"RICH-AID" Selects Second Cohort of Diagnostics Start-ups

  • 24th February 2022 - Hyderabad

Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) announces the start-ups forming the second cohort of the Acceleration Initiative for Diagnostics (AID) programme!

Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) announces the selected start-ups forming the second cohort of the Acceleration Initiative for Diagnostics (AID) programme.

The programme has been developed to address the challenges faced by start-ups in the rapidly growing med-tech domain-ranging from inaccessible equipment, clinical samples, and research expertise to a lack of mentorship and difficulties in outreach. With the winners being announced, now RICH-AID’s second cohort of start-ups will become equipped to generate impact across the fields of psychometrics, nanotechnology, biotherapeutics, point-of-care devices, wearable devices, lateral flow assays for screening, affordable, accessible and tech-enabled glucometers, and cloud-based analytics specific to the Indian context.

“There has been no time like the COVID-19 pandemic to make us realise the importance of diagnostics both for early screening and prevention of diseases. RICH hopes to bring new ideas, through start-ups, into an already fertile ecosystem of industry, hospitals, clinicians, and mentors that Telangana has. With this second cohort of the AID programme, we hope to continue to engage with and help transform the diagnostics space in Telangana.” says Rashmi Pimpale, CEO, RICH.

The call for the second AID cohort saw 60 applications overall. Applications closed on 25th December 2021. The selection panel of thematic experts and industry leaders evaluated the entries on parameters like technical strength, usability, market potential, profitability, and technology readiness of the product. And the 8 start-ups finally selected for the second cohort are:

  • XequalsZERO Pvt. Ltd.: An online psychometric testing software for behavioral health professionals including psychologists, therapists, social workers, and counselors—for remote psychological assessments, automatic scoring and reporting, and secure record-keeping.
  • Ameliorate BioTech Private Ltd.: An Affordable Sensitive Specific User-friendly Rapid/Robust Equipment-free Device (ASSURED) that uses nanotechnology to detect dengue, malaria, and chikungunya accurately and painlessly at a very early stage of disease.
  • UrvogelBio Pvt. Ltd.: A portfolio of diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s, Multiple sclerosis, and stroke diagnostics, and neuronal exosome profiling for novel exosome-based biotherapeutics.
  • VivBioTech Ltd.: ‘Smart ColpoSpec’, a point-of-care colposcope and operating tool for cervical examination, tele-consultation, and surgical procedures which doubles up as an assistive tool to detect cervical pre-cancer.
  • BioAssistant: ‘BioAssistant VITALS’, an AI-powered wearable device that provides real time, accurate, advanced clinical insights on breathing patterns, heart rhythms, blood circulation, blood oxygen levels, neural activity, stress, and stroke.
  • InMed Prognostics Pvt. Ltd.: ‘NEUROShieldTM’, a cloud-based tool that analyses 3D Brain MRI images based on a reference database, providing clinicians with reliable, convenient, and easy-to-interpret quantitative information on volume and structure of the brain.
  • Intignus: A sensitive, visual, preeclampsia screening tool (Preeclampsia is a dangerous pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and potential organ damage.)
  • Vivalyf Innovations: ‘Ezlyf’, a pocket-sized, affordable, smartphone accessible, non-invasive glucometer providing instant results with high accuracy, in several regional Indian languages.

The selected candidates will be supported through incubation at AIC-CCMB (Atal Incubation Centre – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology) and I-Venture@ISB. Over the next 6 months, based on their requirements, they will receive one-on-one mentorship from leading venture capitalists, doctors and healthcare professionals, industry leaders, and regulatory experts for support in incubation, testing, and validation of their product. They will also receive an acceleration grant of INR one lakh each.

RICH has supported over 200 start-ups, identified over 80 emerging technologies, onboarded over 20 incubators and fostered collaboration for start-ups, industry, and research, and academia. Most start-ups supported by RICH–AID work in the fields of in-vitro diagnostics; wearables; non-invasive or other accessories in diagnosis; self-monitoring, point-of-care, and testing software; artificial intelligence and machine learning; or instruments, analysers, and reagents. RICH-AID hopes to be the stepping stone that will boost their healthcare business towards success.

Launched in 2017 by the Government of Telangana, RICH aims to solve complex local and national challenges by facilitating collaborative networks between diverse stakeholders of the research and innovation space. RICH operates in 3 major sectors: Food and Agriculture, Lifesciences, and Sustainability. It is now the nodal agency for the Hyderabad Science and Technology cluster, an initiative spearheaded by the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. As part of this initiative, RICH has initiated multidisciplinary projects in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, health, and waste management.

For more information on RICH and the AID programme, please visit http://rich.telangana.gov.in/index.html or contact Lsproject-rich@telangana.gov.in