John Harkness is $125,000 closer to his dream. That’s the investment his Portland-based biomedical software startup, Rewire Neuro, received Friday afternoon.

Rewire Neuro was the winning pitch at Angel Oregon Tech, a program of Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. The pitch contest was the final event of Friday’s virtual TechfestNW 2021 and the culmination of months of education and networking sponsored by OEN.

“This is just a dream for us, to be working on this project and to scale operations and move forward, and this investment is a big part of making that success possible,” Harkness said.

Harkness, who holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University, worked as a research scientist at Washington State University before launching Rewire Neuro in 2016.

The startup’s two tools—Pipsqueak and Pipsqueak AI—are designed to help scientists more quickly analyze biomedical images.

The software uses machine learning to integrate highly accurate computer vision into clinical devices, research microscopes, hardware and software—automating much of the work of analyzing tissue samples.

Pipsqueak is already used by clinics and research centers around the world, with customers as near as OHSU and Legacy Health and as distant as the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience.

“It feels really strange to call these companies winners because this wasn’t just a pitch competition,” said Amanda Oborne, president and executive director of OEN, shortly before announcing Rewire’s win.

The final nine companies who presented Friday were narrowed from 90 companies that participated in an education and investment program organized this spring by OEN to connect entrepreneurs, investors and funders.