MIT linQ concludes IDEA² 2024 edition

Nine international teams developed technology innovations for maternal health, cancer therapy, vaccine design, bone regeneration, and more

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, 8 July 2024—MIT linQ, a health technology innovation initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduated the nine teams of IDEA2 2024. IDEA2 is an international mentorship program that helps emerging healthtech innovators to drive their new technology ideas toward healthcare impact.

Teams from the United States, Spain, Chile, Sweden, Poland, and Argentina were selected for IDEA2 based on their compelling project proposals aimed at addressing urgent unmet medical needs with innovative technologies and business solutions. Through highly interactive workshops and personalized mentorship, IDEA2 provided the teams with the necessary practices and professional networks to enhance their customer research, R&D strategies, and business plans.

“Each year we select energetic, promising healthtech innovation teams for IDEA2 and provide the mentorship and preparation to help them move closer to patient impact fast,” said Mercedes Balcells-Camps, PhD, Program Chair of IDEA2 and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT. “We’re proud to have been part of the stories of this year’s teams, because we’re confident of the healthcare impact they will make.”

“The ecosystem that IDEA2 provides in terms of exceptionally technically diverse mentors, whether they’re physicians, consultants, or those who’ve worked in the medical technology space helps us identify what stakeholders will think of [our innovative technologies],” said Varun Shah, an engineering student at Boston University and co-leader of project team Soregen. 

IDEA2 recruits project teams at various levels of maturity, from proof of concept to funded research and early-stage startups. ”In January, I had an idea, and now I have a project,” said Rocio Montejo, a gynecologist at Sahlgreska Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, who leads project AI Pelvic Floor. “It’s incredible how much the project has developed and how much I learned about the steps that we need to take to make it a real thing.”

Francisco Muñoz, Chief Medical Officer of startup company Salmoss, said, “The last six months have been incredibly productive and decisive for the story of our startup…it has proven to be pivotal, instrumental for the growth of our company.”

Teams were recruited to the program in the fall and were matched with technical experts and mentors who helped them develop their technologies and business ventures. Over the following seven months, they met with these people and were trained in innovation methods and communication skills.

Teams included in the 2024 cohort were: 

  • AI Pelvic Floor: Prevention of pelvic floor injuries during childbirth with an innovative AI-powered solution
  • Clinbermes: Clinical development of a novel G4-targeting berberine derivative to treat malignant mesothelioma
  • MyHM: Noninvasive measurement of critical hemodynamic properties to improve preventative care
  • Prevent Apnea (Pimun): A medical device to reduce AOP, through kinesthetic stimulation on the dorsum of the chest with a pulsatile pattern
  • Salmon Xenograft: Non-mammal, non-human derived xenograft for bone regeneration
  • Soregen: Novel injectable hydrogel capable of inducing rapid angiogenesis
  • SphereBio: New platform for rationally designed vaccines and therapeutics
  • Spinally: A Class II medical device performing differential neuromodulation capabilities through intrathecal stimulation
  • Zone of nerve injury: Defining the zone and severity of brachial plexus birth injury using Fluorescence lifetime imaging

Participants gained numerous benefits from participation, such as assistance in defining their roadmaps, access to deep expertise in crucial areas, and guidance in understanding the practices and challenges of technology startups.

“The last six months of IDEA2 have been transformative,” said Riddhi Bhagwat, a computer science and artificial intelligence student at MIT. “My mentors were amazing, and it’s been very helpful [to give me] a clear direction forward.”

IDEA2 helps independent innovators, especially those outside conventional research environments, build teams to develop their ideas. “I have the opportunity to work with other people that we need to move forward,” said Montejo, who is a clinician with deep patient care experience but limited technology innovation resources.

Julieta Porta, CEO of Argentina-based startup SphereBio, said “For us, the most valuable aspect of experience was the accessibility of the MIT network. We now have mentor and future advisors.”

Martin Guerrero, SphereBio’s Chief Medical Officer, said “I would totally recommend teams join IDEA2, because it’s not only about the network, the people, and the workshops, it’s about getting your goals clear—finding the pathway you need to follow to reach where you want to be. IDEA2 has been instrumental for us in that.”

Salmoss’s CMO Muñoz agreed. “If I met an entrepreneur who is thinking about applying to IDEA2, I would tell them, go for it. It’s probably one of the best decisions you can make at any stage of your development, no matter if you’re green in your idea, or like us, you’re a bit more down the road. It will be full of inspiration, education, innovation, and no doubt it will play an instrumental role in the future of your idea and your project.”

Their final project presentations were reviewed by an expert panel representing medical, technical, and business expertise heard presentations and provided critical advice for further project development and derisking. The panel included Siobhan Dullea, Executive Director of Innovate@BU (Boston University); Joseph Frassica, Professor of the Practice in the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES); Mukta Joshi, Data and AI Innovation Project Leader, Image Guided Therapy, Philips; Sheryl Greenberg, MIT Corporate Relations Program Director; Andrea Pomerantz, Director of Strategy and Planning for Pharmacokinetic Sciences in Translational Medicine, Novartis; and Mehmet Toner, professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and professor of biomedical engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST).

IDEA2, which is hosted by the MIT Institute for Medical and Engineering Sciences (IMES), was supported by recruiting collaborations with MIT Hacking Medicine, The MGH Medical Innovation Program, the Veterans Administration, the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, and Boston Landing. Organizers plan to launch a new round of recruiting in fall 2024. To learn more about IDEA2, please visit or contact Mercedes Balcells at 

About IDEA2

IDEA² provides mentoring and connections to biomedical innovators around the world to develop their project ideas and to provide the expertise to realize them. It is especially valuable for trainees, early-stage professionals, and those who have few opportunities in their normal work to participate in innovation projects. More at

About MIT linQ

MIT linQ is an initiative based in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute for Medical Engineering and Sciences (MIT IMES) to develop a new paradigm for biomedical technology innovation. MIT linQ, part of the MIT Innovation Initiative, unifies a portfolio of international innovation programs focused on improving healthcare through need-driven, interdisciplinary research and training. For more information, visit