MassRobotics Healthcare Robotics Catalyst Program Opens Applications for Cohort 4, Presented by Festo, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Novanta and MITRE

This initiative aims to accelerate innovation and adoption in the healthcare robotics sector by providing startups with the resources, mentorship, and connections necessary for success.

Boston, MA - [Jun 18, 2024] MassRobotics, in collaboration with Festo, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Novanta, and MITRE, announces the opening of applications for the fourth cohort of the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst Program 2024-25. This initiative aims to accelerate innovation and adoption in the healthcare robotics sector by providing startups with the resources, mentorship, and connections necessary for success.


Program Overview
The Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst is an established program designed to support healthcare robotics startups by offering comprehensive and valuable mentorship guidance, and essential resources to foster growth and success. The program's focus areas include clinical care, pharmaceutical and hospital automation, laboratory automation, precision and regenerative medicine (including omics), point-of-care solutions, rehabilitation, assistive technologies for improved quality of life and continuity of work, and training and support for healthcare professionals.

Key Features of the Program
● Mentorship and Guidance: Participants receive expert mentorship from senior-level professionals from the participating companies and introductions to leaders from the robotics ecosystem, depending on their strategic objectives.
● Resource Access: Startups gain access to loaner components with design and engineering guidance.
● Networking Opportunities: Catalyst companies receive introductions to key players in the healthcare robotics space, potential customers, and strategic partners, including pitching opportunities to MassRobotics' VC and investor ecosystem.
● Strategic Medical Guidance: Cohort benefits from the strategic guidance of experienced medical professionals, ensuring their robotics solutions align with real-world healthcare needs, ethical standards, and patient safety considerations.
● Educational Workshops: There is access to courses on critical topics, such as FDA approval processes, cybersecurity requirements, and other regulatory mandates, tailored to the cohort's interests and strategic objectives.
● Showcase Opportunities: Each cohort startup will have the opportunity to present their solution at a major robotics event in Boston as well as to the Healthcare Robotics Working Group. These live events provide booth space for product demos and a stage to pitch their solutions to a live audience, offering valuable exposure and networking opportunities.

Application and Selection Process
The program is open to startups with at least a working prototype at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or above. Applications will be accepted until November 1, 2024, with the program set to begin at the end of November. Selected startups will be announced in mid-November 2024. We welcome startups of all sizes and maturity to apply, ensuring a broad range of entrepreneurs can benefit from the program.

Success Stories from Previous Cohorts
Startups from previous Healthcare Catalyst cohorts have achieved remarkable milestones, including penetrating new markets, securing funding, and establishing strategic partnerships.

Tom White, Founder and COO at Acumino, which has recently finalized its seed round and raised $6.5M, remarked, "We are proud participants of MassRobotics' Healthcare Robotics Catalyst program. Not only did we gain profound insights into our company's potential within the healthcare landscape, but our mentors have continued to guide us, providing invaluable advice and support. We wholeheartedly endorse this program for robotics companies seeking success in the healthcare sector."

Echoing this sentiment, Anne Vivian-Scott, President and CEO of Kinarm, stated, "The mentorship we received from Festo was invaluable. They helped us address real-time technological challenges within a broader market context, steering us toward mass-market solutions rather than a DIY approach, and they demonstrated genuine care for our personal growth and business development. It's been a fantastic return on investment that will yield dividends for years to come!"

Unlimited Robotics CEO, Guy Altagar, shared his enthusiasm for the initiative. "The Program was a game-changer for Unlimited Robotics," remarked Altagar. "Their mentorship, resources, and industry connections helped us refine our technology and navigate the healthcare market like never before. We're incredibly grateful for their support and excited to make a real difference in the future of healthcare."

Reflecting on the significance of this initiative, Juan Necochea, Director of Strategic Partnerships at MassRobotics, expressed enthusiasm, stating, "We are thrilled to announce the opening of applications for the fourth cohort of the Healthcare Robotics Startup Catalyst Program. This program, established and gaining continued momentum, reflects our shared commitment to fostering innovation and supporting startups positioned to revolutionize healthcare through robotics technology."

William Nguyen, Development Manager at Mitsubishi Electric Automation, echoed this sentiment, affirming, "We are looking forward to collaborating and mentoring potential startup companies for innovative solutions and cutting-edge automation technologies in the healthcare industry."

Johannes Linzbach, Head of the Festo Research Hub Boston, expressed his enthusiasm for the program, stating, "It has been a pleasure to work together with the outstanding startups of this program. I am looking forward to the next cohort to connect with tech startups in our expanded scope—lab automation and biotech automation!" His sentiment highlights the collaborative spirit and forward-thinking vision that drives the success of this initiative.

Nuzha Yakoob, former Head of Technology & Innovation at Festo and founder of yaxxoo Inc., and a founding member of the Healthcare Robotics Catalyst Program, shared their excitement, stating, "I am extremely delighted to see this program evolve and expand into new areas of healthcare technologies. Our intent is to enable more startups to bring their brilliant innovations to market, improving the quality of healthcare for patients and augmenting healthcare workers."

"We welcome this partnership opportunity to all startups that are engaging with important healthcare robotics challenges. In alignment with Novanta's mission to deliver ‘innovations that matter,' we are proud to collaborate with and mentor teams that are advancing the state of the art and improving people's lives," said Elliot Helms, Mechatronics R&D Manager at Novanta.

Russ Graves, Director of Bridging Innovation at MITRE, states "As a connector between government, industry, and academia, we're proud to join MassRobotics, FESTO, Mitsubishi Electric, and Novanta to help startups overcome traditional barriers to entry and accelerate their robotic solutions for healthcare."

"Participating in the MassRobotics program was a game-changer for Robot on Rails (RoR). Their unwavering support, invaluable guidance, and access to industry experts propelled us towards the successful deployment of our Phase 1 robot at HelixNano," stated Chase Olle, Founder of RoR. "Through MassRobotics, we gained crucial networking opportunities and mentorship from esteemed experts at Festo and Mitsubishi Electric."

Startups worldwide are encouraged to apply and take advantage of this unique opportunity to accelerate their growth and impact in the healthcare robotics field. This program offers valuable resources and mentorship and connects startups with a vibrant community of innovators and industry leaders. Applications are open until early November 2024. Don't miss this chance to accelerate your healthcare robotics startup with the support of industry leaders and innovators. For more details and to apply, visit MassRobotics Healthcare Robotics Catalyst Program.

About MassRobotics
MassRobotics is the largest independent non-profit robotics hub dedicated to accelerating innovation and adoption in the field of robotics. Our mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics technology and connected devices companies by providing entrepreneurs and startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test and commercialize their products and solutions. While MassRobotics originated and is headquartered in Boston, we are reaching and supporting robotics acceleration and adoption globally and are working with startups, academia, industry and governments both domestically and internationally.

About Festo
Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. Festo has set standards in industrial automation technology and technical education ever since its establishment, thereby making a contribution to the sustainable development of the environment, the economy, and society. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The LifeTech sector with medical technology and laboratory automation is becoming increasingly important. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 20,500 employees in over 250 branch offices in about 60 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €3.65 billion in 2023. Each year around 7 % of this turnover is invested in research and development. In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Festo Didactic SE is a leading provider of technical education and training and offers its customers worldwide comprehensive digital and physical learning solutions in the industrial environment.

About Mitsubishi Electric Automation
As one of many Mitsubishi Electric automation affiliates around the world, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc., is part of a $40 billion global company serving a wide variety of industrial markets with a family of automation products including programmable logic controllers, variable frequency drives, operator interfaces, motion control systems, computer numerical controls, industrial robots, and servo amplifiers and motors. The corporate philosophy of the company includes a commitment not only to providing superior solutions and service to Mitsubishi Electric customers but also to contributing to the local community and creating a rewarding work environment for its employees.

About Novanta
Novanta is a leading global supplier of core technology solutions that give medical and advanced industrial original equipment manufacturers a competitive advantage. We combine deep proprietary technology expertise and competencies in photonics, vision, and precision motion with a proven ability to solve complex technical challenges. This enables Novanta to engineer core components and sub-systems that deliver extreme precision and performance, tailored to our customers' demanding applications. The driving force behind our growth is the team of innovative professionals who share a commitment to innovation and customer success. Novanta's common shares are quoted on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "NOVT." More information about Novanta is available on the Company's website at www.novanta.com. For additional information, please contact Novanta Investor Relations at (781) 266-5137 or InvestorRelations@novanta.com.

About MITRE
MITRE's mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to tackle challenges to the safety, stability, and well-being of our nation.

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