Caitlin Pierlot, the CEO of Covina Biomedical Inc. (formerly known as Biofix Medical Technologies) says the early stage orthopaedic medical device company has seen a lot of growth since winning the fifth annual BioInnovation Challenge in 2015.
Encouraging entrepreneurial activity, the BioInnovation Challenge was created by BioNova, Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry association and a number of partners as an investment competition to ease the transition from research laboratory to market. Each year the competition takes place during BioPort Atlantic and the winner is selected by a panel of judges and the conference audience.
During the competition Pierlot captivated her audience as she pitched Covina’s pioneering bone cement technology. With evaluation criteria such as adaptability, market pull and consumer readiness, she defeated the competition with higher marks from the panelists and conference audience.
“Our team benefited tremendously from the challenge. It forced us to make strategic decisions and in the end allowed us to develop a pitch that we had confidence using in front of powerful investment teams,” says Pierlot.
Pierlot was first introduced to the competition by Covina cofounder Dr. Daniel Boyd who had previously won the competition through his involvement with ABK Biomedical in 2011. Hearing about the benefits of the competition first hand she knew it could be the boost Covina needed to get started.
Since winning the challenge, which included a cash prize of $15,000 and $30,000 of in-kind services, Pierlot says Covina has used the resources to get started on the path to commercialization. The company has begun the process of building a strong brand identity, hired financial consultants to forecast regulatory approvals and global sales, and raised further investments and interest gained from the competition.
Today the company is seeking further investment capital to boost their business strategy and continue down the path of receiving regulatory approvals to bring their product to market.