Therese Canares, founder of CurieDx

CurieDx, a digital-health startup developing a machine-learning algorithm that screens for strep throat based on throat images a patient captures and uploads with their cellphone, won the Hexcite Pitching and Polling event earlier this month.

The virtual event was the culmination of the seventh annual Hexcite program, an early-stage medical software accelerator hosted by the Johns Hopkins Technology Innovation Center in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. The 16-week program helps teams navigate the first steps of business and technical design, covering such topics as customer interviews, UX/UI design and wireframing and clinical pilot planning.

More than 100 people watched Pitching and Polling, which was co-presented by the Chesapeake Digital Health Exchange and Anchor Ventures. The four Hexcite teams received feedback and questions from a panel of judges: Neil Davis, general partner of TCP Venture Capital and an entrepreneurial advisor; Adam Glasofer, global head of health care VC for Amazon Web Services; Brian Hasselfeld, medical director for digital health and telemedicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine; and Eileen O’Rourke, CFO at The Abell Foundation. Ashwini Davison, physician-executive for academic medicine at Amazon Web Services and a longtime Hexcite mentor, served as moderator.

“Winning the Hexcite pitch competition was a great honor,” says Therese Canares, CurieDx’s founder and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “I have a renewed drive to continue the work, building out the technology and talking to the patients and clinicians who feel the problem most acutely.”

Canares also gave credit to Heather Laiter, CurieDx’s design lead, and Mehaque Kohli, the startup’s business lead.

Canares previously won JHTV’s “Pitch It On!” competition for female inventors. CurieDx also received funding earlier this year from the Bisciotti Foundation Translational Fund through JHTV and won the audience choice award at the Hexcite event.

The three other Hexcite teams were Albright, an app connecting students to university health services; Video Vitals, which allows for remote vital-sign monitoring from real-time video taken on a smartphone; and Surgeon MR, a platform technology that uses mixed reality to help neurosurgeons more accurately place a catheter in a patient’s skull for external ventricle draining.

Canares says the Hexcite program helped grow her entrepreneurial network and she enjoyed collaborating with the other teams.

“This project has gained momentum in the last four months, and I credit that to the Hexcite experience,” she says.

You can watch the Pitching and Polling event below.