HBS Alumni Angels syndicates selected deals across the full global membership of its 14 chapters. This enables selected deals from one chapter to reach a global network of accredited investor alumni. This is a unique benefit of being a member in a local HBS Alumni Angel chapter. Investment decisions are made and executed individually following a global webinar. Once investments are made, investors often assist companies in other areas as formal or informal advisers. For details on how the process works, please scroll down.


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June 14, 2021 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm London, 6pm Continental Europe
Presenter: Co-Founder & CEO Hal Eason of MOMI
Complimentary for HBS Angels Members


About this event:
On behalf of the Washington DC chapter, we would like to share the following investment opportunity:


MOMI is commercializing revolutionary patented technologies for “the breast pump that works like a baby” and “the bottle that works like a mom”.  Invented by the former president of the world's leading breast pump company, MOMI's products are the first of their kind to solve big problems for moms and their babies by replicating the biomechanical function of natural nursing.


Watch our technology explainer animation here:

And watch our company intro video here:



Today’s breast pump and bottle nipple technologies do not replicate the important biomechanical properties of natural nursing.  Every breast pump on the market today operates on a single common principle of physics:  negative pressure (vacuum).  This results in painful swelling of the breast tissue:  77% of moms recently surveyed say they hate their breast pumps, and 60% say their pumps cause pain.  Similarly, every bottle nipple on the market today has four physiological traits in common, which distinguish them from the natural nipple.  Conventional bottle nipples are hollow, are made out of a hard silicone, are minimally stretchable, and most importantly, continue to allow milk to flow even when compressed.  This results in nipple confusion, bottle refusal, excessive regurgitation, overfeeding, and other complications.



MOMI’s patented “breast pump that works like a baby” is the only pump that uses both positive AND negative pressure to extract milk, replicating the action of the baby’s tongue to apply positive pressure to the nipple tissue, compressing it to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.  Our patented “bottle that works like a mom” is the first bottle nipple that resembles the natural nipple physiologically: solid, soft, and stretchy, enabling the baby to regulate the flow of milk by compression with the tongue.


Markets, Commercialization, & IP

Across both product lines MOMI targets a $4B global market.  The bottle is in production and undergoing regulatory, safety, and usability testing prior to a commercial launch in September.  The breast pump is in Phase 1 development, with a commercial launch targeted in mid 2023.  The breast pump is a Class II medical device and will pursue regulatory approval through the 510K pathway.  The current beta prototype validates the company’s core claims: it extracts milk at least as efficiently as leading brands on the market, and our tester mom recently proclaimed “this feels nothing like my [name brand] pump… it feels like my baby’s mouth!”.


MOMI holds four issued US patents covering both core technologies, four international counterparts to those patents, and three pending US applications with additional international counterpart filings.


Management Team

Carr Lane Quackenbush, PhD, co-founder, inventor, Chairman, and Chief Innovation Officer, formerly served as president of Medela, Inc., the world’s leading breast pump company.  During his 11 year tenure he led the company through a period of unprecedented growth.


Hal Eason, co-founder and CEO, is a 25-year serial entrepreneur with experience in technology commercialization. He holds an MBA from HBS (Baker Scholar, John L. Loeb Fellow), and a B.A. from Vanderbilt University.


Meg Alden, MD, Chief Medical Officer, is a practicing pediatrician, biomedical engineer, and mother of two.


Dina Carey, Director of Marketing, is both a seasoned marketing veteran and an entrepreneur in her own right.  After an early marketing career with a healthcare system, Dina left to launch a lactation nutrition products company.  She achieved d2c revenues in excess of $1M during her first year, with no outside capital.  Dina is a mother of three.



MOMI has achieved its target $1M offering amount in its Seed B convertible note round, and will accept up to $500,000 in oversubscription amounts from HBSAAA and other investors currently engaged in due diligence.  The convertible notes have a $7.5M conversion cap and 20% conversion discount.  Capital from this raise will support the launch marketing campaign for the baby bottle and Phase II development of the breast pump.


Investors in this round include Fulcrum Financial Partners, Wisconsin Investment Partners, Enventys Partners, Kapstone Medical, two key employees, members of the HBSAAA DC chapter, and other angels.  The company closed its $1M Seed A convertible note round in September 2020.

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Co-Founder & CEO, MOMI

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Hal Eason MBA'00, co-founder and CEO, Hal is a seasoned serial entrepreneur, with prior startup successes ranging from a stem cell therapeutics venture to a real estate investing platform. A common
theme across many of his ventures is the commercialization of early stage
Prior to embarking on his startup career, Hal worked in the Private Equity Group of Bain & Company, advising leading global private equity firms on their prospective acquisitions, and developing strategies for their portfolio companies.
Hal holds an MBA with High Distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a BA in English and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University (Phi Beta Kappa).


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May 27, 2021 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm London, 6pm Continental Europe
Presenter: President & CEO Susanne Wilke of COGNOPTIX
Complimentary for HBS Angels Members


About this event:
On behalf of the Houston chapter, we would like to share the following investment opportunity:


The Sapphire II is a ground-breaking, disruptive diagnostic/medical device for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that detects a protein called amyloid, the earliest pathological and AD-specific biomarker, in the lens of the eye. The Sapphire II is a simple 5-minute eye scan that is highly desired as a cost and time efficient, easy to use, non-invasive, and safe in-office instrument. Sapphire II directly meets the market needs to identify patients early by making amyloid diagnosis more accessible for millions who already suffer from cognitive decline or who are at higher risk and providing such results in an environment equipped for counseling and further treatment.


Opportunity & Problem

AD is a global burden with increasing incidence rates of 2-3x, remaining the 6th leading cause of death in the US. Yet, there is not an easily accessible, clinical diagnostic to provide early AD testing at this time. Current research tools like amyloid PET scans are accurate but have numerous drawbacks that make them inaccessible for a majority of patients like high costs of $8-9k/procedure, limited availability, and unscalable to reach the millions of people at risk of AD. Early diagnosis is critical to not only identify amyloid specific to AD but to identify those without amyloid who may be suffering from other types of dementias that may have existing treatments like depression or vascular dementia. Ratios are as high as 60% of dementia patients to have amyloid and subsequent AD risk, allowing a test like Sapphire II to differentiate patients who can qualify for emerging therapies, which are in the pipeline to enter the market by 2023/2024. Sapphire II also plays a crucial role in ruling out AD for the other 40% of dementia patients. There are currently 12 million patients with pre-forms of dementia, 8 million living with dementia, and 30-40 million more who are pre-symptomatic but have elevated levels of amyloid, posing the risk for rapid progression of AD. Diagnostics that can rule out AD or segment patients for upcoming therapies are needed. Even with amyloid PET available, data shows only 3% of patients are being tested due to the procedure’s high cost, time demands, and radiation exposure. US projections estimate care costs to exceed $1 trillion by 2050. The Sapphire II system is posed to make an impact for early AD diagnosis and segmentation for early treatment.



The Sapphire II is a highly differentiated, elegant and effective diagnostic tool for the in-office early diagnosis of AD. It is differentiated for from existing tools like amyloid PET scans or other emergent technologies, like blood or retina tests, as Sapphire II is the only technology to make direct measurements of beta-amyloid in the lens of the eye. The earlier detection is made possible by the lens uniquely detecting amyloid levels before lesions appear in the brain. The Sapphire II system is ideal for in-office use with the potential to improve clinical diagnosis from the current 60-70% to over 90% accuracy. It will provide physicians with the ability to easily segment patient populations into those with AD-specific dementia (amyloid present) and non-AD dementias (no amyloid), indicating need for timely treatment and potential prevention. The market for the Sapphire II system is huge, estimated at $30M in revenue within the first year even without new treatments or reimbursement.



Cognoptix’ Sapphire II system is an extremely safe, fluorescent laser technology that rapidly scans the ocular lens to measure amyloid levels. The Sapphire II meets all the market demands as an office-based, non-invasive system at a radically reduced cost, 1/20 of cost of a PET scan and without radiation exposure. The Sapphire II system consists of an optical device and a fluorescent ophthalmic ointment, which selectively binds to amyloid in the lens of the eye. Ease of access to the lens and overall use of the tool leads to better accuracy, achieving high sensitivity and specificity when compared to amyloid PET scans.



The Sapphire II aims to start pivotal studies in 2021/2022 with market commercialization expected in 2023/2024. Year 5 revenue estimates are $400M with greater than $1B potential if disease modifying therapies are approved. The total US market for amyloid testing is estimated at $5.6B. The company owns 48 patients internationally, of which 44 of them issued.


Management Team

In 2019, Dr. Susanne Wilke, an experienced executive with a long industry strategy and implementation track record, took over the leadership of Cognoptix to drive Sapphire II through late-stage clinical development, FDA approval and commercialization. Dr. Wilke has assembled an outstanding management and scientific advisory team with relevant experience in AD-specific clinical, regulatory, reimbursement and market strategy. The team joins together over 150 years of experience including world-renowned experts in the fields of neurodegenerative research and diagnostics. The team has impressive fundraising and deal-making experience with a combined total of $60M raised, 6 company exits.

Cognoptix has world-renowned AD industry experts as Scientific Advisors:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Cummings – Director of the Chamber-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas & Director Emeritus of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

  • Dr. Lee E. Goldstein – Co-Founder of Cognoptix, Boston University School of Medicine

  • Dr. Philip Scheltens – Professor of Cognitive Neurology and Director of the Alzheimer Center at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam

  • Dr. Marwan Sabbagh – Camille and Larry Ruvo Endowed Chair for Brain Health and Director of Translational Research at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

  • Dr. Martin R. Farlow – Co-Director of the Indiana University Alzheimer’s Disease Center

  • Dr. Carl H. Sadowsky – Chief Medical Officer at Cognoptix & Founding Director of Research at Palm Beach Neurology and Premiere Research Institute


Cognoptix is currently raising a convertible note of $1M - $1.5M at a $12M cap. with a 25% discount (50% of the note is already committed and in the bank). Concurrently, Cognoptix is raising a $5M Series B and seeking a lead investor.



President & CEO, Cognoptix

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Susanne Wilke, PH.D, MBA Dr. Wilke has over 30 years of experience in drug development, holding senior executive positions with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and venture capital companies. Prior to joining Cognoptix, Dr. Wilke served as the CEO and a director of Neurotrope Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotech company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, including AD. At Neurotrope, Dr. Wilke restructured the company, completed a licensing agreement with Stanford University, raised >$26m of equity, and up listed the company to NASDAQ. She was founder and Managing Partner of CrossBridge International, Global Director of New Products - Commercial Assessment at Forest Labs, and a project leader at Roche Pharmaceuticals and Amgen. She was also a venture investor for over 5 years at top rated SV Life Sciences (‘Schroders’) and NGN Capital where she contributed to a number of successful investments including Rinat ($500m exit to Pfizer), GlycoFi ($500m exit to Merck) and Sightline ($120m exit to Stryker). Dr. Wilke holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in general management and finance, a dual Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry with focus on drug development from University of Illinois, and a BS from Loyola University. Dr. Wilke has served as a Kauffman Fellow.


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A company must meet a threshold of member investment in one of our HBS Alumni Angel Chapters listed here. The leadership of the host chapter nominates the company for global syndication and provides a local member contact to act as syndication lead and a company contact.


Ideally, for global syndication a company should meet the following requirements:

  • Local host chapter members committed to invest at least $50,000* and local chapter forwards deal to global for syndication; 

  • Company assures at least $50,000-100,000 investible capacity;

  • Company provides at least 2 weeks for due diligence following the webinar, prior to requiring an investment decision;

  • Minimum individual investment amount is set at $25,000 or less;

  • Company agrees to a one-time admin fee of $1500.

The Global Syndication Committee selects the most suitable company candidates from the 15 participating HBSAA chapters and is aiming to host monthly webinars. 

*NY and other larger chapters may have a $100,000 min.