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Founder-focused Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut, ABCT, Announces Newest Cohort

ABCT Program Logo

ABCT Program Logo

ABCT welcomes 12 Connecticut Ventures to the 2023 Accelerator Program

BRANFORD, CONNECTICUT, UNITED STATES, February 3, 2023 / -- ABCT, the Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut, today announced the sixth cohort of emerging biosciences ventures invited to participate in the annual program.

Twelve ventures will participate in the 6.5-month-long program that features entrepreneurship education, coaching and mentoring, to develop fundable business plans and expand the biosciences community in Connecticut. 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 selected startups were chosen following an extensive screening process.

The 2023 ABCT cohort participants and ventures include:

• Alexander Todorovic, Sophia Paleologou, and Jonah Stein (Yale University) – UNS Project Inc.'s– UNS platform solves the problem of patient data fragmentation in medical research and enables higher quality data to traditional researchers, AI and life science companies.

• Alexey Melnik (UConn TIP) – Arome Science inc | With over 20k citations of Arome founders’ research articles we are developing the direct-to-consumer test to improve lives of millions affected by metabolic imbalance diseases.

• Ali Kabiri (Independent) – Cellsbin | Cell therapy is revolutionizing cancer treatment. Founded by Quantum-Si, Apple, Nvidia Alumni, CellsBin is building an ASIC-based cell-analysis platform enabling the exponential growth of cell therapies.

• Ashkan Novin (University of Connecticut) – Genesist LLC | In Genesist, we develop an RNA-based therapy to empower the local and healthy cells around a cancerous tumor to prevent metastasis and cancer recurrence.

• Elena Bertozzi and Gregory Luther (Quinnipiac University) – SolitonZ Games LLC | Vaccine hesitancy increases healthcare costs and reduces workforce productivity. SolitonZ Games’ Activate My Shield award-winning digital health app helps employers increase vaccination uptake promoting health.

• Esteban (Ed) Mena (Independent) – LifePharms LLC | LifePharms LLC. is developing a novel antifungal compound. This compound is active both in vitro and in vivo against drug-resistant fungal infections.

• John Laplante and Liisa Kuhn (Connecticut Children’s) – Esophadex, Inc. | Renowned Surgeon-in-Chief teams with veteran bio-engineer to heal and protect babies and children with esophageal injuries/birth defects from the adverse cognitive impairment of excessive anesthesia.

• Karen Rubin, Ilana Waynik MD, Grace Hong APRN, PPCNP-BC (Connecticut Children’s) – Our digital health solution tackles the problem of long wait times for pediatric specialists by guiding primary care providers to treat lower severity pediatric conditions.

• Linh Le, Thanh Nguyen and Udith Ashok (University of Connecticut) – Piezobiomembrane, Inc. develops and commercializes a new class of biodegradable and implantable material in the field of animal health with the first application in equine cartilage replacement.

• Robert Schickel (Independent) – My Chronic Cancer LLC | Today our InSite system is pre-FDA. InSite increases cancer patient survival and lowers direct front-end costs. InSite’s targeted worldwide cloud market is 450M+ cancer patients.

• Solène Vo Quang Costantini (Independent) – Hack Your Care | Hack Your Care is an algorithmic platform connecting more precisely and more rapidly innovators and healthcare professionals to accelerate the development of new health solutions.

• Thea Marx (Independent) – TM Nutrition LLC | Developed by Dr. Marx, physician and nutrigenomic expert, Vis PreOp addresses life threatening surgical complications that increase the chance of mortality by 42%.

“We are excited to launch the sixth, 2023 cohort and honored to support emerging CT bioscience ventures. ABCT ventures have added $117M in investment and 234 jobs to Connecticut since 2017” said Mary Howard, Principal of FirstXFounder which delivers the ABCT program.

In 2022, ABCT Cohort alums achieved important professional milestones including: Allomek, a CT Innovations backed venture providing the first ABCT exit to Pasithea Therapeutics. Choukri Ben Mamoun, received a record 3rd Blavatnik award to support external commercialization lab work. Yaw Ansong, MD, MBE KovaDX was awarded an NSF SBIR and appointed Song Kim, Yale SOM, CEO. Multiple ventures closed rounds including Shoreline Biome and Enrich Therapeutics both CT Innovations portfolio ventures.

About ABCT
ABCT is the only competitive-entry, six-month program of personalized entrepreneurial education delivered for first time founders of bioscience ventures of any development stage focused on healthcare innovation in Connecticut. ABCT focuses on unlocking the unknown by addressing individual needs and utilizing accredited entrepreneur coaches and expert mentors to craft unique, educational experiences crucial to the development of successful ventures.

ABCT is initiated by CTNext and supported by Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Wilson Sonsini, Wiggin and Dana, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Marcum LLP, Atostek, and C3 Medical Device Consulting.

For more information on these ventures and their successes, visit

About FirstXFounder
FirstXFounder (formerly DesignTechnologies LLC), founded 2008, supports first time founders of life science companies of any stage in three competitive entry accelerator programs ABCT, WCBA, and Next Milestone, and the Master Class series, ELabNYC. Over $2.3B has been collectively raised by 500 program alums delivering the largest pipeline of ventures into Metro area incubators, creating 1,000 new jobs, and helping build the regional ecosystem.

Mary Howard
+1 917-496-5213
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