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Catalyze Event: From Student Project to Startup – BME Founders Discuss Their Journey

October 6, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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Moderated panel featuring three BME startup founders that started with device ideas while still students and are now all in market.


Sydney Forbes – CEO – Tonsil Tech

Sydney Forbes is the CEO and co-founder of Tonsil Tech, where she aims to help people suffering with tonsil stones by developing tools for at home removal and educational awareness of the oral healthcare issue. Tonsil stones are the calcification of food, mucus, and bacteria that form in the pits of people’s tonsils and have a pungent sulfur smell. In July 2020, Sydney and her team launched the TonsiFIX starter kit which is the first commercially available tool specifically designed for tonsil stone removal. Before founding Tonsil Tech in 2020, Sydney worked in the Bay Area at pharmaceutical companies and a 3D printing company. While working in 3D printing, Sydney specialized in dental medical devices.

Sydney earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering from Oregon State University. While at OSU, Sydney was elected for multiple leadership positions including the Bioengineering President of the Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering group as well as positions in the Society of Women Engineers, Engineering Student Council, and American Association of University Women.

Mackenzie Andrews – CCO – Nanodropper

Mackenzie is a cofounder and Chief Commercial Officer of Nanodropper, a medical device company that offers value-based solutions to close health equity gaps while promoting patient education and advocacy. Her background as a device design engineer with a master’s in bioengineering from the University of Washington has fueled her passion for designing and commercializing solutions to address current healthcare problems. Due to a commitment to value-based design and leadership, Mackenzie and the rest of Nanodropper’s co-founders were recently named to the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in healthcare.

Sidney Collin – CEO, De Oro Devices

Sidney Collin is the inventor of NexStride, and is the co-founder and CEO of De Oro Devices. De Oro Devices is a VC-backed biomedical device start-up whose mission is to develop products to improve mobility, independence, and quality of life for those who suffer from mobility disorders and the aging population. NexStride is a small, portable device that uses research-backed sensory cues to help people with Parkinson’s overcome freezing of gait and be able to walk smoothly. Sidney started the company while studying Biomedical Engineering at Cal Poly. She has an academic research background in computational neuroscience, with a recent research paper published in the Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. In addition, she has experience working in R&D at a past medical device start-up during their product launch. Sidney was awarded Cal Poly’s 2019 Outstanding Woman in Engineering Award, Outstanding Student Award, Lisa Hufford Scholarship Award, and was also identified as one of the most influential women at Cal Poly by the Wire in their 30 under 30 list. The Pacific Coast Business Times recognized Sidney as an accomplished young business leader in their 40 under 40 list as well as their Who’s Who in Health Care, Insurance & Life Science lineup.

Register here.


October 6, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


OR United States