October 30, 2019 | 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Cleveland Medical Center, UH Ventures Suite (1570 Lakeside)

Featured Keynote Address: Martin Hoke, Former US Congressman, President & Founder, RhinoSystems



ENT Innovation Day was created to celebrate ongoing innovation efforts within University Hospitals’ Ear, Nose, & Throat Institute and to ignite new solutions to improve the way we work and the way we care for our patients. Innovation Day includes a keynote from a nationally renowned speaker, pitches from some of the most cutting edge startups, and recognition of the innovators within ENT that are committed to advancing patient care to new limits. This year, Innovation Day is looking for University Hospitals employees who have an idea that fall within the categories of (1) ENT Devices, (2) Provider-to-Provider Communication (3) Patient Access, and (4) Patient Engagement and Communication. These focus areas are described in more detail below.


7:00 – 7:15 am – Breakfast & Opening Remarks: Nicole Maronian, MD, Chair, Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery; Director, ENT Institute

7:15 – 7:45 am – Keynote Speaker: Martin Hoke, Founder & President, Rhino Systems

7:45 – 8:15 am –  Innovation Competition Announcement & Presentations

8:15 – 8:45 am – Virtual Startup Presentations – Health Note and CaptureProof

8:45 – 9:00 am – Closing & Networking

FEATURED KEYNOTE: Martin Hoke, Founder & President, Rhino Systems

Martin Hoke is the president of RhinoSystems, the medical device company he founded in 2007 to manufacture, market, and distribute Naväge Nasal Care, the innovative saline nasal irrigation system that he invented.

Hoke has achieved successes in the fields of law, business, and politics. He practiced law fulltime in Cleveland, Ohio from 1980 – 1987. In 1981, Hoke founded Red Carpet Airport Car Care, located on the grounds of Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Red Carpet offered travelers the convenience of “Complete Car Care While You’re in the Air!” In 1985, cellular telephony was introduced in northern Ohio, and Hoke launched Red Carpet Cellular which quickly grew into the largest independent cellular distributor in Ohio, with offices in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati. Red Carpet Airport Car Care was acquired by BP Oil Company in 1988, and Red Carpet Cellular was acquired by Verizon Wireless in 1991.

Hoke was elected to two terms in the United States Congress representing Ohio’s Tenth District which encompassed Cleveland and western Cuyahoga County. He served from 1993 to 1997.  Hoke has served on the boards of various non-profit institutions, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., the Emmanuel Promise of Hope Shelter, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, both in Cleveland.  In 2011, Governor John Kasich appointed Hoke to the inaugural Ohio Casino Control Commission and reappointed him in 2013.

RhinoSystems has been Hoke’s primary focus since February, 2007, when he invented the Naväge® Nose Cleaner, the world’s only powered nasal irrigator with powered suction to pull saline irrigant through the nasal cavity. Hoke holds over 70 issued patents world wide. Hoke was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) from Amherst College where he majored in music. He received his law degree from the CWRU School of Law, and he is a member of the Ohio Bar.


The deadline to submit was October 14, 2019. Best of luck to all applicants!

The top two submissions will receive $10,000 to further develop, protect, commercialize and implement their idea and the opportunity to present their idea at the 2019 ENT Innovation Day on October 30. Ideas can be submitted which are in any level of development, and do not need to be long, complex or fully developed. All submitted ideas will be reviewed by UH Ventures and our ENT leaders and the top ideas will be awarded with funds to help further develop the proposed idea.


The below themes have been identified as distinct areas of opportunities for innovation for the ENT Institute. We ask that all ideas align to one of the below focus areas.

  1. ENT Devices – How might we build new tools for preventing, diagnosing, and treating ENT conditions? More specifically how might we introduce more tools for remotely monitoring our patients?
  2. Provider-to-Provider Communication – How might we innovate around best practices or technologies for sharing critical patient information among our clinicians? Specifically, how might we share endoscopy images within the ENT institute and other institutes at UH?
  3. Patient Access – How might we offer new avenues for delivering patient care? For example, how might we coordinate Virtual Care for post operative Head and Neck Cancer patients?
  4. Patient Engagement & Communication – How might we create new mechanisms for communicating with our patients? More specifically, how might we leverage asynchronous methods via text messages, email, or mobile apps?


Below are a few tools that the UH Ventures team created to help your innovation submission stand out from the rest. You can find all of our resources here.

  • UH Ventures Health Voyagers Podcast Series: 3 Tips for Making your Innovation Submission Stand Out. LISTEN
  • UH Ventures Innovation Handbooks: Sharing your Idea with UH Ventures. DOWNLOAD


Need help? Contact one of the following UH Ventures team members or our general email address at Ideas@UHhospitals.org.

Dhanesh Shah, Senior Portfolio Manager, UH Ventures

Kip Lee, Managing Director, UH Ventures

Matthew Zenker, Lead Innovation Strategist, UH Ventures

University Hospital Ventures

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