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JLABS @ TMC Breakthrough Medical Technologies QuickFire Challenge

Challenge ended

One year of residency at JLABS @ TMC*


NERv aims to create a paradigm shift in post-operative care, utilizing the plethora of data within the body, to detect post-operative complications at their onset. NERv's platform sensing technology has the potential to augment existing wound drains and catheters, providing healthcare providers with smarter, predictive tools that can enhance the delivery of healthcare.


PATH EX is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis through an extracorporeal pathogen extraction platform. Their devices use inertial force and a selective coating with the aim to separate & capture bacteria. PATH EX’s platform has the potential to assist in identifying the bacteria causing infection in less than three hours, while also treating an entire patient's blood volume with a bacterial capture efficiency exceeding 99%.


Solenic Medical, Inc. is medical device company developing an innovative non-invasive treatment for infected metallic implants in the body using alternating magnetic fields. Solenic is leveraging the unique properties of alternating magnetic fields generated by external coils aiming to eradicate biofilm on the surface of medical implants. This non-invasive treatment has the potential to address major complications of surgeries such as (1) knee and hip replacements and (2) trauma related implants such as plates and rods.


Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS together with the Texas Medical Center and AngelMD invite innovators from across the world to submit ideas for potentially game-changing medical device innovations with the aim to impact human health in the Breakthrough Medical Technologies QuickFire Challenge.

The innovator(s) with the best ideas will receive up to $250,000 in convertible notes funding from TMC; entry to the TMCx accelerator program; one year of residency at JLABS @ TMC in Houston, Texas; and access to the Johnson & Johnson, Innovation - JLABS global ecosystem. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson Innovation has partnered with AngelMD, an investment platform and marketplace connecting innovative medical startups, physicians, investors, and industry partners to provide the selected innovative solution the opportunity to receive an additional convertible note investment up to $100,000 from its Catalyst Fund.  As well, AngelMD will also consider qualified innovators company profile for listing on its investment platform.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS @ TMC is a no-strings attached incubator with over 34,000 square feet of common, wet lab, and office space connecting regional entrepreneurs to global subject matter experts internally at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, including, access to the Resource HUB, educational events and R&D experts from Johnson & Johnson’s medical device, consumer healthcare product and Janssen pharmaceutical teams.

Rewards and benefits

One year of residency at JLABS @ TMC*
  • Up to $250,000 in convertible note funding from Texas Medical Center Venture Fund
  • The potential of up to $100,000 in convertible note funding from Angel MD
  • Admission to TMCx accelerator program*
  • Mentorship by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and/or its affiliates
  • *Please note that acceptance of residency at JLABS @ TMC and attendance at the TMCx Accelerator in 2020 is required for the award recipient.

Areas of Interest:

We encourage applications from medical device innovators working on all focus areas, including a particular interest in the following areas:

  • CARDIOVASCULAR: Atrial Fibrillation & Surgical Heart Condition
  • OBESITY: More Durable Interventions & Prevent or Reduce Morbidities
  • OSTEOARTHRITIS: Early Interventions & Better Surgical Outcomes
  • OSTEOPOROSIS: Minimize Fracture Rates & Improve Healing

Why this challenge matters to us

At Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to find new and innovative technologies that aim to provide solutions to patients from across the world. Working together, we can spark the next great idea that can potentially change the trajectory of health.

Application process

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers and judges on the ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Potential impact
  • Uniqueness of solution & level of competition in current market
  • Quality & feasibility of technology
  • Team credibility & capabilities
  • Clarity of plan: Milestones, defined go/no go decisions and funding estimates
  • Interest in the Houston innovation ecosystem



What if I’m having trouble accessing the portal/website?

Make sure your browser is up to date and accepting cookies. You can contact customer service at https://jnj-quickfire.smapply.io if you are having technical difficulties as well.

What does residency at JLABS entail and for how many people?

For challenges involving residency at JLABS, that entails 1 lab bench and 1 workstation (desk) for 2 people maximum. If you have more employees, additional footprint can be rented.

For awards involving residency at JLABS, are there any expenses not covered by JLABS?

Each applicant will be required to submit to a background check, which is subject to a minimal fee.  We also collect a deposit that is refundable at the end of the lease term. There may be other expenses, but this will be dependent on the work that the company is doing in JLABS.  There may also be fees associated with EH&S waste, specialty equipment, printing and phone calls, etc.

Will JLABS @ TMC pay for my living costs, relocation or visas?

No, any additional fees and paperwork are up to the awardee.

Will JLABS @ TMC pay for my living costs, relocation or visas?

No, any additional fees and paperwork are up to the awardee.

Can I submit supporting documents (for example a video) as part of my application?

You will have the opportunity and are encouraged to upload supporting materials such as non-confidential slide decks, research papers, and videos as part of your application. You may submit a video along with your typed responses. Maximum length is 2 minutes. Make sure that you do not submit any information that is proprietary or owned by a third party.

Is it ok if some of the information I submit is confidential?

Do not submit confidential information. Only non-confidential information should be submitted and anything you submit will be treated as non-confidential.

What happens with IP (Intellectual Property)?

As this is a no strings attached arrangement, JLABS does not acquire any IP.  Any IP creation and/or protection remains the sole responsibility of the inventors.

Is a patent required to apply?

No, a patent is not required to apply.  However, you should not submit any information that you wish to keep confidential or that may negatively impact upon the future patentability of your invention.

What kind of science / technology is appropriate for the Challenges?

We encourage all to apply. Find out more about what areas we desire to explore here: https://www.jnjinnovation.com/partnerin

Who is eligible to apply?

Each individual QuickFire Challenge has its own terms & conditions that can be found prior to filling out the application.

 Who can I contact if I have questions about the Challenges or the application process?

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

Where do I apply? And do I have to complete the application in one sitting?

You can setup an account at https://jnj-quickfire.smapply.io. You are able to save your work and log back in to finish at a later time if needed.


May 30, 2019
Applications Open
August 8, 2019
Submission deadline
Q3/Q4 2019
Awardee announcement (JLABS @ TMC Demo Day Fall 2019)

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation 

Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating all stages of innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson’s global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies with one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Under the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella of businesses, we connect with innovators through our regional Innovation Centers; Johnson & Johnson Innovation  - JLABS; Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.; and our business development teams to create customized deals and novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. JLABS provides the laboratories, expertise, education, tools and resources needed to help life science startups thrive, all with no strings attached. A Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center (CDI @ TMC) has been established to accelerate the development of medical devices. For more information about Johnson & Johnson Innovation, please visit: www.jnjinnovation.com or follow @JNJinnovation.

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS

Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS (JLABS) is a global network of open innovation ecosystems, enabling and empowering innovators across a broad healthcare spectrum including pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and health tech sectors to create and accelerate the delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing health and wellness solutions to patients around the world. JLABS achieves this by providing the optimal environment for emerging companies to catalyze growth and optimize their research and development by opening them to vital industry connections, delivering entrepreneurial programs and providing a capital-efficient, flexible platform where they can transform the scientific discoveries of today into the breakthrough healthcare solutions of tomorrow. At JLABS, we value great ideas and are passionate about removing obstacles to success to help innovators unleash the potential of their early scientific discoveries. JLABS is a no-strings-attached model, which means entrepreneurs are free to develop their science while holding on to their intellectual property. JLABS also produces campaigns to seek out the best science called QuickFire Challenges. For more information, visit www.jlabs.jnjinnovation.com or follow @JLABS.

About the Texas Medical Center

For the first time in the history of the Texas Medical Center, leaders throughout the TMC community have joined together in a visionary initiative to drive the next generation of life science advancements. Their goal: To become the world leader in health and life sciences by leveraging the collective power of TMC’s renowned institutions in a shared, centrally managed environment. The result is a research collaborative unlike anything TMC has ever known or health care has ever seen.

The initiative is a natural extension of TMC’s original mission to serve the health, education and research needs of Texas and the world. As health care’s largest and most diverse community, TMC is positioned to make a difference in ways no other single institution can. By uniting its unrivaled resources and expertise, the Texas Medical Center can more readily drive the commercialization of breakthrough ideas, expand its reach as a global medical leader and ultimately transform human health.

About the TMC Innovation Institute and TMCx Accelerator Program

TMCx Innovation Institute , The Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute is the first step in the Texas Medical Center’s long-term plans to become one of the world’s premiere life science commercialization clusters. The institute provides programs including the TMCx accelerator, which provides entrepreneurs the essential resources for growth including office and meeting space, training curriculum and an extensive advisor network comprised of business and legal experts, health care professionals, executives and investors. The inaugural TMCx program launched in Spring 2015. The Innovation Institute programs also include the year-long TMC Biodesign digital health and medical device fellowship and TMCx+ co-working space. For more information, visit www.tmcinnovation.org.

About AngelMD

AngelMD is an investment platform and marketplace connecting innovative medical startups with its network of physicians, investors, and industry partners. Leading physicians from all over the US have joined the AngelMD Scientific Advisory Board and Leaders Club to help source, evaluate and advise companies in biotechnology, medical device and healthcare technology. AngelMD makes investments through its AngelMD Syndicates and Catalyst Fund.  For more information, visit www.AngelMD.com.