The Center is excited to announce the four Louisiana life sciences startups selected to compete in the 2017 BioChallenge pitch competition on November 8 — read on to meet them:


Four Healthcare Entrepreneurs to Compete for Over $50,000 in 2017 BioChallenge

Pitch competition to feature startups in digital health, advanced imaging, and more


October 11, 2017 — The New Orleans BioInnovation Center announced today the four finalists in the 2017 BioChallenge pitch competition. This annual business challenge offers over $50,000 in cash and investment prizes to Louisiana life sciences startups. Four entrepreneurs will pitch in the free, public final event from 11:00am to 1:00pm on Wednesday, November 8. All based in New Orleans, the four finalist startups are:


  1. Every year, five million biopsy procedures are performed to diagnose cancer in the United States. One million of those patients need repeat procedures due to inadequate biopsy quality. Painful repeat procedures also delay life-saving treatments. Current biopsy quality assurance methods capture less than 1% of a total biopsy. Instapath has developed a solution that provides an exact picture of a whole biopsy at subcellular resolution within seconds to ensure the quality of biopsies. Instapath’s solution also reduces the time of biopsy procedures, enhances the overall workflow and supports remote evaluation.


  1. Obatala Sciences, Inc. is a tissue-engineering company that offers its core technology, Fat-on-a-Chip, as both a service and a kit. Fat-on-a-Chip is a 3-dimensional, human adipose tissue culture system that is marketed for disease modeling and drug discovery within the obesity/diabetes/metabolism pharmaceutical and academic sectors. This drug screening tool will help researchers to identify more efficacious lead compounds in human tissue and reduce the time, money, and efforts required for large-scale animal models.


  1. RDnote is a digital health company helps healthcare providers’ deliver quality care and receive compensation for effective, customized interventions with high-risk patients in the hospital and ambulatory setting.


  1. Ready Responders recruits, trains, and equips a network of full- and part-time EMTs and healthcare professionals to respond to the city’s 911 medical calls, working in partnership with local ambulance services. Utilizing a proprietary app & GPS technology to rapidly deploy its first responder network and telehealth technology supported by Board-certified emergency medicine providers, Ready Responders gives 911 patients the right care, at the right time and at the right place. Ready Responders also helps patients overcome the most prevalent barrier to care, transportation. The company aims to response times, direct patients to appropriate points of care, and reduce costly ambulance transports and use of overcrowded ERs.


In the final event at the Joy Theater, each company will present an eight-minute pitch to a panel of investors and industry expert judges. These judges will ask questions and provide feedback, then select the major prize winners. The Grand Prize is $25,000, and the New Orleans BioFund will award a $25,000 investment prize, conditional on a due diligence review. The $2,500 Audience Favorite Award winner will be chosen by event attendees through a text vote.


Developed and run annually by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, the BioChallenge was created to support new businesses that will generate jobs and economic growth in the state. The 2017 competition received twenty eligible applications from across the state. A pool of eight startups from New Orleans and Baton Rouge received the highest scores in round one, and they presented short pitches to a panel of independent entrepreneurs in the semi-final round. The four top-scoring startups now advance to the finals.


The competition is presented as part of the BioInnovation Center’s Innovation Louisiana series of events, which highlights scientific discoveries from universities and startups across the state. These events are running from November 5 to 10 in New Orleans. Learn more at




About the New Orleans BioInnovation Center

Opened in 2011, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center is a not-for-profit business incubator that fosters entrepreneurship and supports life sciences technology innovation across Louisiana. The Center offers office and lab facilities, educational events, business consulting, and the New Orleans BioFund capital program to emerging startups as they work to bring new technologies to the market. From cancer treatment to water management, these include diagnostic tools, drugs, medical devices, health IT platforms, and clean technologies with great promise for addressing a wide range of medical and environmental problems. The BioFund has injected over $3 million in capital into more than 15 regional companies in a variety of industries. Overall, the Center’s programs have supported and empowered more than 150 new Louisiana companies that have created nearly 400 jobs and attracted nearly $100 million in funding to the region. Learn more at