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3 Phoenix-based startups taking part in ‘Shark Tank’-style competition

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - APRIL 28: Swab samples taken from people with COVID-19 symptoms are placed on a tray to undergo a real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis at the biochemistry lab of Central Navy Hospital Dr. Pedro Mallo on April 28, 2020 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The hospital, which is treating COVID-19 patients, has capacity to process up to 36 swab samples a day. (Photo by Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Three Phoenix-based bioscience startup companies are currently competing on the BIO International World Stage.

A total of 30 companies worldwide were selected to participate in the Startup Stadium during BIO Digital Week, which is taking place virtually from Monday through Friday.

The bioscience startups are pitching their ideas in front of an international panel who may award venture capital, strategic partnerships and collaborative opportunities.

The panel is deeming which companies are the best in a similar way that a “Shark Tank” judge would, meaning they choose “winners” by actually investing in a startup instead of just crowning one as the victor.

The three Phoenix-based bioscience startups competing are BioMedical Sustainable Elastic Electronic Devices (BMSEED)​​, Equus Innovations and i-calQ.

BMSEED’s first product — the MicroElectrode Array Stretching Stimulating and Recording Equipment or “MEASSuRE” — is a research tool that helps develop treatments to mitigate damage after traumatic brain injuries.

“The product reproduces the biomechanical environment of cells during the injury and our stretchable electrodes allow the assessment of cell health and function,” BMSEED CEO Oliver Graudejus said in a press release.

“That’s where BMSEED technology comes in, making soft, flexible and stretchable electrodes. The next step is to use these electrodes inside the body, with the goal that the body doesn’t see the device as a foreign object and try to reject it.”

The company’s longterm goal of a neuromodulation brain implant has already landed BMSEED its first customer, the U.S. Army.

BMSEED headquarters are located in the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation at GateWay Community College.

Equus Innovations’ horse product is called RenoV​​ō.

It is an acellular, liquid allograft made of amnion and amniotic fluid designed to cover and protect tissues intended to cover and protect tissues.

“We’re taking century-old human medical science, applying current bioscience techniques, and using it as a next-generation clinical option for use in horses,” CEO Grant Senner said in the release.

“We saw a critical need (in equine health care) for a highly (effective), cost-effective, off-the-shelf product to bring truly regenerative medicine to this field.”

i-calQ’s is developing a new way for medical providers and patients to access telemedicine, which has vastly increased due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The company is trying to provide a new system in which basic tests can be performed at home and results can be sent directly from the patient’s phone to a pharmacy, which would then be processed and delivered by a drone.

However, at-home testing has not been approved yet.

“Longterm, you remove the need to go to urgent care and getting exposed to other sick people who are carrying a variety of different things,” CEO and founder Pamela J. Turbeville said in the release. “This will also protect your family with whom you live.”

i-calQ headquarters are located at GCU’s Canyon Ventures incubator.

“The importance of high-quality telemedicine has perhaps never been greater than it is now during Covid-19,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in the release.

“This technology can truly help revolutionize how we interact with healthcare providers. I-calQ is a true testament to the diverse innovation ecosystem housed in our city.”

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