A sleep mask that will help at-risk women avoid the onset of premature labor won the $50,000 Cade Museum Prize for Innovation Saturday, April 30. The mask's creator is a St. Petersburg-based company called KynderMed.The company created a device that uses a specific blue light spectrum therapy to control production of the hormone melatonin to suppress contractions, and the technology has been successfully tested and is in a second proof-of-concept human trial, the company's website said.
Company officials made their pitch along with three other Tampa Bay and Orlando-area companies to Cade Museum officials Saturday afternoon, and KynderMed's was deemed the most innovative and marketable.
Dan Rosenkoetter is KynderMed's CEO and James Olcese is the technology's inventor and the company's vice president and chief scientific officer.
The seventh annual version of the Cade Museum Prize for Innovation contest drew more than 100 entries from around the state.
The finalists were lauded and the winner announced at the second annual Inventivity Bash at Santa Fe College's Fine Arts Hall Saturday evening. The Cade Museum for Creativity + Invention created the prize, named for Dr. J. Robert Cade, who led the University of Florida team that invented Gatorade in 1965, to provide seed capital and publicity for great ideas with market potential.
According to the KynderMed website, the company is also working on ways to use melatonin as a more natural, less dangerous labor induction agent than Oxytocin, which can cause fetal distress.
The other finalists were:
AbleNook — A Tampa startup that has developed prefabricated living modules that snap together and are easily assembled, transported, and adaptable to diverse terrain.
Feynman Nano — An Orlando company that has invented technology for self-cleaning and omnidirectional anti-reflective films that can be applied on solar panels to improve the overall service lifetime.
Hesperos — An Orlando company that develops in vitro human models for drug and chemical testing to reduce the rate of failed human clinical trials and therefore decrease the cost to develop new drugs.
The Cade Museum Prize is funded by the Community Foundation of North Central Florida. The presenting sponsor of the 2nd Annual Inventivity Bash is RTI Surgical, and in-kind legal services are being sponsored by Saliwanchik, Lloyd and Eisenschenk. The Cade Museum Prize competition and judging platform is sponsored by Skild.