Ten early stage deep-tech startups compete for Imagine IF! award

27.12.2018 14:03

Ten life sciences and cleantech projects made it to the local finals of the Imagine IF! global competition. The spectrum of their products ranges from point of care diagnostics and soft brain implants to innovative batteries and water purifiers.

Imagine IF! is an annual global competition and pre-accelerator program organized by the Innovation Forum in different countries worldwide. The ten teams will now start the mentorship program and will have the chance to pitch their ideas on Feb 21st at EPFL during the Lausanne local finals. The winner will participate in the global competition with the chance to win $10,000 and a development package.

The selected projects include: 

SenSwiss – biotech
To enable patient-specific administration of drugs, SenSwiss is developing a point-of-care device to measure plasma drug concentrations in a single drop of patient’s blood in 3 minutes. The detection method can be easily adapted to several drugs requiring accurate monitoring and close supervision, giving doctors the tools to optimize and identify medication for their patients in real time.

Annaida Technologies – biotech
Today, the success rate of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is low. Annaida Technologies tries to change this by developing a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)-based system that allows detailed read-out of embryos, providing critical information on their viability and thus improving embryo selection procedures and ultimately IVF success rates.

Neurosoft – biotech
Neurosoft developed a new technology to produce soft electrical interfaces with the brain and spinal cord. The mechanical compliance of the implants is similar to the one of neural tissues, whereas current clinical devices are much more rigid. This results in more stable interfaces, higher specificity of stimulation targets and higher signal quality while recording.

Aesyra – biotech 
Sleep bruxism can lead to morning headache and facial muscle pain but also to joint disorders, damages to teeth, dental restorations and prostheses. AesyBite is the first medical device that allows diagnosing, monitoring and treating sleep bruxism. The device is capable of recording the user’s bruxism activity during sleep. Upon detection of bruxism events, it emits a biofeedback signal that induces jaw muscle relaxation without disturbing the sleep. 

ALAnostics – biotech
ALAnostics develop an injectable fluoresecent tumour paint to help surgeons identify and remove breast cancer in real-time during breast conserving surgery. It is used as a real-time guide by surgeons to visualise and cut out all of the cancer, preventing unnecessary re-operations. 

Endotelix – biotech
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is described as a common risk factor for recurrent thromboembolic events and/or pregnancy complications resulting from circulating antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Endotelix develops a fast, accurate and quantitative point-of-care assay to test patients for aPL. In addition, the start-up develops a peptide-based treatment to inhibit circulating pathogenic antibody. 

Vesta Biosciences – biotech
Vesta Biosciences uses DNA sequencing, analytical chemistry and artificial intelligence approaches to create a diagnostic kit that identifies a customer’s microbial metabolic profile and returns detailed characterisation of their gut microbiome and the specific fruits and vegetables that are most conducive to their health as a function of this composition. The ultimate goal is to develop therapies to treat and prevent obesity, metabolic disorders, anxiety and depression.

HiLyte – cleantech
HiLyte-Power aims at providing cheap clean energy for people who still use kerosene for lighting. The hiLyte battery produces enough power to both charge a phone and give light to a room for one night. All the consumables being non-toxic and easy to find everywhere on Earth: iron, paper and iron salt. 

Swoxid – cleantech
Swoxid is an innovative air/water purifier that filters and sterilizes air/water with natural sunlight or a UV lamp (possibly UV LEDs activated by a solar panel). It does not require electricity or chemical agents to provide the sterilization effect. The key component of the purifier is the nanoporous SWOXID filter membrane. Developed at EPFL, it is easy and cost-competitive to produce. 

CapAgain – cleantech
The EPFL-based CapAgain team developed a system - which can be integrated in a common capsule machine - that automatically separates the coffee ground from the capsule packaging. The user can then dispatch the coffee ground as common organic waste, while the plastic or metallic packaging are recycled separately.

(Press release / SK)

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