Three Massachusetts Companies Win up to $20,000 at Northstar Campus Pitch Day Event

August 23, 2022

On Thursday, August 11th, 2022, Northstar Campus at UMASS Lowell Research Institute hosted its third annual SBIR Grant Pitch Day Competition,  showcasing some of the Boston startup ecosystem’s most exciting, innovative and cutting-edge dual-use technology. This event was the first of two Pitch Day events scheduled for this year.

“Our primary goals are to remove barriers to engagement and accelerate defense innovation,” said Matt McSwain, Executive Director and Founder at University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Institute (UMLRI). “Northstar Campus serves as the center of gravity for the New England aerospace and defense startup and venture communities, academia, and local and federal partners,  in support of the Department of Defense.”

Stacey Swider, vice president, investments for MassVentures, kicked off the event as the keynote speaker, sharing insights into how MassVentures works. MassVentures finds, funds and fosters early-stage deep tech that fuels economic growth across the commonwealth. The organization is intentional in supporting founders who have diverse backgrounds or are from diverse geographies in the state.

A panel of five judges selected the winners. The judges were Alex Brickner (Northstar), Stacey Swider (MassVentures), Karen Krause-Bencal (, Dan Wooley (MITRE) and Conrad Holloman (MIT The Engine). Winners will receive up to $20K each.

The three winning companies are:

  • SafeBVM’s SIP™ Safety Accessory prevents improper manual ventilation in a cost-effective and user-friendly manner. 
  • Advanced Silicon Group’s next generation light-weight biosensors make possible the detection of multiple analytes (proteins, nucleic acids, and more) in the same test . 
  • Square Robot’s aboveground storage tank inspection robots eliminate the need to put people into dangerous enclosed spaces and help prevent out-of-service tanks. 

The next Northstar Campus SBIR Pitch Day competition will take place Thursday, October 13th at 4:00pm. If you are interested in applying, please complete this application today.

Northstar Campus SBIR Pitch Day Judges
Northstar Campus Pitch Day judge panel: Alex Brickner (Northstar Campus), Stacey Swider (MassVentures), Conrad Holloman (MIT The Engine), Dan Wooley (MITRE), and Karen Krause-Bencal ( (from left to right).
Pitch Day Winner - Advance Silicon
Matthew McSwain (Executive Director and Founder of UMLRI) pictured with grant winner Nick Bateman (PhD, Director of Sensor Development) of Advanced Silicon Group.
Pitch Day Winner - SafeBVM
Matthew McSwain (Executive Director and Founder of UMLRI) pictured with grant winner Prathamesh Prabhudesai (MD, MBID, Co-Founder and CEO) of SafeBVM.
Pitch Day Winner - Square Robot
Matthew McSwain (Executive Director and Founder of UMLRI) pictured with grant winners Evan Kuritzkes and Ranier Gran of Square Robot (from right to left).

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