Unitus Ventures announces StartHealth competition winners

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Competition sponsored by Unitus, Narayana Health, Manipal Hospitals, PATH, and Pfizer draws more than 100 health-tech entrepreneurs across India

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29 June, 2015. Bangalore, India: Unitus Ventures, India’s leading venture seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses, announced the results of its India StartHealth Competition. Out of an above expectations 130 competition applications, 10 health-tech startups participated in the final online pitches to an industry jury. The companies were assessed on several factors including the depth of innovation, business model, the problem being solved, leadership and team and impact.

The winners for the StartHealth Competition are…

First Place: OmiX Labs

OmiX has invented a hand-held portable device for vector-borne infection diagnosis and prognosis that is targeting to reduce the time and cost to detect infectious disease pathogens. This device could be deployed to the more than 1 lakh (100,000) diagnostics labs across India including the many small labs that currently don’t offer these type of lab services. This product also addresses the problem of drug resistance – which is increasingly becoming a constraint in healthcare delivery in India.

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“OmiX Labs has a great team and collaborators needed for the success of the project,” said A Vijarajan, Founder and CTO at InnAccel and a StartHealth jury member. “Early stage disease detection in India is still at a very nascent stage and this product has the potential to be a new standard of care for infectious disease detection.”

Omix will receive a prize of INR 10 lakhs and an opportunity to pitch for participating in Unitus’ StartHealth investment Program that includes up to 50 lakhs of additional non-dilutive funding, an investment of up to INR 1 crore from Unitus Ventures and go-to-market support from StartHealth partners Narayana Health, Manipal Hospitals, PATH, Pfizer and Unitus Ventures.

Runner-Up: xBiTS

xBITS is developing a table-top diagnostic device for faster and accurate detection of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The device can provide results as accurate as the high-end microbiology devices and do so in under 4 hours. Similar to OmiX, the xBITS’s team is also working on solving the drug resistance problem by separating out and detecting specific pathogen species.

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“Very impressed to see a near commercial solution coming out of a University,” said one of the jury members, K Chandrasekhar, Founder & CEO at Forus Health.

xBiTS will soon be pitching for entry to Unitus’ StartHealth investment Program with potential for additional funding and support from the StartHealth partner network.

StartHealth Competition’s other finalists included:

Nayam Innovations: Developing a Novel Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) implant for spectacle-free vision after cataract surgery
Aindra Systems: building an Affordable and Portable, ‘point-of-sample-collection’ Cervical Cancer Screening system that utilizes pap testing
Chikitsak: Building a Bluetooth-enabled device that screens the vitals of subjects in remote area
Cooey Tech: Connected smart devices that logs the medical records of the patients and helps connect to doctors
Excocan Healthcare: Creating oncotechnology platform to deliver cancer diagnosis and imaging
Matrikas Inc: Sensor-based kit for diagnosis of cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS and infections affecting women’s reproductive tract
Pravarthan Technologies: Providing high-quality healthcare for the masses including micro-wireless ECG devices and cloud platform for remote specialist consultancy services
Lifesense Medical Systems:  Indigenously developed ECG monitoring device that can be installed at zero cost and charged on a per-patient basis

About StartHealth

StartHealth program was launched by Unitus Ventures, Pfizer Inc., PATH, Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health in early 2015. This is an innovative program to provide up to INR 10 crore (US$1.6M) in grants and investments to very early-stage startups seeking to enhance access to affordable technology-driven healthcare products and services for the low-income masses in India. It offers for-profit healthcare startups with non-dilutive capital, hands-on support, access to expert advisors, medical facilities, and seed venture capital, enabling them to more efficiently and effectively complete development and scale their operations in India. More about StartHealth >

About Unitus Ventures

Unitus Ventures is the leading venture seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses in India. Unitus invests in healthcare, education, mobile commerce & value-added services, marketplaces & e-commerce, retail & distribution,  agriculture, and water & energy sectors. Founded in 2012, Unitus Ventures is part of the Unitus Group, a premier financial services group operating in India and other emerging markets since 2000. Unitus Ventures is based in Bangalore and Seattle. More about Unitus Ventures >

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