The diagnostics event "Startups and Startup Support", hosted by BaselArea.swiss in January focused on startups and startup support. Participants got to know organizations that specifically support diagnostics startups and new technologies in this field as well as beneficiaries like Resistell.
The startup Resistell with its CEO Danuta Cichocka was the first winner of the Diagnostic Challenge in 2017. Danuta elaborated how winning was a major starting point to develop Resistell and to successfully find investors. Resistell fights antimicrobial resistance and develops the “world’s fastest antibiogram”. BaselArea.swiss supported Resistell in different topics like IP protection, legal requirements and regulation.
Chang Yun founded his startup Noul in South Korea and recently opened a subsidiary in Basel. The Noul team have developed a portable device that uses image analysis combined with artificial intelligence to diagnose diseases from blood samples. In addition to their work with the DayOne Accelerator, they will be working with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the University of Basel to improve their existing AI algorithms.
Rolf Schmid, Swissbiolabs, illuminated the supporting environment for diagnostic startups with the Förderverein Swissbiolabs, the Accelerator program and the Startup Challenge. A big part of its package is the “Swiss Diagnostics Startup Day”, scheduled on 23 May 2019. You can apply for the Swissbiolabs Award until March 22nd if you have a business concept or a startup in the diagnostics field.
Further, the foundation FIND supports the development and delivery of diagnostic tests to low-income countries. FIND is based in Geneva. Ranga Sampath, CSO of FIND stated: “Without diagnostics, the doctors are blind.” He declared that 21 out of 28 poverty-related diseases require new and better diagnostic tools. FIND has 195 employees, maintains 186 partnerships and counts 27 public and private donors, e.g. the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The valley of death of many prospective diagnostic tools might be overcome with the support of FIND.
The event stimulated a vigorous exchange of ideas among the 60 participants who expressed their enthusiasm about the mix of speakers and the level of information provided.