• Medical Innovation

    Biomedical innovators pitch ideas at Roadrunner Sprint competition

Event organizers and the winning team pose for a photo. Dr. Patel holds a small roadrunner-shaped trophy.
The winning team pictured with presenters and members of the Office of Entrepreneurship. From left to right; Rafael Fonseca, M.D., Chief Innovation Officer; Dharmendra Patel, M.D.; Peter Pallagi; Anu Sreedhar, Ph.D.; and Richard Gray, M.D.

Mayo Clinic innovations and innovators were highlighted during the second annual Roadrunner Sprint, which was held May 5 at the Arizona State University Health Futures Center Auditorium. The Roadrunner Sprint is organized and sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship. In this "Shark Tank"-like event, 10 teams of Mayo staff entrepreneurs pitched their solutions to clinical problems in front of about 75 attendees and a panel of expert judges.

Anu Sreedhar, Ph.D., program developer for the Office of Entrepreneurship at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, moderated the event and outlined the criteria by which the judges would evaluate pitches. Teams had to answer the following questions: What is the problem? What is the solution? Why you? Why now? What is the business case?

The top three pitches were announced by Richard Gray, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and will advance to pitch their ideas at Venture Café-Phoenix in the fall. The winning pitches and teams were:

  • Tele-Vision, developed by Pete Pallagi, Dharmendra Patel, M.D., and Ami Shah, M.D., won first place with its innovative, 3D-printed attachment for ophthalmic photography.
  • Joya, pitched by Keith Jones, is an evidenced-based joy and wellness app for staff that received second place.
  • Hey Mayo, pitched by Jillian Amoroso, Christine Gaudet and Timothy Gavia, won third place. It is a call light system add-on feature for patients to select frequently needed items such as a blanket, water or ice.

Innovation and entrepreneurship supports commercialization, which is a Mayo Clinic research priority, and moves Mayo Clinic forward into the future of health care. Events like the Roadrunner Sprint are essential to provide innovators with the tools, connections and resources they need to turn innovative ideas into an entrepreneurial success.

The next Roadrunner Sprint competition is scheduled for May 2023.

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