New Orleans BioInnovation Center fuels accessible and equitable health security with relaunch of BioChallenge pitch competition

NEW ORLEANS (April 23, 2024) – The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC) is excited to announce the relaunch of the annual BioChallenge pitch competition to be held Oct. 31, 2024. The competition invites entrepreneurs and startups to showcase their groundbreaking ideas and technologies, positioning them for success in bringing to market the next generation of health security solutions. The challenge is poised to ignite biotech innovation and enhance equitable and accessible preparedness and response in New Orleans and beyond.

As a member of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Accelerator Network since 2018, NOBIC is excited to focus this year’s challenge around the mission to develop medical countermeasures that address the public health and medical consequences of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) accidents, incidents and attacks, pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases.

“We are thrilled to launch the 2024 BioChallenge, a NOBIC signature event that has produced many local and national success stories. This year, we are especially excited to see the innovative solutions focusing on access and equity that our finalists will bring to the forefront,” said Kris Khalil, executive director, New Orleans BioInnovation Center and managing director, BioFund.

“The BioChallenge is not just a competition; it’s a platform for breakthrough ideas that have the potential to revolutionize our nation’s health security posture. We’re looking forward to showcasing the talent and ingenuity of our community,” said Patrick Norton, NOBIC board chair

The BioChallenge pitch competition will be held at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center in downtown New Orleans Oct. 31, 2024, following BIO on the BAYOU, an academic biotechnology research symposium.

Past winners of the BioChallenge include local biotech trailblazers such as Axosim, Junum, Obatala Sciences and BioAesthetics. This year’s winners’ total prize pool, supported by multiple stakeholders, is over $100,000 and growing.


About New Orleans BioInnovation Center: The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (“NOBIC”) is a nonprofit business incubator focused on advancing life science entrepreneurship and technology commercialization in Louisiana. The mission of NOBIC is to create a successful biotech ecosystem by providing emerging companies with customized commercialization services, premier facilities, and a comprehensive support network. Through relationships with research institutions, economic development organizations, and industry stakeholders, NOBIC helps its clients de-risk novel technologies, attract funding, and improve global health outcomes. For more information, visit

About BIO on the BAYOU: BIO on the BAYOU, the premier biotechnology conference for the broader Gulf South region spotlights cutting-edge biotech advancements from universities and start-ups located in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico. Notable presenters included Dr. Monica Embers of Tulane University, who discussed a new diagnostic platform for improved Lyme disease testing, and Dr. Michael Dunham of LSU Health New Orleans, who described his novel tumor margin device.  Multiple academic startups also presented, including BioAesthetics, Chosen Diagnostics, Informuta, and PainVox.