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BackStop Neural Earns Top Award at the University of Texas at Dallas’ 2024 Big Idea Competition

UT Dallas' Vice President for Research and Innovation, Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, presents Ms. Manz with the first prize winnings.

April 15, 2024 – The University of Texas at Dallas’ Big Idea Competition (BIC) Research Commercialization Track concluded its highly anticipated final with a thrilling announcement, recognizing Connie Manz, CEO of BackStop Neural, as the winner of the prestigious competition and recipient of a $15,000 cash prize.

The BIC, hosted annually by the University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, serves as a platform to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation, bringing together top undergraduate and graduate students alongside renowned research faculty, alumni, and industry experts. The Research Commercialization Track’s special panel of guest judges had collective expertise in entrepreneurship, medical devices, neurology, academia, biolab management, and corporate law.

Manz presented to the panel the company’s innovative thin-film based spinal cord stimulation leads that are revolutionizing the field of neuromodulation, with applications in chronic pain relief and motor recovery. She then took questions from the judges who were impressed by both her leadership and the trajectory of the company.

"Winning the University of Texas at Dallas' Big Idea Competition is an incredible honor and validation of our vision at BackStop Neural," remarked Ms. Manz. "This prize not only recognizes our hard work but also fuels our mission to use advanced materials and manufacturing processes to expand the use of spinal cord stimulation as a therapy for patients with chronic pain or paralysis."

Upon receiving the $15,000 cash prize, Manz expressed heartfelt gratitude towards The University of Texas at Dallas for fostering an environment that nurtures innovation and entrepreneurship. "The support and resources provided by UT Dallas have been instrumental in our journey, and we are immensely thankful for the opportunities they continue to offer to aspiring entrepreneurs like us."

Ms. Manz emphasized that the victory at the BIC is proof that individuals both inside and outside the field of neuromodulation understand and appreciate the significance of the company’s innovations. BackStop Neural will utilize the prize money to fuel its ongoing growth, enabling the company to accelerate research, attract top talent, and expedite the development of its groundbreaking technology.

About BackStop Neural

BackStop Neural is a pioneering medical technology company that specializes in developing advanced spinal cord stimulation solutions for individuals suffering from chronic pain and neurological disorders. Through cutting-edge neurostimulation technology, the company strives to provide patients with a renewed sense of hope and freedom from debilitating conditions. With a team of dedicated experts and a patient-centered approach, BackStop Neural aims to transform the landscape of chronic pain relief and motor recovery.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Kial Gramley, Chief Product Officer

(956) 219-6752


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