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$100k New Ventures Competition 2020

Medical Devices & Life Science Finalists & Judges

Cellens - 1st place & recipient of the Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize

Team Members: Srushti Acharekar (EG20), Nathaniel Niemiec (A20), Jean Phuong Pham (EG21), Jonas Pirkl (EG20), Igor Sokolov (School of Engineering Faculty), Fiona Xueying Wang (EG20)

Description: How do we monitor bladder cancer? Current clinical methods are painful, provide low clinical accuracy, and have hardly evolved in decades. Cellens, a Tufts University spinout startup, develops a high-performing, efficient cell surface scanning technology platform for bladder cancer diagnostics. The core technology leverages the power of atomic force microscopy imaging and machine learning modeling. There are two main applications for our technology. First, we are developing a clinical non-invasive urine-based cancer monitoring test for bladder cancer survivors. Second, we provide a laboratory-developed test (LDT) for biotech and pharmaceutical companies that want to use this test for R&D purposes.

Send an email to Cellens.


Notemeal - Recipient of Cummings Properties rent credit

Team Members: Sean Harrington (A10), Kevin Kusch

Description: Notemeal is a software platform built to optimize athlete nutrition. Leveraging modern web technologies, Notemeal centralizes and automates the workflow of the performance dietitian, enabling them to efficiently deliver educational nutrition content through the Notemeal mobile app to the athlete. Notemeal works with teams and athletes across the NCAA, NFL, MLB, Military and Olympic levels of performance, providing a competitive edge. Both of Notemeal's technical founders previously managed the Software and Analytics teams, respectively, for the New England Patriots through 2 Super Bowl championships, leaving their posts in April 2019 to found Notemeal.

Send an email to Notemeal.


Indent Therapeutics

Team MembersBenjamin Chan (D10, DG13, Tufts School of Dental Medicine Clinical Instructor), Behzad Gerami-Naini (F12), Avi Smith (S10, EG18)

Description: Our mission is to create a new platform for patient treatment by utilizing the stem cells found in teeth. Millions of teeth are extracted and discarded annually, while the cells inside have the potential to treat an array of conditions from acute trauma to neurological disorders. We have developed a proprietary process to convert dental stem cells into nerve cells to create products capable of reducing damage during trauma, and healing broken neural connections. Our first goal is to apply this technology to repair and regenerate damaged nerves in patients with spinal cord injuries.

Send an email to Indent Therapeutics.


NanoScience Solutions, LLC

Team Members: Yuri Liburkin, Berney Peng, Igor Sokolov (School of Engineering Faculty)

Description: NanoScience Solutions team has developed the brightest ever created fluorescent nanoparticles, called Star-dots, which are 1000 times brighter than the nearest commercial rival, quantum dots. Star-dots will allow for breakthroughs in multiple areas of biomedical imaging and diagnosis. Our initial focus is the $7B market of consumables for flow cytometry, the technology used for disease detection and drug discovery. Star-dots will dramatically increase the speed of detection and sensitivity of flow cytometry. This niche has been verified via discussions with the leading experts in flow cytometry.

Send an email to NanoScience Solutions, LLC.



Team Members: Ashish Kumar (EG20), Puneet Tripathi (EG20)

Description: Each year, coaches handle over 600,000 injuries in contact sports alone. Lactic acid concentration is one of the most predictive measures of performance and injuries. Yet, current lactic acid tests are time-consuming, offer limited performance insights during training, and offer few, if any, predictive analytics around injuries. THREADLetics offers SMART Patch — a revolutionary blood-free, wearable, and continuous lactic acid monitor. For coaches of college endurance sports, who want confidence in their training and game-day plans, SMART Patch provides real-time, lactate monitoring. Unlike other diagnostic equipment, we provide early-warning injury detection and prevention.

Send an email to THREADLetics.

Medical Devices & Life Science Judges

Jay Benson

Jay Benson is Vice President and Head of Massachusetts Biologics Operations with Takeda in Lexington, MA. He has been with Takeda since 2017 and has responsibility for commercial and clinical-stage biologics manufacturing across three sites in Massachusetts. Prior to joining Takeda, Jay spent 11 years with Bayer in the San Francisco Bay Area as the Head of Global Biotech Strategy among other roles. Over the course of his 27-year career in the biopharmaceutical industry, he has also held positions with Merck, Covance, and Sigma Aldrich. Jay holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.


Karen Cassel

As a digital marketing pioneer and start-up veteran, Karen has been leading and scaling digital marketing services companies for over 20 years. While CEO of, Karen transformed the company into the #2 senior care referral business in the nation and led it through two successful exits. Other roles include leadership positions at social media giant Tagged, as well as digital marketing companies QuinStreet, Exponential Interactive, and Focus Media, where she led the turnaround and sale to Ziff Davis Media. Karen earned her MBA from Stanford University’s GSB and a BS in Mathematics and Quantitative Economics from Tufts University.


Bruce Cohen

Bruce Cohen currently serves as an Advisor with Xeraya Capital, the life sciences investment unit of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, Executive Chair of Asepticys, and Acting CEO of Statim Pharmaceuticals.   Previously, he was the founding President and CEO of Acacia Biosciences, Cellerant Therapeutics, and VitaPath Genetics.  Bruce also served as CFO at GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals and held senior positions in business unit management at Sequus Pharmaceuticals and at Baxter.  He was the President of ViTel International, an electronic messaging company, served as a management consultant with Monitor Company and was a member of the founding team of the Tufts Veterinary School.  Bruce holds a BA and MA from Tufts University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Mike Doyle

Mike Doyle joined COTA as president and CEO in 2018 from QPID Health, where he served as president and CEO from 2012 to 2018. He has spent most of the past three decades as a CEO—much of that time in organizations that operate at the intersection of healthcare and technology to improve patient outcomes while reducing the cost of care. Mike is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). He holds a BS in Biology from Tufts University and an MBA in hospital administration and finance from the University of Chicago, where he was a Kaiser Fellow.


Amy Siegel

Amy Siegel is the co-founder of S2N Health, a strategy consulting firm partnering with healthcare technology innovators to realize the value and impact of their innovations. Since its founding in 2011, S2N Health has worked with >100 clients, from start-ups to multinationals and global health organizations, bringing critical strategic insights & analytics into key product, commercial and corporate decisions. Amy's 20+ years of healthcare strategy experience includes VP of Marketing roles in two emerging med-tech companies and 10 years of management consulting with Health Advances and Monitor Company. Prior to entering the healthcare space, Amy was a loan officer and policy analyst with the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Amy earned her BA from Tufts University (1988) and MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (1992).