NCC-PDI Announces $250K Pediatric Pitch Competition for Orthopedic Medical Device Innovators

Winners receive up to $50,000, plus an opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind pediatric accelerator program

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) is now accepting applications for its "Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!" competition. The competition is focused on pediatric devices developed for use in the orthopedic and spine sector, an area of critical need which lacks innovation. Winning companies receive awards up to $50,000 and are invited to participate in the newly created NCC-PDI "Pediatric Device Innovator Accelerator Program" led by MedTech Innovator.

Children's National Logo (PRNewsfoto/Children's National)

The NCC-PDI is now in its sixth year of operation and is led by the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National Health System and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. The consortium recently added the new accelerators BioHealth Innovation. MedTech Innovator and Smithwise as its design firm partner. NCC-PDI's goal is to advance the development of pediatric medical devices and, through the newly created accelerator program, help participating innovators bring their device to market. These innovators will receive mentorship and become connected to NCC-PDI's network of experts, consisting of Medtech executives, investors, specialty pediatricians and FDA regulatory and business consultants.

"While sourcing and scouting are a continuous activity in our effort to find promising high potential pediatric device innovators, this pitch competition adds a layer of opportunity for companies to present live in front of a panel of judges, some of whom could become potential mentors and investors," says Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, vice president and chief innovation officer at Children's National Health System and principal investigator of NCC-PDI. "This year we're building on MedTech Innovator's successful accelerator program by introducing the pediatric track."

Eskandanian adds that the success of NCC-PDI's portfolio companies is attributed to funding, mentorship, support from partners, facilitated interactions between device innovators and potential investors and being discovered during their presentations at the signature "Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!" competitions.

While advancements have been made in some pediatric specialty areas with respect to device innovation, there is still a significant need for novel devices in the orthopedic and spine sector. With only 3,000 – 4,000 pediatric orthopedic surgery cases reported annually, many medical device manufacturers avoid investing in research and development in this sector because the market size is too small. True to its mission, NCC-PDI collaborators recognize that children undergoing orthopedic surgeries deserve implants and devices that fit their growing bodies and provide the best possible quality of life.

"Innovators who choose to specialize in this market face a unique opportunity to improve quality of life not only for thousands of children, but also for their families and caregivers," says William E. Bentley, Ph.D., Robert E. Fischell distinguished professor and director of the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices at the University of Maryland. "We've long heard from pediatric orthopedic surgeons about the need for more innovation and it's crucial because appropriately sized devices can significantly impact how well a child grows and thrives."

Finalists for the 2019 NCC-PDI competition are announced on the day of the competition, April 30, 2019. Each finalist presents a five-minute pitch during the competition, followed by a five-minute question-and-answer session. A multi-disciplinary panel of judges will select up to six winners.

"As a new member of NCC-PDI, we're excited to introduce the selected orthopedic innovators to our ecosystem through the new accelerator track so that they receive in-depth, customized mentorship from some of medtech's foremost industry leaders and investors," said Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator, the premier nonprofit accelerator in the medical technology industry. "Our expertise is in identifying high quality, early-stage medical device companies that can translate basic science into commercial success and that's what we look forward to accomplishing with the new cohort of grantees."

For more information about the NCC-PDI and to apply for the upcoming pitch competition, visit The application deadline is midnight EST on April 2, 2019.

About Children's National Health System
Children's National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has served the nation's children since 1870. Children's National is one of the nation's Top 5 pediatric hospitals and, for a second straight year, is ranked No. 1 in newborn care, as well as ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. It has been designated two times as a Magnet® hospital, a designation given to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C. Metropolitan area, including the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia. Home to the Children's Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children's National is the seventh-highest NIH-funded pediatric institution in the nation. Children's National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park, is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,000 students, 10,000 faculty and staff and 352,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., University of Maryland discovers and shares new knowledge every day through their renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And it is committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation's first "Do Good" campus. The university's Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices seeks to catalyze the transformation of basic research into clinical practice and commercial success. The Institute aims to drive innovation by immersing creative and energetic scientists and engineers in a nurturing and rewarding research environment where engineered health systems are conceived of and investigated. The Institute is comprised of staff, resources, facilities, and a network of experts who not only facilitate prototyping and manufacturing expertise, but who also facilitate venture creation, intellectual property creation, and product passage through various clinical, regulatory and reimbursement hurdles.

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