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Start Date

January 16, 2024

Deadline (End Date)

March 31, 2024


Applications Being Accepted Now Through March 31.

CNY Biotech Accelerator’s (CNYBAC) Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) is a 6-month program mentoring 5 early-to-mid stage start-up companies each year. The MDIC serves as a complementary and collaborative initiative to assist teams in preparation for biotech-related incubation programs and streamline their process by providing mentorship, resources and connections. Teams may participate virtually from anywhere in the US.

To date, 37 teams have participated in MDIC and have achieved impressive milestones during and upon graduation:
Graduate MDIC Team Milestones

MDIC program creator and CNYBAC Executive Director, Kathi Durdon, provides more information about the program during a WCNY interview.

MDIC Applications are accepted through March 31 each year and are reviewed through a due diligence process performed by The Innovation Law Center, College of Law, Syracuse University.  Teams are selected in June by the MDIC Review Committee.  The mentorship program starts August 1 with teams receiving commercialization research in advance of program through the Innovation Law Center.  You may participate virtually or on-site.  If on-site we provide free work space within the CNYBAC Creation Garage.  All selected teams can utilize this facility at any point during the program.

CNYBAC Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) Two-step Application Process

Step 1:  Confirm eligibility/Apply

To be eligible to apply, you have an early stage medical device you plan to commercialize or license/sell your technology and:

  • You are a US-based innovation team/startup company.
  • Are in early-to-mid stage development of a medical device per FDA medical device definition.
  • Your innovation is reduced to practice and you are able to apply for a patent, have a provisional patent filed, or patent approved.
  • You know your FDA device classification and regulatory pathway or intend to include this as a goal within the program if selected.
  • You have completed an I-Corps customer discovery program or intend to do this during the program.
  • You have not disclosed information about your innovation, such as through a presentation or publication prior to patent filing.
  • Agree to meet the requirements of the program:  attend all monthly mentor meetings, actively participate in progressing through your Project Plan goals, and attend CNYBAC virtual education events (most are recorded/you can access at your convenience).
  • Prior year applicants not selected are welcome to apply.
  • This program does not provide direct funding to teams. The goals of this program are to help teams develop a strategic plan for product development and regulatory submission pathway. If you are seeking investment, you are likely at a later stage than is applicable for inclusion in the program.
  • If you meet the eligibility, complete an MDIC Application.

Step 2:  Complete Innovation Law Center (ILC) Application Review Form

  • The Innovation Law Center will send to those who have fully completed the MDIC Application a second, more detailed Application Review Form.
  • Only those applicants who have completed the ILC Application Review Form will be considered for MDIC selection.

Program details:

Graduate Comments about the program:

“We are so grateful for the help that MDIC has provided to us. They introduced us to Syracuse University – where we worked both with the biomedical engineers in the Capstone program on the redesign of the prototype and with the Law Department on patent review. They introduced us to investors. They provided invaluable feedback and advice.  We are incredibly lucky that we got accepted into the program and recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone in the early stages of developing their medical device.”  Katya Sverdlov, CFA, Esq., Co-founder, CEO, JelikaLite (2021 Graduate)

“MDIC provided a diligent and highly accomplished interdisciplinary team of industry professionals who provided the needed mentorship, connections, and perspective to help my company accelerate its growth and development. Time and time again, these mentors have been invaluable to our success and I offer my most enthusiastic support for this incredible program.”  Longsha Liu, CEO & Co-founder, Vita Innovations (2020 Graduate)

“Wow, the resources and knowledge we gained through the MDIC program were extremely valuable! Access to the clinicians at the Upstate University Hospital gave us so many insights into new pathways for our product. Our investment and participation in the MDIC program have given back to us 10 fold!”
Dwight Cheu, CEO, ZEPHYRx (2019 Graduate)

“MDIC brought together a team of knowledgeable mentors who provided valuable advice and connections. The process has helped us think through the challenges ahead and prepare for our next stage of development.”  Ted Eveleth, CEO, Halomine (2019 Graduate)

“The connections to universities and organizations in the central New York area and beyond has been invaluable for us. The program helps us be capital efficient while making a lot of progress. We’ve also connected with engineering/produce development and regulatory mentors throughout the program, which has enabled us to make a ton of progress in a relatively short period of time. I couldn’t recommend the MDIC program enough.”
Souvik Paul, CEO, Aurie (formerly CathBuddy, 2019 Graduate)