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June 5, 2023 – CMO Dr. Kenneth Lee represented Qualia Oto in Rotterdam, the Netherlands last week for the 16th European Symposium on Pediatric Cochlear Implantation. The Scientific Committee of the ESPCI selected his work as one of the conference’s Best Abstracts. Dr. Lee was given the honor of presenting during the conference’s opening plenary session, catching the ears of the world’s leading experts on advancing treatments for hearing loss.
Dr. Lee highlighted research of the past decade on self-coiling, shape memory polymer cochlear implant arrays and their ability to reduce trauma and optimize positioning within the cochlea.

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ISEF Welcomes Dr. Walter Voit as Speaker at 2023 Event

May 23, 2023 – The Society for Science hosted its 2023 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Dallas last week. Qualia Oto Co-founder Dr. Walter Voit spoke at the event, highlighting the entrepreneurship spirit of Dallas and Qualia Oto's role therewithin.

"It was an honor to be surrounded by so many young, brilliant minds whose tireless passion, work ethic, and fundamental rigor so early in their student journeys will profoundly shape our world," Dr. Voit noted. 


ISEF is the world's largest global science competition for high school students, representing a total of 21 STEM disciplines and 75 countries, regions, and territories. Prizes and scholarships total nearly $8 million.

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Benedict Voit Joins Panel for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop  

April 28, 2023 – CFO Benedict Voit represented Qualia Oto at UT Dallas' Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship workshop: "How To Turn Your Idea Into A Company". Voit shared his experiences with bioengineering graduate students interested in commercializing their research. The panel discussed the challenges startups must overcome to reach a level of success. "If there was only one takeaway," Voit said, "I hope it was that the ideas are secondary to the people. It's great people working together that create successful companies - not the other way around. " 

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Dr. Chenkai Dai Newest Advisor to Qualia Oto

March 28, 2023 – Qualia Oto welcomes Dr. Chenkai Dai as a materials, research and development advisor. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma where his research is focused on neurophysiology of the ear, medical devices for restoring/protecting hearing and balancing, mechanics in aging or disorders of the ear, computational modeling of the ear, and testing and 3D printing of medical materials. 

Dr. Dai earned his PhD at OU, and he has over a decade of experience at Johns Hopkins University in research and teaching.

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Qualia Oto Celebrates Women's History Month

March 6, 2023 – Only 10% of Fortune 500 companies and 8% of S&P 500 companies have women as their CEOs. Connie Manz is not only CEO of Qualia Oto, but also one of its co-founders. She has led the company from the beginning overseeing its IP portfolio and positions with UT Dallas, expanding the company's size and scope, supporting its grant applications and capital raise, and building and maintaining relationships with major global CI companies.

Ms. Manz has a background as a lab finance manager, researcher, and business strategy consultant.

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NSF Publishes Qualia Oto's Completion of its Phase I Grant

February 20, 2023 – The National Science Foundation awarded Qualia Oto over $233,000 last year for its Phase I project: "Matrix-Addressed, Thin-Film Cochlear Implant Electrode Arrays". This nine-month project finished at the end of January, and two weeks thereafter, the NSF shared publicly the company's review of the grant and the corresponding successes.

As noted in the report: "Qualia Oto successfully established the technical and early-stage business feasibility of matrix-addressed, thin-film CI electrode arrays by fulfilling the Phase I tasks and achieving critical milestones."

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Venture Dallas 2022 Highlights the Entrepreneurial Successes of North Texas

November 8, 2022 – Venture Dallas hosted its 2022 conference last week, bringing together startup companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and community leaders. The event featured more than two dozen speakers who highlighted the creative culture supported in North Texas, including Ross Perot, Jr., Steve Winn, Troy Aikman, and Mark Cuban among many others.

The University of Texas at Dallas, the event's Presenting Sponsor, showcased Qualia Oto as one of its startup successes.  

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Best Startup Texas recognizes Qualia Oto as a Top Dallas Biotechnology Company

September 23, 2022 – In a recent market review, Best Startup Texas placed Qualia Oto in its top grouping of innovative biotechnology companies in the state:

"At Best Startup Texas we track over 100,000 Texan startups and over 500,000 people who hold key positions in these companies. We use this directory of startups to highlight top employees, founders and organisations we think deserve more appreciation than they are currently getting. We’ve ranked the top 57 Biotechnology companies in Dallas, Texas. The companies, startups and institutions listed in this article are all exceptional companies, well worth a follow."

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Like Playing the Piano without Boxing Gloves: Advantages of Self-Coiling Cochlear Implants

August 25, 2022 – UT Southwestern featured Qualia Oto co-founder and CMO Dr. Kenneth Lee in its most recent MedBlog where Dr. Lee explains the significant advantages of self-coiling cochlear implants. The post, including two quick videos, highlights the great advancements and opportunities of this new technology.


"Placing electrodes on the outer wall is similar to trying to play the piano while wearing boxing gloves and striking multiple keys with each hand," noted Dr. Lee of the current market options. Self-coiling cochlear implants are different. "By placing the electrodes on the inner wall, it’s more precise, and you're able to hit each key with a single finger with the gloves removed."

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July 21, 2022 – North Texas publication Dallas Innovates

featured Qualia Oto's success story on its website and via its email update earlier today. CFO Benedict Voit spoke with the publication, sharing his insights on the growth and future of the company upon the completion of the capital raise earlier this summer.  

Dallas Innovates prides itself on being "the online source for what’s new, next, and reimagined in North Texas" by sharing "the stories of our creativity, commerce, and collaboration." 

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Successful Series Seed A Preferred Capital Round Raises $1.64mm

June 1, 2022 – Qualia Oto closed its first capital round on Wednesday, beating expectations and raising over $1.64mm. Thirty-five investors from seven different states bought in to the company. Qualia Oto built upon its initial closing, bringing on board additional investors and another $220k.


“This is another great milestone for the company,” remarked CFO Benedict Voit. “With this secure financial foundation, we have launched our next stage of exciting growth.” 

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Qualia Oto Represents UT Dallas Successes at Health Supernova Event

May 10, 2022 – CFO Benedict Voit joined the UT Dallas table last night at the Health Supernova's Startup Crawl. UT Dallas invited Qualia Oto to represent the successes of its Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as its Venture Development Center.


The event, hosted by Capital Factory, connected professionals and entrepreneurs from across the state to share innovations that are advancing the medical space.

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April 18, 2022 – Qualia Oto achieved another milestone by securing its first federal grant. The National Science Foundation awarded Qualia Oto $233,928 to support research and design of its unique matrix-addressed thin-film cochlear implant electrode arrays.

The company’s utilization of thin-film transistors is the first of its kind in any neural stimulation device. It enables high-channel-count cochlear arrays with potentially hundreds of stimulating electrodes that can be individually selected and operated within the intracochlear space. Combined with potential process automation, these higher quality implants at a lower cost are a win-win. 

Read more about the company's award.

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March 1, 2022 – It is with great pleasure that Qualia Oto welcomes Dr. Stuart Cogan as CTO. Building upon the successful Round 1 capital raise, Qualia Oto expanded its leadership team, adding Cogan's dozens of years of combined commercial and academic experience.

“Dr. Cogan’s background makes him the perfect fit as our CTO,” said CEO Connie Manz. “His career of business and academic successes is exactly what we need during this exciting stage of company growth.”

Read more about Dr. Cogan joining the company.

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January 1, 2022 – Qualia Oto pushed through the first round of its Series Seed A Preferred capital raise, bringing in over $1.42mm from over two dozen investors. "This is a stimulating stage for our company," CFO Benedict Voit said. "We have the monetary, intellectual, and technical foundations for significant growth in the coming years."


The company is planning to close the full round in the coming five months. Interested, accredited investors should send Qualia Oto an email for more information:

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November 10, 2021 – Qualia Oto took home $100,000 as the winner of this year's Big Idea Competition - Research Commercialization track. President Walter Voit and CFO Benedict Voit accepted the award last night at the ceremony hosted by UT Dallas.


The company submitted its proposal in September and, after successive rounds of questions, was selected as a top three contender in October. Benedict Voit presented live to a judges' panel last week at Pegasus Park in the Competition's finals.

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Dr. Kenneth Lee on Maximizing Vaccination Compliance for Children Undergoing CIs

July 30, 2021 – Qualia Oto CMO Kenneth Lee (MD-PhD) co-authored a paper for the July edition of ScienceDirect: "Achieving optimal vaccine administration in a pediatric cochlear implant program after implementation of a Quality Improvement Project".

Since the completion of their QI project over a year ago, the success rate is 100%, with no missed vaccinations for children with cochlear implants. Dr. Lee believes this QI approach can be greatly expanded to other medical and surgical fields.

Qualia Oto Leadership Adds Brainpower to Richardson IQ


April 21, 2021 – Qualia Oto President Walter Voit proved he can have his CAIQUE and eat it, too. Voit now serves as the Principal Investigator for the Center for Applied AI at the Richardson Innovation Quarter with UT Dallas Expertise (CAIQUE). This multi-disciplinary center will showcase emergent applied AI research from the University of Texas at Dallas (with which Qualia Oto is associated) to engage companies, win extramural grants, strengthen international partnerships and provide a global network for affiliated students to excel as UT Dallas alumni.

CEO Connie Manz will serve on the Center's Advisory Board.

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Advisor Dr. Burak Ozdoganlar Pursuing New COVID Vaccine Delivery Options

February 17, 2021 – Qualia Oto advisor Dr. Burak Ozdoganlar, professor of mechanical engineering and associate director of the Engineering Research Accelerator at Carnegie Mellon, is co-leading a project utilizing his novel work in microneedle arrays to configure a new method of vaccine delivery directly into the skin. (Read more of this exciting work here.)

Qualia Oto plans to utilize these dissolvable, hybrid microneedles as a new method of treating disorders such as tinnitus and Ménière's disease by delivering drugs into the inner-ear.

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Michael Seeligson Joins the Qualia Oto Board of Directors

January 22, 2021 – Qualia Oto is pleased to welcome Michael Seeligson, an Assistant Professor at SMU, to its Board of Directors. Before joining SMU, Mr. Seeligson served as an Assistant Provost at UT Dallas, having graduated from UTD in 2006 as part of the McDermott Scholars Program. He went on to the University of Virginia where he earned his JD in 2009. Following law school, Mr. Seeligson worked as an attorney in the corporate law section with Haynes and Boone before entering the academic space.


In addition to his role at SMU, he currently serves on other Boards of Directors as well, bringing to the Company his valuable legal, corporate, and academic experience. 

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Advisor Dr. Walter Kutz discusses Chronic Eustachian Tube Disorders on BackTable ENT Podcast

December 29, 2020 – Qualia Oto advisor Dr. J. Walter Kutz (UT Southwestern) talks shop with Dr. Gopi Shah and Dr. Ashley Agan on this podcast from BackTable ENT. These otolaryngologists discuss the challenges associated with diagnosing chronic eustachian tube disorders and the different treatment options currently available.

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Qualia Oto President Walter Voit Recognized in D CEO's Top 500 Most Influential Leaders

December 1, 2020 – D CEO released its annual listing of North Texas' most influential business leaders, and Qualia Oto President Walter Voit earned recognition. Dr. Voit's impact on North Texas extends beyond Qualia Oto, as he is also founder and President of Adaptive3D Technologies, as well as an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering at UT Dallas.

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