  • Yes, international applicants are welcomed and are encouraged to apply.

I applied previously but didn’t receive an award. Should I reapply?

  • Yes, you should apply again as long as the proposal isn’t identical. The needs of the industry and sponsor interests are constantly evolving and can change from year to year. Any updates that took place over the past year should be highlighted in your application.

What are the key dates I should be aware of?

  • January 14th: Application Period Opens
  • February 20th: Application Deadline
  • March 4th: Finalists Announcement
  • March 9th: Deliverables Due (140-character description of technology, company/institution logo, and headshot)
  • March 10th - March 21st: Coaching Sessions for Finalists
  • March 15th: Final Application and Posters Due
  • March 21st: Pitch Deck Presentations Due
  • March 22nd: Finalists Pitch Event
  • April 6th: Winners Announcement and Award Presentation (To Be Confirmed)

Will finalists be notified ahead of time if they should attend the awards event on April 6th?

  • No! All finalists are expected to attend the awards event virtually and be prepared to present their slide deck to the audience. It is a great opportunity for networking with Challenge sponsors, investors, fellow entrepreneurs, and others. 

If I’m not selected as a finalist, will I receive a written explanation?

  • Unfortunately, due to the high number of applications, we cannot provide a written explanation to every applicant who isn’t selected as a finalist. Most times, it is due to not being properly aligned with the call for applications.

M2D2 $200K CHALLENGE 2022

Call for Applications - Important Information

The University of Massachusetts’ Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) is pleased to launch the 11th Annual M2D2 $200K Challenge, an opportunity designed to showcase the innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of seed and early-stage medical device and biotech companies. The M2D2 $200K Challenge Program is sponsored in partnership with

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Amgen, Asahi Intecc,  Hologic, MassMEDIC, MPR Product Development, Mintz, RQMIS Inc., Sarepta Therapeutics,  Draper, BARDA DRIVe and Argenta Advisors.

The M2D2 $200K Challenge will award valuable in-kind mentoring and development services provided by the program sponsors to selected finalist companies.  Applicants from across the nation and beyond are invited to participate, but should clearly indicate their intent to leverage the resources provided as awards in the competition.

Key 2022 dates and deadlines:

  • January 14th: Application open
  • February 20th: Application deadline
  • March 4th: Finalists announcement 
  • March 9th: Deliverables due (140-character technology description, company/instituion logo, headshot)
  • March 10th - 21st: Coaching sessions for finalists
  • March 15th: Final application and posters due
  • March 21st: Presentations due
  • March 22nd: Pitch-off showcase 
  • April 6th: Awards ceremony (To Be Confirmed) 

I.          The M2D2 $200K Challenge is interested in receiving a broad range of applications and is seeking biotech, diagnostic, theapeutic, and medical device technologies.M2D2, the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center, is a joint initiative of the Lowell and Worcester campuses of the UMass system. Its aim is to help new biotech and medical device entrepreneurs develop products every step of the way, from proof-of-concept to commercialization. Its affiliated faculty and staff have assisted more than 150 start-up companies and entrepreneurs since the program kicked off in the spring of 2007.

Areas of Interest


  • Novel solutions to address unmet needs for women’s health
    • Develop a new product for the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia 
    • Implantable and capable of holding a fixed position.
    • Able to be fixated to the trigeminal nerve and vessel without the occurrence of dislocation.
    • Sufficient decompression.
    • Incapable of causing granulomas.
    • Visible with all medical imaging methods.
  • The Challenge should help to:
    • Remove the risk of recurrent trigeminal neuralgia after MVD surgery.
    • Relieve patients of pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia indefinitely.
    • Give surgeons visibility of implantable post operation.  


  1. Drug delivery and manufacturing technologies that enable multiple new therapeutics and optimizes the patient experience (ex. advanced assembly of multi-specifics)

  2. Innovative digital and/or automated technologies to support life science operations: 

  • Automation, miniaturization, & high-throughput

  •  Data collection, utilization, & management


  • Novel vascular diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices
  • Novel endoscopic-related diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices


  • Infection Severity and Solving Sepsis - The Solving Sepsis program aims to reduce the incidence, morbidity, mortality, and economic burden of sepsis.

  • ReDirect - BARDA is requesting abstract submissions for projects that repurpose existing therapeutics as MCMs against chemical threats (cyanide, opioids, nerve agents, chlorine, sulfur mustard, etc.).

  • Bringing Laboratory Testing to the Home - DRIVe is seeking platform technologies for on-demand, at-home detection of biochemical health markers, with a preference for multiplexed biochemical assays.

  • Digital Health Tools for Pandemic Preparedness - DRIVe is interested in supporting the development of novel digital health tools that can be the first line of defense and augment existing medical countermeasures in the event of a future infectious disease epidemic or pandemic.

  • Home-based, Over-the-Counter Diagnostics for the Detection of SARS-CoV-2 - DRIVe is seeking abstract submissions for the development of Emergency Use Authorized (EUA), home-based in-vitro diagnostic assays that can detect SARS-CoV-2 in samples collected in a home setting.

  • Enabling Technologies to Support Home-Based Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 Acute Infection - DRIVe is seeking abstract submissions for (1) technologies that can enable more wide-spread adoption of at-home testing, and (2) improvements on current technological limitations of diagnostic sensitivity/specificity and performance.

  • Mitigating Long-term Effects (MILE) of Respiratory Distress - DRIVe is interested in host-targeted therapeutic product candidates as threat agnostic approaches to aid in mitigating long-term outcomes. DRIVe is interested in further study of host therapeutic product candidates that may be implemented early in the progression of acute lung injury to specifically reduce the long-term morbidity and mortality resulting from the initial injury or infectious insult.

  • Endotyping for Host-Directed Therapeutics - DRIVe is interested in further de-risking the development of host-directed therapeutics by validating targeted enrollment strategies based on individual patient characteristics, including immune profiling, biomarker analysis, or other methods of patient stratification (i.e, Endotyping for Host-Directed Therapeutics). Ultimately the goal is to increase the likelihood of meeting therapeutic efficacy endpoints by evaluating the drug specifically in the sub-population for which that therapeutic will most benefit.


Minimally invasive devices or digital health solutions in:

  • Peripheral Vascular Interventions
  • Cardiology
  • Urology and Pelvic Health
  • Endoscopy
  • Structural Heart spaces

Cyber physical systems are of particular interest


Point of care technologies for:

  • Heart
  • Blood
  • Lung
  • Sleep disorders


Devices intended to simplify and improve therapeutic procedures in the women’s health space, filling treatment gaps and advancing patient care. Areas of interest include:

  • GYN transvaginal procedures, such as:
  • Tubal obstruction (HSG, selective HSG)
  • Biopsy collection
  • Vaginal Surgery
  • GYN Laparoscopic surgery
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Pelvic/bladder health
  • Contraception (non-hormonal)
  • Fertility


  • 3D Printing
  • Atrial fibrillation: detection, treatment, monitoring, ablation
  • Cardiovascular
  • Digital Surgery
  • Neurovascular
  • Oncology
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sensor technologies
  • Surgery
  • Vision Care


  • AAV and non-viral Gene Therapy
  • AAV and non-viral Gene Editing (e.g., CRISPR, epigenetics, other transposase)
  • Novel CRISPR-Cas enzymes
  • PMO Antisense Oligonucleotides for splice modulation or translational inhibition
  • Targeting of Oligonucleotides to muscle tissue
  • AAV Engineering and targeting for neurological applications
  • Immune modulation for gene therapy/editing
  • Promoter engineering for gene therapy/editing
  • Non-viral gene therapy/editing delivery to muscle and/or neurological applications


  • Biodefense
    • Biodetection
      • Biomedical threat detection capabilities
      • Exposure monitoring
    • Biosurveillance
      • Pathogen analysis and identification
      • Rapid pathogen sequencing tools
    • Medical Countermeasures/Preventative Therapies
  • Military Medicine/Combat Care
    • Prolonged Field-Care in Austere Environments
      • Organ Support
      • Hemorrhage Control
      • En Route Intensive Care
      • Deployable Medical Care
      • Rapid Diagnostics (Clinical and Austere Environments)
    • Human Performance and Preventative Health
      • Microbiome/Probiotics
      • Environmental Health and Protection
      • Immune System Stimulants
      • Novel wearables, Decision Aids, Algorithms to improve performance and effectiveness
  • General
    • Organ-on-Chip Technology
      • Immune System Models
      • Multi Organ Models
    • Precision Medicine
      • Biomanufacturing
      • Novel Therapies
    • Medical Devices
      • Implantable therapeutic devices
  • Other
    • Biological Computing
    • Data Storage
    • High Strength Polymers
    • Cryptographic Materials

Therapeutic Areas

·       Muscle: Diseases resulting from defects in skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle or the neuromuscular junction

·       Central/Peripheral Nervous System: Diseases resulting from defects in neuronal differentiation, maturation, innervation or injury

·       Disease-Area Expansion: Beyond our core Therapeutic Areas, we are also open to assessing disease indications that are amenable to our platform technologies

Ventures involving technologies licensed from universities or research labs are welcomed and encouraged to apply.

II. Eligibility: 

1. An Applicant can be a duly-organized and existing legal business entity, including a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or joint venture, or similar business organization or association under the law of the jurisdiction in which the Company is organized. The applicant can also be an individual or team with a venture involving technologies licensed from universities or research labs.

2. If the applicant is a Company, it can be organized as a for-profit or non-profit entity.

3. If the applicant is a Company, it must be in good standing in the state in which it is organized.

4. All technology involved in the venture must be advanced enough that it is capable of demonstration.

5. Company will be encouraged but not required to locate at M2D2.

6. The $200K Challenge welcomes international applicants.

III. Application Process:

A. Phase I Judging

Applicant submits basic non-confidential information regarding company and business concept.  In rare circumstances additional information may be requested, such as business plans, financial statements and projections, published patent applications and related  documents.   M2D2 will review initial applications and select up to fifteen applicants to proceed to the Phase II Reception and Presentations.

B. Phase II Reception & Presentations

Applicant attends the in-person event on March 22, 2022, providing a four-minute presentation to a Panel of Reviewers followed by one minute Q & A.  This event will be open to the public.  Reviewers for this round will be arranged by M2D2 and will include the event sponsors. Panel of reviewers score applicant.  Applicant must attend and give presentation in person to be considered for an award. $200K Challenge finalists will be invited to the Phase III Final Awards Announcement and Presentation.

C. Phase III Final Awards Announcement and Presentation

$200K Challenge finalists will be invited to the virtual Awards Announcement with Mintz, to be held on April 6, 2022. Following the presentation of awards, winners will be invited to deliver a 4-minute presentation.  

D. Incubation of Award Winners at M2D2

Upon selection of the applicants receiving awards, each applicant will negotiate with M2D2 and the appropriate Program Sponsors to define the terms of incubation including the specific in-kind services to be provided and the requirements for such.

IV. Selection and Judging Criteria:

Company will be evaluated based on its chance for market success. The following categories will be used in evaluating the Company.

-Unmet need
-Area(s) of focus
-Proposed solution

-Clinical status

-Market status

-Regulatory pathway and status

-Competitive Advantage
-Management team
-Funding Requirements and Financial Forecast
-Business Plan
-Level of interest expressed in interacting with M2D2 and program sponsors

V. Legal Documentation Required:

The below documents should be available upon request: 

Articles or Certificate of Incorporation (corporation) or Articles of Organization (limited liability company) or Articles of Limited Partnership, or similar publicly filed organic documents. 

By-laws (corporation), Partnership Agreement, or Operating Agreement (limited liability company).           

Certificate(s) of good standing from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and, if applicable, from state or country of organization. 

Redacted License Agreements, where applicable, noting Company’s IP rights. 

VI. Prizes: 

The $200K Challenge will award up to $200,000 of in-kind medical device, diagnostic and biotech development services from the Program Sponsors. This may include and be in the form of: general services, legal services, design services, regulatory services, and reimbursement services. Typically, 4 to 8 awards are made per year.


Final Scoring, selections, and award(s) are made at the sole discretion of the Panel of Reviewers.

VII. Disclosure of Information:

No promise of confidentiality, non-competition or non-disclosure is made by the University of Massachusetts, Reviewers, and Sponsors. Any company submitting information for consideration in this competition acknowledges that its information may be made public, and that any presentations may be open to any interested parties, including the general public. 

VIII. Limitation of Liability:

Applicant releases the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Amgen, Asahi Intecc,  Hologic, Kohler, MPR Product Development, Mintz, RQMIS Inc., Sarepta Therapeutics,  Deshpande Foundation and Argenta Advisors, and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, reviewers, sponsors, and all award suppliers from any and all liability for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind resulting from acceptance, possession, or use of any award or participation in this competition, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

Applicant agrees to indemnify the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Amgen, Asahi Intecc,  Hologic, Kohler, MPR Product Development, Mintz, RQMIS Inc., Sarepta Therapeutics,  Deshpande Foundation and Argenta Advisors, and their respective sponsors, reviewers, agents or employees against any claim that Company’s involvement violated any rules or regulations of the U.S. or any other country as a result of Company's participation.

Applicant or individual is solely responsible for compliance with any laws, rules and regulations that may be applicable to participation in the competition or to any awards received.

Applicant or individual is solely responsible for all (both U.S. and non-U.S.) taxes, withholdings or other governmental assessments that might be applicable as a result of participating in this competition.

IX. Governing Law:

The parties agree that this Competition shall be governed, construed, interpreted, and enforced according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.