Press Releases

March 2015

Sonavex Wins Top Prize in AUTM Venture Forum

Deerfield, IL — Sonavex LLC won $10,000 in the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) business plan competition during the 2015 AUTM Venture Forum held on Tuesday, Feb. 25, during the 2015 AUTM Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

 The Baltimore-based startup is developing a line of products called EchoSure—implantable and bioabsorbable markers (EchoMark) and ultrasound software packages (EchoFind) designed to detect the formation of blood clots after at-risk procedures. The medical device company was formed as a Johns Hopkins University spinout in 2013. Initial funding to support the development of the technology came from the TEDCO Maryland Innovation Initiative program and the Johns Hopkins-Coulter Translational Research Partnership.

“By delivering visual and quantitative blood flow data, surgeons can detect potentially catastrophic clots while there is still time to intervene,” explained Sonavex COO David Narrow. “Not only does the device improve patient outcomes, but also spares the payer substantial expense by minimizing revision procedures.”

Narrow estimates that EchoSure could save U.S. hospitals more than $180 million annually in the plastic surgery segment alone.

Sonavex was among four finalists who made their pitch to venture capitalists for the $10,000 prize at AUTM’s Venture Forum. The final four were selected out of 47 submissions, which were reviewed by 38 judges.

“The AUTM Venture Forum is an exciting example of the many ways new technologies are coming out of research universities all over the world and moving into the commercial marketplace,” said AUTM President Fred Reinhart, RTTP. “It allows us to bring real-world examples of how universities are working with business and industry to create products and services that are truly driving today’s global knowledge economy.”

AUTM Assistant Vice President for the Annual Meeting Claire Driscoll said, “We were thrilled with the response to this year’s competition, and we were delighted to be able to select from such a diverse and high-caliber set of startup company business plans.

“It’s very rewarding to provide a public showcase for these innovative companies and give them an opportunity to garner feedback and advice from successful venture capitalists,” continued Driscoll. “These university-based startups were born from academic research and they are making a positive economic and, in many cases, a significant public health or societal impact as well.”

The 2015 AUTM Venture Forum, which was sponsored by Haiyin Venture Partners, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP and iStart, provided attendees an opportunity to hear from and interact with some of the top institutional and corporate venture investors in the country.

The event will be offered again during the 2016 AUTM Annual Meeting, Feb. 14 – 17, in San Diego.

For more information or to arrange an interview with AUTM, contact Paul Stark, Marketing and Communications Director, at +1-847-559-0846, ext. 232, or

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About AUTM

The Association of University Technology Managers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing research to life by supporting and enhancing the global academic technology transfer profession through education, professional development, partnering and advocacy. AUTM’s more than 3,200 members represent managers of intellectual property from more than 300 universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals around the world as well as numerous businesses and government organizations. To learn more about AUTM, visit