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WIB-Chicago: Standing Room Only at the Women In Bio Fifth Annual Start-Up Challenge! September 18, 2019

Posted By Shahila Christie, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

On September 18, 2019, Women In Bio-Chicago invited female entrepreneurs, investors, and life science professionals to our 5th Annual Start-Up Challenge hosted at MATTER, Chicago’s health tech hub. Six finalists from women-led Illinois biotech companies were chosen from a pool of applicants and these finalists pitched to a panel of experts and a packed audience. The presenting companies included:

  • Sano Seat: providing a solution to patients with mobility issues that face painful and costly pressure ulcers.
  • Hubly: focused on modernizing bedside intracranial access through an integrated electric drill system that decreases operating room reliance and facilitates treatment for emerging indications.
  • Prenatal Hope: providing hope for families through reducing infant mortality with biomedical innovations. 
  • Enzyme by Design, Inc: developing safer cancer therapeutics that improves patient quality of life. 
  • Curto TechTM, LLC: develops low-cost, low-tech, and low-hassle endoscopic accessory to improve colonoscopy procedural safety and efficiency. 
  • ClostraBio: creating therapies to treat severe food allergies. 


The presentations were of high quality and after much deliberation, our panel selected Prenatal Hope as the winner of the Challenge. Founder Tammy Dorsey accepted the award. After the pitches, lively discussions and networking continued while the audience enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and drinks. 

This pitch competition is one of its kind in the Chicagoland area focused on promoting women-led companies and judged by a panel of women experts including investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators. 

Special thanks go to our lead sponsors Horizon Pharma, Marshall Gerstein, and MATTER for supporting this event. In addition to our amazing sponsors we would also like to thanks our expert panel for their time: Shradha Agarwal (Jumpstart Ventures), Kristin Fox (Co-founder, FinFoundHer), Nancy Harvey (BioPharma Industry Consultant), Dima Elissa (Entrepreneur, VisMed-3D), and Laura Bloem (UICenter, University of Illinois at Chicago). 

Tags:  2019 

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