MIT Future Founders Initiative announces prize competition to promote female entrepreneurs in biotech

Nine MIT researchers selected as finalists for 2021 prize supported by Northpond Ventures; grand prize winner to receive $250K toward commercializing her human health-related invention.

Women in STEM, Startups, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E), Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Contests and academic competitions, Biological engineering, Biology, Brain and cognitive sciences, Chemical engineering, Civil and environmental engineering, DMSE, Mechanical engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), Koch Institute, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, McGovern Institute, Media Lab, Picower Institute, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Bioengineering and biotechnology, Funding, Women, Venture capital, Investing, School of Engineering, School of Science, Sloan School of Management, School of Architecture and Planning, boot camp, research, in an interview, March/April 2021 MIT Faculty Newsletter, Northpond Ventures, Climate Tech and Energy Prize, Bill Aulet, Sangeeta Bhatia, Kit Hickey, Susan Hockfield, Harvey Lodish, Fiona Murray, Amy Schulman, Nandita Shangari, Polina Anikeeva, Natalie Artzi, Laurie A. Boyer, Tal Cohen, Canan Dagdeviren, Ariel Furst, Kristin Knouse, Elly Nedivi, Ellen Roche

Top row, left to right: Polina Anikeeva, Natalie Artzi, Laurie Boyer, Tal Cohen, and Canan Dagdeviren. Bottom row, left to right: Ariel Furst, Kristin Knouse, Elly Nedivi, and Ellen Roche.

In a fitting sequel to its entrepreneurship “boot camp” educational lecture series last fall, the MIT Future Founders Initiative has announced the MIT Future Founders Prize Competition, supported by Northpond Ventures, and named the MIT faculty cohort that will participate in this year’s competition. The Future Founders Initiative was established in 2020 to promote female entrepreneurship in biotech.

Despite increasing representation at MIT, female science and engineering faculty found biotech startups at a disproportionately low rate compared with their male colleagues, according to research led by the initiative’s founders, MIT Professor Sangeeta Bhatia, MIT Professor and President Emerita Susan Hockfield, and MIT Amgen Professor of Biology Emerita Nancy Hopkins. In addition to highlighting systemic gender imbalances in the biotech pipeline, the initiative’s founders emphasize that the dearth of female biotech entrepreneurs represents lost opportunities for society as a whole — a bottleneck in the proliferation of publicly accessible medical and technological innovation.

“A very common myth is that representation of women in the pipeline is getting better with time … We can now look at the data … and simply say, ‘that’s not true’,” said Bhatia, who is the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, in an interview for the March/April 2021 MIT Faculty Newsletter. “We need new solutions. This isn’t just about waiting and being optimistic.”

Inspired by generous funding from Northpond Labs, the research and development-focused affiliate of Northpond Ventures, and by the success of other MIT prize incentive competitions such as the Climate Tech and Energy Prize, the Future Founders Initiative Prize Competition will be structured as a learning cohort in which participants will be supported in commercializing their existing inventions with instruction in market assessments, fundraising, and business capitalization, as well as other programming. The program, which is being run as a partnership between the MIT School of Engineering and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, provides hands-on opportunities to learn from industry leaders about their experiences, ranging from licensing technology to creating early startup companies. Bhatia and Kit Hickey, an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Martin Trust Center and senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, are co-directors of the program.

“The competition is an extraordinary effort to increase the number of female faculty who translate their research and ideas into real-world applications through entrepreneurship,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “Our hope is that this likewise serves as an opportunity for participants to gain exposure and experience to the many ways in which they could achieve commercial impact through their research.”

At the end of the program, the cohort members will pitch their ideas to a selection committee composed of MIT faculty, biotech founders, and venture capitalists. The grand prize winner will receive $250,000 in discretionary funds, and two runners-up will receive $100,000. The winners will be announced at a showcase event, at which the entire cohort will present their work. All participants will also receive a $10,000 stipend for participating in the competition.

“The biggest payoff is not identifying the winner of the competition,” says Bhatia. “Really, what we are doing is creating a cohort … and then, at the end, we want to create a lot of visibility for these women and make them ‘top of mind’ in the community.”

The Selection Committee members for the MIT Future Founders Prize Competition are:

  • Bill Aulet, professor of the practice in the MIT Sloan School of Management and managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
  • Sangeeta Bhatia, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT; a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science; and founder of Hepregen, Glympse Bio, and Satellite Bio
  • Kit Hickey, senior lecturer in the MIT Sloan School of Management and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Martin Trust Center
  • Susan Hockfield, MIT president emerita and professor of neuroscience
  • Andrea Jackson, director at Northpond Ventures
  • Harvey Lodish, professor of biology and biomedical engineering at MIT and founder of Genzyme, Millennium, and Rubius
  • Fiona Murray, associate dean for innovation and inclusion in the MIT Sloan School of Management; the William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship; co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative; and faculty director of the MIT Legatum Center
  • Amy Schulman, founding CEO of Lyndra Therapeutics and partner at Polaris Partners
  • Nandita Shangari, managing director at Novartis Venture Fund

“As an investment firm dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs, we are acutely aware of the limited number of companies founded and led by women in academia. We believe humanity should be benefiting from brilliant ideas and scientific breakthroughs from women in science, which could address many of the world’s most pressing problems. Together with MIT, we are providing an opportunity for women faculty members to enhance their visibility and gain access to the venture capital ecosystem,” says Andrea Jackson, director at Northpond Ventures.

“This first cohort is representative of the unrealized opportunity this program is designed to capture. While it will take a while to build a robust community of connections and role models, I am pleased and confident this program will make entrepreneurship more accessible and inclusive to our community, which will greatly benefit society,” says Susan Hockfield, MIT president emerita.

The MIT Future Founders Prize Competition cohort members were selected from schools across MIT, including the School of Science, the School of Engineering, and Media Lab within the School of Architecture and Planning. They are:

Polina Anikeeva is professor of materials science and engineering and brain and cognitive sciences, an associate member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the associate director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics. She is particularly interested in advancing the possibility of future neuroprosthetics, through biologically-informed materials synthesis, modeling, and device fabrication. Anikeeva earned her BS in biophysics from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University and her PhD in materials science and engineering from MIT.

Natalie Artzi is principal research scientist in the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science and an assistant professor in the department of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Through the development of smart materials and medical devices, her research seeks to “personalize” medical interventions based on the specific presentation of diseased tissue in a given patient. She earned both her BS and PhD in chemical engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Laurie A. Boyer is professor of biology and biological engineering in the Department of Biology. By studying how diverse molecular programs cross-talk to regulate the developing heart, she seeks to develop new therapies that can help repair cardiac tissue. She earned her BS in biomedical science from Framingham State University and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Tal Cohen is associate professor in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. She wields her understanding of how materials behave when they are pushed to their extremes to tackle engineering challenges in medicine and industry. She earned her BS, MS, and PhD in aerospace engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Canan Dagdeviren is assistant professor of media arts and sciences and the LG Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences. Her research focus is on creating new sensing, energy harvesting, and actuation devices that can be stretched, wrapped, folded, twisted, and implanted onto the human body while maintaining optimal performance. She earned her BS in physics engineering from Hacettepe University, her MS in materials science and engineering from Sabanci University, and her PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ariel Furst is the Raymond (1921) & Helen St. Laurent Career Development Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Her research addresses challenges in global health and sustainability, utilizing electrochemical methods and biomaterials engineering. She is particularly interested in new technologies that detect and treat disease. Furst earned her BS in chemistry at the University of Chicago and her PhD at Caltech.

Kristin Knouse is assistant professor in the Department of Biology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. She develops tools to investigate the molecular regulation of organ injury and regeneration directly within a living organism with the goal of uncovering novel therapeutic avenues for diverse diseases. She earned her BS in biology from Duke University, her PhD and MD through the Harvard and MIT MD-PhD program.

Elly Nedivi is the William R. (1964) & Linda R. Young Professor of Neuroscience at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory with joint appointments in the departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Biology. Through her research of neurons, genes, and proteins, Nedivi focuses on elucidating the cellular mechanisms that control plasticity in both the developing and adult brain. She earned her BS in biology from Hebrew University and her PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University.

Ellen Roche is associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute of Medical Engineering and Science, and the W.M. Keck Career Development Professor in Biomedical Engineering. Borrowing principles and design forms she observes in nature, Roche works to develop implantable therapeutic devices that assist cardiac and other biological function. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the National University of Ireland at Galway, her MS in bioengineering from Trinity College Dublin, and her PhD from Harvard University.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Met apologises to woman for ‘sexist, derogatory' language in strip-search

Force pays compensation to Dr Konstancja Duff for language used after CCTV captures officers’ comments The Metropolitan police has apologised and paid compensation to an academic for “sexist, derogatory and ... Read more »

ITV Revamps Pre-9pm Schedule: Extends Evening News, Moves Soaps Back-to-Back

U.K. broadcaster ITV is making key changes to its pre-9pm schedule, including extending the evening news and putting its two biggest soaps, “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale,” back to back. Presented ... Read more »

Porsche's new infotainment system now features full Spotify integration

Porsche is rolling out a new sixth-generation infotainment system to many of its core models as its cars become more connected. The system, known as Porsche Communication Management (PCM) has ... Read more »

The Earth's core is cooling surprisingly fast, scientists say – and it could tell us how our planet dies

(Getty Images) The Earth’s core is cooling more quickly than we realised, scientists have found – and the discovery could have important implications for the future of our planet. The ... Read more »

The best VPN services to protect your privacy in 2022

We may receive commission from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change. There are dozens of VPN services out there. Choose any of ... Read more »

Mars reflections that suggested there is water on surface of red planet may be just an illusion, scientists say

© Independent Breaking News Sparkling reflections on Mars that led to hopes of water on the planet might actually have just been an illusion, scientists have said. In 2018, researchers ... Read more »

Scientists are closely watching an Omicron subtype spreading in Denmark, the UK, Singapore and India

BA.2 is harder to detect on lab tests than BA.1.Leon Neal/Getty Images Scientists worldwide are closely tracking an Omicron subtype, called BA.2. In Denmark BA.2 is surpassing the BA.1 Omicron ... Read more »

The James Webb Space Telescope glides to its deep-space parking spot today! How to follow it online.

© Provided by Space An artist’s depiction of the fully deployed James Webb Space Telescope completing its final burn to reach orbit around L2. Today’s the day: Nearly a month ... Read more »

40 quintillion stellar-mass black holes are lurking in the universe, new study finds

© Provided by Space An illustration of a black hole and its event horizon. Scientists have estimated the number of “small” black holes in the universe. And no surprise: It’s ... Read more »

Coronation Street and Emmerdale set to move to new timeslots

Corrie and Emmerdale to get a schedule revamp from March 2022 credit:Bang Showbiz 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' are set to move to new timeslots. The ITV soap operas will undergo ... Read more »

COVID travel tests to be scrapped for double jabbed arrivals, Boris Johnson announces

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wears a face mask during a visit to Milton Keynes University Hospital in Buckinghamshire. Picture date: Monday January 24, 2022. Boris Johnson has said changes to ... Read more »

Tory MP Stuns People By Declaring Islamophobia Can Only Impact 'Obvious' Muslims

Tory MP Michael Fabricant waded into the Islamophobia row on Sunday (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images) Michael Fabricant lashed out at his Tory colleague Nusrat Ghani over her ... Read more »

Christopher Biggins on surprising Judi Dench with an incredible special guest

Legendary performer Christopher Biggins relives the moment he shocked Judi Dench by revealing a surprise special guest in her dressing room. White Wine Question Time with Kate Thornton is the ... Read more »

Woman who only buys second-hand shares her thrifting tips

Josie Barnes is using her flair for fashion to help save the planet by buying secondhand clothes. (Collect/PA Real Life) A woman who only buys second-hand in order to help ... Read more »

We can end 'emergency phase' of COVID in 2022, says World Health Organisation

The WHO has warned that Covid should not be treated ilke flu. (Stock image: Getty) The World Health Organisation has said it hopes to be able to end the “emergency ... Read more »

Strictly Come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis snapped holding hands with co-star

Rose Ayling-Ellis has been loving the Strictly Come Dancing tour so far, but a recent snap revealed that the dance show had proved too much for the EastEnders actress and ... Read more »

Emma Thompson talks about the ‘challenge' of shooting full-frontal nude scenes ‘at the age that I am'

Emma Thompson has opened up the “difficulty” of shooting nude scenes “at the age that I am”. The 62-year-old spoke about rehearsing “entirely nude” and filming a full-frontal scene for ... Read more »

Boeing sinks more money into electric air taxi project it’s co-developing with Kitty Hawk

Wisk Aero, the electric air taxi startup, raised $450 million from Boeing in a new funding round that it claims will make it “one of the most well-funded [advanced air ... Read more »

Tonga underwater volcanic eruption unleashed explosive forces equivalent to up to 30 MILLION tonnes of TNT – hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, NASA reveals

Tonga eruption unleashed explosive forces that dwarfed the power of HiroshimaAtomic bomb dropped on Japanese city in WW2 was about 15,000 tonnes of TNTIn comparison this month's eruption released up to 30 million tonnes over Tonga Read more »

Evan Rachel Wood says Marilyn Manson 'essentially raped' her while filming 2007 music video

Evan Rachel Wood.Todd Williamson/Getty Images Evan Rachel Wood said Marilyn Manson “essentially raped” her when they filmed a music video together in 2007. She said she was told there would ... Read more »

Recreational drones banned in United Arab Emirates after oil facility attack

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned the flying of consumer drones by hobbyists. The news comes after a suspected drone attack hit an oil facility and airport in the ... Read more »

Swimmers stranded as large great white shark lurks around popular diving spot

Swimmers stranded as large great white shark lurks around popular diving spot Read more »

Martina Navratilova slams 'cowardly' Australian Open for banning Peng Shuai solidarity T-shirts

Martina Navratilova brands ‘cowardly’ Australian Open for banning Peng Shuai solidarity T-shirts – Reuters Martina Navratilova said Australian Open organisers had acted “cowardly” by preventing fans from wearing shirts bearing ... Read more »

Dental care startup Smiles.ai raises $23 million Series A from Alpha Wave, others

Representative image. Smiles.ai, an online platform for dental treatments, on January 24 said that it has raised $23 million in a Series A round, led by Alpha Wave Incubation (Falcon ... Read more »

Our Ticket to Interstellar Space Is a Shiny, Ultra-Thin Metallic Blanket

NASA Two-and-a-half years ago, a tiny spacecraft soared into the sky aboard a Space X rocket blasting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Settling into an orbit 426 miles ... Read more »

Xbox series X stock - live: Argos and EE restocks are available this morning – how to get one

We’re expecting more retailers to restock the Xbox in the UK soon (iStock/The Independent) Update: The Xbox series X is in stock at Argos and for EE customers. Read on ... Read more »

First picture of 'funny and quiet' teen, 16, stabbed to death in Manchester

Kennie Carter, 16, died after he was stabbed in Stretford, Greater Manchester. (Reach) This is the first picture of a 16-year-old boy described as a “beautiful young soul”, who died ... Read more »

Call the Midwife: viewers all have same complaint about episode four

The BBC's popular period drama, Call the Midwife, continued on Sunday night with its fourth episode of the new series – and viewers all had the same complaint. MORE: This ... Read more »

Yakuza director announces new studio after leaving Sega

Toshihiro Nagoshi, former chief creative officer at Sega, where he led development of the Yakuza series as general director of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, has announced his next move. He’s ... Read more »

Ola Electric raises over $200 million at valuation of $5 billion from Tekne Private Ventures, Edelweiss, others

Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal. Ola Electric has raised over $200 million at a valuation of $5 billion from Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, Edelweiss, and others. The SoftBank-backed company ... Read more »

Deputy PM: Very significant risk of Russia invading Ukraine

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab says there is a “very significant risk” that Russia will mount an invasion of Ukraine and insists that the UK, along with allies will impose ... Read more »

Protestors march against NHS staff vaccine mandate

Protestors have taken to the streets in central London to march against the government’s mandatory vaccine policy for NHS staff which is set to come into force on 1st April. ... Read more »

Stars eulogize 'Bat Out of Hell' rocker Meat Loaf

Incomparable rock star Meat Loaf, whose 1977 debut “Bat Out of Hell” remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, has died, his family said in a statement released ... Read more »

Delaware Police Lift SUV to Rescue 70-Year-Old Woman Pinned Underneath

Officers with the New Castle County Police lifted an SUV to free a 70-year-old woman who was trapped underneath the vehicle on January 19. Police said they found the woman ... Read more »

Odds on: Who could replace Boris Johnson?

Boris Johnson is clinging to his premiership as allegations of Covid rule-breaking pile up. But if he goes, which Conservative MPs will throw their hats into a leadership race and ... Read more »

New Zealand PM cancels wedding amid new restrictions

New Zealand will impose mask rules and limit gathering from midnight on Sunday after a cluster of nine COVID-19 Omicron cases showed community spread from the North to South islands ... Read more »

Swiggy raises $700 million at $10.7 billion valuation as rival Zomato sees intense selloff

Representative Image Food and grocery delivery platform Swiggy has raised $700 million at a valuation of $10.7 billion, doubling its valuation in six months, even as stocks of publicly listed ... Read more »

Emmerdale stars Max Parker and Kris Mochrie announce engagement

Emmerdale stars Max Parker and Kris Mochrie have confirmed they are engaged. The actors announced their engagement with a series of photos on Instagram. “He deserved the world, but the ... Read more »

Royal Navy seizes a tonne of drugs worth £15m in Gulf of Oman

More than one tonne of drugs worth more than £15m has been seized by the Royal Navy in its first bust of the year. (SWNS) Drugs weighing over a tonne ... Read more »

Foreign trawlers 'napalming' Channel by dumping tons of fish back into water

Screengrabs from the video showing the Dutch fly-shooter cutting open a net and dumping thousands of fish last month Foreign trawlers are dumping fish in the Channel as the Government ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic