Top Honors: Flatley Challenge winners awarded

NASHUA – The winners of the Flatley Challenge, a business startup competition hosted by the John Flatley Co., owner of Gateway Hills in Nashua, were awarded Wednesday.

Paul Holtzer, president of CEO of XenoTherapeutics, and Greg McHale, founder and chief technology officer of Datanomix, each received one year of free office rent at Gateway Hills and $10,000.

The Flatley Challenge is designed to assist startups and emerging businesses in the fields of technology and science.

XenoTherapeutics, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on the science of transplanting tissues and organs of dissimilar species, is the winner for the new biotech category. President and CEO Paul Holtzer announced at the ceremony that the company would go to clinical trial this year.

“I know that there are people in this room who have tried to go from zero to one, and I’m sure you can share in how hard it is to do just that,” Holtzer said. “And it is impossible to get from zero to one without the support, the generosity and the vision of people like Mr. Flatley.”

Datanomix, a startup with roots in Nashua that seeks to solve major cloud infrastructure challenges for companies, won in the high-tech category.

“As an early stage company that doesn’t have a ton of people, you can attest to the fact that when you go out looking for space, a lot of folks will say they’re entrepreneur friendly, but have a hard time actually showing you what that means,” McHale said. “We’re very grateful, we’re very thankful, and we promise that we’ll pay you next year.”

The runner-up in the biotech category is Therapeutic Innovations, a health care engineering startup developing cost-effective pediatric care devices for the developing world.

The runner-up in the high-tech category is Forcivity, a cloud-based data reporting and access platform startup.

Both companies will also receive one year of free office space at Gateway Hills.

Mayor Jim Donchess, who spoke at the ceremony, said he remembers when the Gateway Hills’ 750,000-square-foot office space was vacant, and praised owner John Flatley for attracting many growing young businesses to the space.

“This a part of our city that we’re very proud of,” Donchess said.

Gov. Chris Sununu’s senior adviser, Paul Collins, read a letter from Sununu, who was invited but unable to attend.

“I encourage you all to keep inventing and moving forward and developing technologies that will enhance the services and livelihood of our great state,” the letter said.

Flatley said he plans to continue developing Gateway Hills.

“We have 400 acres here and we’ve only developed 150 of them, so we have a long way to go,” he said.

Derek Edry can be reached at 594-1243, dedry@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_Derek.