Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator (WCBA) today announced the third cohort of emerging biosciences ventures invited to join the annual program.

Twelve ventures will engage in the 6 month-long program that features entrepreneurship education, coaching and mentoring, to develop fundable business plans and expand the Biosciences community in Westchester. Ventures are supported by an experienced entrepreneur coach and receive customized business networking introductions to business professionals to help advance their early-stage ventures. The program will culminate in a pitch day scheduled for Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “Biosciences is a key industry in the County’s business ecosystem, and we are proud to once again identify and support emerging ventures in this exciting space. We are dedicated to continuing to grow this important community, which has a tremendous impact on our economy.”

WCBA Program Director Mary Howard, commented: “As we move into the third year of the accelerator program, we are thrilled to welcome high impact innovations, growing support from community mentors and increased engagement by the Westchester bioscience community. We look forward to helping the 2022 cohort of entrepreneurs advance and support the ever-expanding bioscience community in Westchester.”

Deborah Novick, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Westchester County said: “Through WCBA, we are witness to the real-time progression of the biotech industry, from seed-stage to market. We are glad to continue to support this program and the innovators who are developing novel treatments to improve human health.”

The 2022 WCBA cohort participants and ventures include: 

  • Charles Mobbs (Mount Sinai) – Gilga-Med has developed a novel proprietary high-throughput drug discovery platform leading to production of novel compounds to treat Alzheimer's Disease, strokes, Huntington's Disease, and other age-related diseases.
  • Charles Silvestro (PNI Therapeutics) – A 10-minute virtual reality guided mind-body intervention for people with cancer to supplement traditional standard of care treatments and increase their quality of life.
  • Claudia Polgar (Columbia University) – CheckPoint Health is a digital health startup for family caregivers. CheckPoint offers a mobile health productivity app for family caregivers to better manage their loved ones' care; it does so by streamlining caregiving tasks into curated checklists and distributing them across family and friends. CheckPoint Health thereby facilitates communication among families and care teams to minimize error and maximize quality of time spent with loved ones.
  • Etizaz Shah and Amit Bhardwaj (Columbia University) – EZ Health is a culturally and linguistically sensitive digital health platform which connects patients to doctors who speak their native language.
  • James Scholtz and William Snyder (Independent) – This team is developing an optical infrared camera, a versatile tool that increases situational awareness. This device reduces loss of life and property through improved safety.
  • Jay Schiff and Stanislav Roslyakov (Independent) – Addinex is preventing medication misuse and addiction. The patented dispensing system addresses key drivers of the opioid crisis: over prescription, overuse, and lack of safe disposal.
  • Lili Deligianni, Tyler Kulcsar and Maria Lopez (Columbia University) – Sense4me is developing a digital platform for remission and relapse prevention from alcohol abuse.
  • Matt Mandel (Independent) – Renegade Therapeutics utilizes a unique data set, tool, and source-agnostic approach to define the true pathophysiologic underpinnings of multiple sclerosis (MS). Renegade uses the knowledge gained from this approach to identify, test and develop "massively effective" next-generation disease-modifying drugs.
  • Maya Ber Lerner (New York University - NYU) – Chiefy’s mission is zero waste and zero harm in surgery, by building a platform for surgical team collaboration that revolutionizes perioperative efficiency, quality and safety.
  • Natasha Shtraizent, Lina Freage and Efrat Eliyahu (Mount Sinai) – The team is working on a novel peptide therapeutic for advanced stage head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, acting by targeting dormant cancer cells.
  • Rafael Gras Pena (Columbia University) – The team is working to build a technology for research that dramatically reduces the experimental time and cost of developing stem cell differentiation protocols for regenerative and drug discovery applications.
  • Roman Fleysher (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) – The goal is to provide image processing service where MRI data is uploaded by customers; they will process this data by using innovative pipelines, inspection and delivery outputs according to specifications.

WCBA cohort alums have already achieved important professional milestones including Kistein Monkhouse, winner of the 2021 Allscripts Advancing Health Equity Using Social Determinants of Health Developer Challenge with her mobile app, Patient Orator; JelikaLite has been granted Breakthrough Device Designation from the FDA for their Cognilum System - a novel, individualized, non-invasive technology for the reduction of pediatric autism symptoms; HomeoLux has rebranded as BRIGHT and enjoys increasing sales of their passive light therapy wellness product to stimulate brain, memory and attention.