SALEM — A start-up digital health firm named Apptomics has won this year’s business plan competition at Salem State University’s Enterprise Center, pocketing the first prize of $5,000 to develop mobile applications for neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
The company, now based in Wellesley, plans to move to North Shore InnoVentures, a biotech and clean tech business incubator located in the Cummings Center in Beverly.
Coming in second, and winning $3,000 for its business plan, was North Shore Speech Therapy of Peabody, a therapist-owned pediatric speech therapy practice.
Third place went to The Bridge, a Gloucester social media website where Cape Ann businesses, nonprofits and community groups can upload videos, stay connected and raise awareness.
The three businesses presented their plans to regional business leaders and others on May 6. In addition to cash prizes, businesses also got feedback from the judges — judges who might, someday, become investors.
Winners of the competition commit to locating on the North Shore, and growing to at least five full-time employees within two years. The companies also must be relatively new or be putting in place a new growth strategy.
“This competition gave me the opportunity to really focus on refining my plan,” said Apptomics founder and CEO Georgia Mitsi, in a prepared statement. “The advice and coaching have been excellent. This has been a very positive and dynamic experience.”
In an interview, Mitsi said winning the competition provided “external validation” for her company.
“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “First of all, this competition was perfectly organized. There were great people behind it.” The judges had a wealth of experience Mitsi said she found helpful.
“They gave me a hard time, which was a good thing because they made me think,” Mitsi said. The challenge, she said, is not just to develop a product but to bring it to market.