LabCentral Announces Harmony and Nanopath as Winners of LabCentral Ignite Golden Tickets
December 22, 2021
Start-ups with founders from underrepresented groups recognized for the quality and potential impact of their science on infant nutrition and diagnostics for women’s health
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – December 22, 2021 – LabCentral – with key support from AbbVie – today announced that Harmony and Nanopath were awarded the inaugural LabCentral Ignite Golden Tickets at a virtual pitch event earlier this month. The LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket is one of many LabCentral Ignite programs that aim to advance life sciences innovation by making the biotechnology industry more inclusive and equitable.
As part of that effort, the Ignite Golden Ticket program supports promising entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups that have historically been left out of the life sciences entrepreneurship through access and support from the LabCentral ecosystem, including covering the cost of a lab bench and scientist at LabCentral along with mentorship, support and access to LabCentral’s network and resources for one year. The winning companies include:
Harmony is a food science company applying cutting-edge biotechnology to create the next generation of infant formula using proteins that are bioidentical to those in human breast milk. Harmony is the only dairy-free, allergy-free and environmentally friendly baby food that mirrors breast milk.
“We are super excited to be selected for LabCentral’s Ignite Golden Ticket. Together, Harmony can utilize LabCentral’s resources to have an even greater impact on babies and parents everywhere and set the new standard for infant nutrition and care,” said Del Afonso, founder and CEO of Harmony.
Nanopath is working to develop point-of-care molecular diagnostics for women. The women’s health space has been consistently overlooked by deep technology innovation. We aim to provide a rapid and comprehensive picture of viral and bacterial infection status within a single office visit, empowering both the patient and the provider. Our proprietary molecular diagnostic technology harnesses advances in bioengineering and nanotechnology to sensitively and specifically detect viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens without the need for nucleic acid amplification. To extend our impact, we plan to intentionally design and proactively deploy our technology for use in underserved communities around the world.
"We are so thankful for this award and to be a part of LabCentral Ignite's multifaceted program to expand diversity, equity and inclusion in biotech. Our experience at LabCentral has been instrumental to our company growth, especially in connecting us with a network of peer founders and mentors. This award will directly support the work of our growing team to translate our molecular diagnostics technology for the health of women. Many thanks to the wonderful LabCentral Ignite team as well as the folks from AbbVie for their sponsorship," said Amogha Tadimety, PhD, cofounder and CEO, and Alison Burklund, PhD, cofounder and CTO.
“The Golden Ticket award has been an exciting opportunity for Ignite to fuel inclusive change in a tangible way. Our winners are examples of underrepresented founder-led companies in biotech that are addressing problems linked to women’s (and babies!) health and welfare that are often overlooked. Their work has real-world consequences, and I’m proud that LabCentral Ignite can elevate their work with lab space, coaching and resources for the year ahead,” said Gretchen Cook-Anderson, executive director of LabCentral Ignite.
The LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket winners were selected after presenting their science to an esteemed selection committee of industry experts, including:
Chad Womack, Ph.D – STEM Programs & Initiatives, UNCF
Maria Lopez-Bresnahan, MD, MBA, FAAN – Board Member, Latinos in Bio
Jo Viney, Ph.D – Co-founder, President and CEO, Seismic Therapeutics
Stanley King II, Ph.D – Director of Investments, 3CC
Johannes Fruehauf, Ph.D, MD – Co-founder and president of LabCentral
Jasmina Marjanovic, Ph.D – Director, AbbVie Ventures
A private, non-profit institution, LabCentral was founded in 2013 as a launchpad for high potential life-sciences and biotech startups. Operating a total of 150,000 square-feet in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., LabCentral offers fully permitted laboratory and office space for as many as 76 startups comprising approximately 600 scientists and entrepreneurs. More information is available at www.labcentral.org.