TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Hundreds of health technology professionals and entrepreneurs gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown on Wednesday for the first day of HealthTech 2014.
Health Tech 2014 is a two-day conference being held Wednesday and Thursday and sponsored by the Westchester County Association in order to spotlight the key players in the health technology industry of Westchester County and the potential for its expansion.
The highlight of the first day of the conference was the Pitch To The Pros contest, in which several startups were given the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of judges to receive a $10,000 grant and acceptance into Westchester's Blueprint Accelerator Network.
The winner chosen was Databean of Mount Vernon, which describes itself as a "focused clinical stage CRO specializing in med-tech, bio-tech, and bio-pharma companies with lead programs in end-stage disease management, transplant, immunology and novel therapeutics.'
The runner-up, also accepted into the Blueprint Accelerator Network, was Amrita Foods, a, "plant-based nutrition company, focusing on healthy endurance and recovery bars for active people."
Somers native and White Plains resident Chris Gaur, co-founder of Vital Care Services, also competed for the grant.
Before giving his pitch, Gaur said he was excited to be involved in the conference, and that his company, which designs personalized remote patient healthcare monitoring for individuals and providers in their own living setting, has every intention of staying in Westchester.
"We hope to unfold nationwide eventually, but right now we're expanding to 600 clients. My brother and I want to keep our main operations in Westchester because we grew up here and exciting things are happening here," he said.
Gaur added that partnerships with the county, specifically with the County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler and County Executive Rob Astorino, along with Pace University have been crucial in his company's success.
In his opening remarks, Westchester County Association president William Mooney said the private sector is driving innovation in Westchester County, and that innovators want to come and establish themselves in the county.
Mooney added that he aims to make Westchester a place where ideas come to launch.