SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OtoNexus Medical Technologies (OtoNexus) is proud to announce being voted winner of the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCD) inaugural “Launch Zone” competition for women-led companies, taking place in Santa Clara, CA. OtoNexus, led by CEO Caitlin Cameron, presented along with five other start-ups before a panel of judges who represent angel investors, private equity and investment banking. The audience was comprised of more than 200 women corporate board members from 23 countries – attendees of the 2019 WCD Global Institute, WCD’s largest membership gathering of the year. Both attendees and judges voted, with OtoNexus winning both the audience vote and the judges’ vote.
With only 2.2% of total venture capital investing going to female-founded startups last year, Sue Siegel, Chief Innovation Officer at GE and CEO of GE Ventures said, WCD wanted to “showcase women entrepreneurs who are putting forward something they believe in, also giving them the opportunity to get in front of the right people. Women are just not getting funded at nearly the levels they should be,” Siegel said.
Said CEO Cameron about the Launch Zone competition: “It’s so wonderful to present to a room full of women. It’s just a different dynamic: Their questions, their engagement, the things they care about. Women tend to ask thoughtful questions and while they are very interested in the financial risk and the market opportunity, they are also interested in the big picture.” She continued: “We have six board members and three of them are women.”
Company voting was based on five key criteria, including a well thought out and executed:
• Strategic Plan and Product Strategy
• Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy and Portfolio
• Regulatory Strategy and Path
• Clear Understanding of the Customer Need
• Market Opportunity
OtoNexus is a Seattle-based firm working to bring the process of diagnosing ear infections into the 21st century. Ear infections, Cameron said, are the #1 reason for both surgery and antibiotic use in children. Currently, there is a 50% error rate in the diagnosis of middle ear infections in children, leading to an estimated $10-15 billion in annual medical costs in the United States alone. OtoNexus’ winning device shortens treatment time, reduces misdiagnosis, and helps clinicians avoid unnecessary antibiotic use through the innovative use of ultrasound technology.
Today's tools are unable to accurately determine the presence, much less the type of middle ear infection. This leads to significant overprescription of antibiotics, over-referrals to specialists, and unnecessary surgeries. OtoNexus is developing a simple and sensitive medical device to provide quantitative data to instantly and accurately diagnose both presence and type of middle ear infection, providing confidence in determining whether an antibiotic is appropriate. In addition, it is the only tool that can accurately identify asymptomatic middle ear infections.
According to OtoNexus CEO Caitlin Cameron: “We were incredibly honored just to be selected for this competition, let alone win it! This win was particularly meaningful because these women sit on corporate boards of directors worldwide, and have keen expertise in running businesses and creating business success. Many are also investors. To receive this honor from such accomplished business executives is an endorsement and validation which means a great deal to us.”
The OtoNexus ultrasound device will be marketed to pediatricians and other primary care physicians and place the tools for more accurate diagnosis into the hands of the very first clinician the patient sees. This will reduce costs by decreasing both antibiotic usage and specialist referrals and will also decrease required physician time by enabling a nurse or other physician extender to perform the test for middle ear infections.
OtoNexus Medical Technologies, Inc. is a privately held company based in Seattle, WA. OtoNexus develops ultrasound-based medical innovations, with its first application being an easy-to-use, inexpensive hand-held ultrasound device to help pediatricians instantly and accurately diagnose middle ear infections, and allow clinicians to confidently determine whether an antibiotic is appropriate.
About WomenCorporateDirectors Education and Development Foundation, Inc.:
The WomenCorporateDirectors Education and Development Foundation, Inc. (WCD) is the only global membership organization and community of women corporate directors. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the WCD Foundation has 80 chapters around the world. The aggregate market capitalization of public companies on whose boards WCD Foundation members serve is over $8 trillion. In addition, WCD Foundation members serve on numerous boards of large private and family-run companies globally. For more information visit www.womencorporatedirectors.org or follow us on Twitter @WomenCorpDirs, #WCDboards.