As part of Demo Day, six teams—composed of engineers, data experts, social workers, clinicians, and other professionals—competed in front of a cross-disciplinary panel of expert judges for a grand prize of $10,000 and six months of acceleration support through the CAMTech Accelerator Program (CAP) for their innovation.
The winner was Team QuikReversal for their innovation of a nasal patch that dispenses Narcan to prevent opioid overdose. Now, QuikReversal’s life-saving innovation is moving closer to commercial viability.
Demo Day, the last leg of the Empire State Opioid Epidemic Innovation Challenge, was hosted through a partnership between Borough President Oddo, the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Massachusetts General Hospital, the State of New York, Northwell Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering. The event served as a competition for teams to show progress made 90 days after first formulating their solutions at the Challenge Summit and Solutions Sprint in September, 2018. All 12 teams that formed during the Solutions Sprint were eligible to compete at Demo Day.
“When my team first pitched the idea for the Challenge, the common retort was that these competitions were nothing more than marketing gimmicks—superficial attempts at innovation without tangible outcomes. Fortunately, our sponsors—the state of New York, Northwell Health and Columbia University's schools of public health and engineering—recognized that our model was different. The goal of this challenge was to have talented individuals work together to create solutions to address the local and national opioid crisis, and now we can demonstrate that the investment in the Challenge was worth it,” said Borough President Oddo.
“The CAMTech Accelerator program and its support have allowed QuikReversal to achieve the foundational milestones necessary for gaining scientific viability, funding, and business validation. Since joining the CAMtech Accelerator, with the guidance its mentors, QuikReversal has managed to design user-based studies in collaboration with multiple universities, create valuable relationships with key partners, and most notably become named a Socail Venture Grand Winner in NYU’s $300k Entrepreneurship Challenge,” said Asher Varon, Team QuikReversal.
The idea for the challenge came from the BP’s Policy Team, who learned about a successful opioid “Hack-A-Thon” hosted by CAMTech in Boston in 2016. The Borough President’s office reached out to CAMTech and collaborated with them to create a similar event in New York City.
At the Solutions Sprint in September 2018, four teams received seed funding and three months of acceleration support leading up to Demo Day: Team Random Access Network (RAN) with the innovation to link individuals with certified peer advocates to meet patients at hospitals and treatment recovery centers; Team Recover-We for innovating a search engine chat to link individuals with prevention, treatment, and opioid recovery programs; Team QuikReversal for innovating a nasal patch that dispenses Narcan to prevent opioid overdose; and Team Addiction Recovery Kit (ARK) for innovating a kit that aggregates existing prevention, treatment, and recovery tools for hospitals, needle exchanges, detox centers, and rehab facilities.