OBI & OTRADI October 2020 Newsletter

OBI Companies Working on COVID-19

Virogenomics BioDevelopment (VBD) is developing an oral rinse – the HyperHex rinse – that is composed of a hypertonic solution with a safe and effective microbicide. The HyperHex rinse would be an easier, safer and more effective way to collect samples to screen millions of people to monitor transmission and to evaluate immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  Optimal sample collection is one that is safe and simple for health care workers and those being tested as well as being more comfortable than nasal swabs or blood draws.  Hypertonic oral rinse solutions increase the yield of analytes such as immunoglobulins that can be used to detect exposure and immunity to coronaviruses.  To develop the HyperHex rinse, VBD is working with Andrew Goldstein, a founding officer and director of Epitope, Inc. (now OraSure Technologies, Inc.), and was intimately involved in developing FDA approved saliva-based diagnostic assays for HIV antibodies, HIV and HCV point of care tests.

Vir Biotechnology has published an article which will appear in the November 12, 2020 print issue of Cell, focusing on differing antibody responses based upon COVID-19 disease severity, as well as structural characteristics of six different neutralizing antibodies. This study, conducted in the US, Switzerland, and Italy, was the largest of its kind with serum samples from nearly 650 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, will aid in the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and other strategies. In addition, Vir and GlaxoSmithKline have announced Phase 3 of the COMET-ICE (COVID-19 Monoclonal antibody Efficacy Trial – Intent to Care Early) study for treatment of COVID-19 patients who are at high risk for hospitalization. For more information on their research, please see Vir Biotechnology’s September 24, 2020 press release and October 6, 2020 press release.

OBI Client Company Wins

Caregiven was awarded a scholarship to participate in AchieveUnite’s Channel Acceleration Bootcamp. They were a semi-finalist for the Bend Venture Conference Impact competition. Caregiven will also be reviewed by New York Angels in October; they are a finalist for Springboard’s Digital Health Innovation Hub and presented to a subset of their members; and they were selected to present to CareFactor located in Australia, a program focused on changing aged care in Australia.

ProMedix, Inc. was selected from a large group of startup company applicants to join the Creative Destruction Lab Accelerator. This will significantly help business development and achieving high level milestones to further commercialization and fundraising efforts. ProMedix was also one of five projects selected as winners for CTIP’s Catalyzing Pediatric Grant (CPI) competition. ProMedix is a medical device company aiming to develop technology to simplify diagnostic home healthcare as well as ER/Critical Care.

Rewire Neuroscience was a semi-finalist in the 2020 Bend Venture Conference Growth competition. Rewire Neuroscience offers artificial intelligence services for biomedical image analysis in clinical, veterinary and research applications. Rewire has a machine learning platform, as well as a consumer-facing analysis software, called Pipsqueak AI, which is used by thousands of researchers around the world to quantify tissue samples.

Madorra will be presenting an oral abstract presentation at the North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting this month. The topic of their research is “A novel, non-hormonal, non-invasive ultrasound device is effective in treating the symptoms of vaginal dryness associated with genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).” Madorra’s abstract will also be published in the December 2020 issue of Menopause.

Congratulations to Hemex Health and Medtronic for winning third prize at the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge. They won $100K for their finger cuff technology to detect malaria, anemia, and Sickle Cell Disease.

Mentor of the Month: Lynn Sheehan

Lynn Sheehan, Business Strategist from Evolve Strategic Ventures, joined our Mentoring Program in June and hit the ground running with his mentee. Lynn is a consultant working with startups and fortune 500 companies globally. He has a special focus on the startup community in the Portland/Vancouver area. He’s a member of the MAPS Program at WSU Vancouver Carson College of Business both as a mentor and a board member. Lynn has been a guest lecturer at PSU’s business programs, and is an Executive in Residence with Technology Association of Oregon, supporting members through mentorship.

Lynn says, “The OBI Mentoring Program is a great way for entrepreneurs to receive guidance from industry veterans. The complex areas these companies work in really benefits from mentor experience. In the end this accelerates them to revenue and team growth.”

Thank you, Lynn, for all you do for the startup community!

Applications Now Open for Mentoring

We are now accepting Mentee applications for OBI’s structured, 6-month program. Are you an entrepreneur who has a company (or are seriously considering starting one) and need guidance, accountability, and support from a Mentor to help you set and reach your goals? This program is free for Oregon entrepreneurs and runs from January – June, 2021. Take your business to the next level by joining OBI’s Mentoring Program.

Here is what some of our current Mentees are saying:

Applications are being accepted until October 31, so apply now! 
See important details here

OBI’s Advising Program

Did you know? 

We have a network of more than 90 Advisors who are available to provide short-term free advice and assistance to promising life science and digital health entrepreneurs across the state of Oregon. Our Advisors have valuable expertise in a wide range of business topics that are integral to the success of early-stage life science companies, including:

To request assistance, please fill out this entrepreneur registration form and we’ll match you with an Advisor who can help. This service is free of charge.

Business Oregon Launching Funding Opportunities

From the October 7, 2020 press release: “The Business Oregon Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) Matching Grants are intended to help Oregon companies that have received a federal award be successful as they move forward. Companies can use matching funds to fill gaps in the federal award or further commercialize or scale their technology. Oregon-based businesses with more than half of employees based in Oregon who have been awarded a federal SBIR or STTR grant on or after Jan. 1, 2019 are eligible to apply.

“The application will be open through November 8, 2020. Awards can range up to $100,000 depending on eligibility and other parameters, with a total of approximately $1,000,000 available for funding.

“The High Impact Opportunity Project (HIOP) program looks for proposals that support the growth of emerging industries that individual businesses cannot address on their own. Projects could support these industries by addressing barriers to commercialization or support product development and testing. Projects must directly support the growth of an industry sector, not an individual business or its proprietary technology.

“Oregon-based organizations with at least half its employees based in Oregon are eligible, and the application period will be open through November 4. There is approximately $1,500,000 available for funding in this round of the HIOP program.”

OHSU Invent-a-Thon

Applications open for OHSU Invent-a-thon
Online event, October 23–25, 2020

Make Healthcare Better. From anywhere. 

Grab your virtual raincoat and apply for our first Pacific Northwest-focused event, in partnership with Oregon Health Sciences University.

Building on MIT Hacking Medicine’s successful model, this weekend convenes teams and a wide range academic and industry partners to address problems in the medtech tracks of surgical care and early disease detection, and digital health/health IT tracks of rural and low resource setting health care and management of chronic conditions.

$40,000 in prizes will be awarded to the most promising teams, with a special emphasis on reducing health disparities and addressing COVID-19. Anyone with an interest in improving healthcare is invited to join the clinicians, researchers, designers, investors, and many others joining this dynamic weekend event.

Propel an idea into action!

Learn more and apply by October 14 at

Pitch Oregon 2020

In its fifth year, Pitch Oregon is TiE Oregon’s marquee event, attracting hundreds of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors each year. Entrepreneurs from all around Oregon pitch for free services and a cash prize of $2,500! We are looking for traded sector businesses in technology, new market innovation, and CPG in two categories – Concept and Seed.

Concept – you either have an idea or you’ve just started working on your product
Seed – you have a product and have taken some funding or are bootstrapping

October 16, 2020 —  Application Deadline
October 30, 2020 — Finalist Announcement
December 1, 2020 — Pitch Oregon

When: Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Time: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: Zoom Webinar (login available after registration)
Cost: Application Fee – $10 members | $25 Nonmembers; Registration Fee – $15 members | $30 Nonmembers

McKinsey & Company Early Stage Investor Conference

December 7-11, 2020

Grow. Connect. Expand.

Early Stage Investor Conference (ESIC) is an annual flagship event designed to inspire and advance innovation across industries. Each year, we bring together an ecosystem of entrepreneurs in emerging technology, established industry-leaders, researchers from top universities, and individual and corporate investors looking for the next big idea.

Building off our 2019 success with more than 300 attendees and 50 presenting startups, in 2020 we are raising our ambitions even further by introducing new investor tracks that include biotech, medtech, healthtech, fintech, femtech, and sustainability. We are also holding a virtual forum to create a truly global community of ideas, expertise, and investors.

Applications accepted through October 31. For more information on applying or attending, see Overview page.

Upcoming Events

TiE Women: Functional Working Session on Marketing
October 13, 2020
2:00-3:30 PM
Register here


Oregon Bio, Business and Good Beans:
Latest Updates on PPP Loans and COVID Paid Leave Tax Credits

October 14, 2020
9:15-10:00 AM
Free – register here


TAO Leadership Exchange Fall Series:
Liability & Returning to Work

October 15, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM
All the details here


Bend Venture Conference
October 15-16, 2020
8:00 AM-5:30 PM
Register now


Under the Boughs with Dr. Thomas Lynch Jr., Fred Hutch
October 21, 2020
9:30-10:45 AM
Free to attend

Women in Science Lunch and Learn:
BIPOC Imposter Syndrome in STEM

October 21, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
Free to attend


TiE Event: Confessions of an Entrepreneur
October 27, 2020
5:30-7:30 PM
Details and registration


TAO PDX Lunch & Learn: Strategic Plan for Exit
October 28, 2020
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Register here


TAO Resilient Leadership Workshop Series: Gathering Well
October 29, 2020
4:00-5:30 PM
Series and registration information


Oregon Bio Digital 2020 Annual Conference
November 17-19, 2020
Read all about it and register