Xsensio set to rise the Lab-on-Skin game
Eugène Schön19.05.2017 14:15
Xsensio, the Vaud-based startup developing a proprietary Lab-on-Skin sensing platform, has been building momentum lately by focusing on the execution of its B2B strategy. In our interview, CEO Esmeralda Megally, shares her experience and speaks about the projects of her company as well as the nomination of their new Chairperson, Beth Krasna.
What milestones has your company recently achieved ?
Since the beginning of 2017, our company has evolved from being primarily focused on technology to being focused on executing our B2B strategy. Winning the MassChallenge Switzerland, as well as the IMD Startup Competition and the Swisscom StartUp Challenge at the end of 2016, and being a finalist of the Innovation World Cup 2017 have boosted our visibility: we are now conducting business development discussions with large US and European companies who wish to exploit our proprietary Lab-on-Skin sensing platform. We also recently expanded our team with the hiring of experts in nanofluidics and biochemistry, to help us tackle the remaining technology challenges before we test on people.
Can you remind our readers what your company does?
Xsensio is developing a proprietary Lab-on-SkinTM sensing platform for tomorrow’s wearable products. Wearables such as Fitbit typically track physical data (number of steps, distance, heart rate, etc). With Xsensio, they will also be able to track biochemical data, in a continuous, non-invasive way, with feedback in real-time. By leveraging the latest in nanotechnologies, we develop a tiny 1cmx1cm sensing chip – the Xchip – which holds enough space to contain up to 10’000 sensors on its surface, to track many parameters simultaneously, from electrolytes to proteins and hormones. Accessing this biochemical information continously provides key information about how the user really feels, from stress to muscle cramps and dehydration to ultimately more targeted medical conditions.
When was the startup created? How many people work for it today?
Xsensio was created in 2014 as a spinoff of the Nanolab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) to exploit the lab’s unique know-how in nanosensors. We obtained an exclusive license to the IP developed at the Nanolab.
The development of our Lab-on-SkinTM sensing platform requires a true cross-disciplinary approach: we are very happy to have assembled a great team, with deep expertise across various technology areas. We are now a team of 6, with the EPFL professor acting as a senior advisor.
Can you present your new Chairperson, Beth Krasna?
We are thrilled to have Beth Krasna as our new Chair. Beth is a highly experienced board member, having held board positions in multiple organisations like ETH-Rat, Coop, BCV, and Raymond Weil. She holds a masters degree in Chemical Engineering from ETHZ, and an MBA from MIT in the US. Beth has also industry and manufacturing experience, having occupied the role of CEO at both Valtronic and Secheron in Switzerland. And finally, Beth has also spent 10 years working in venture capital.
What do you expect from Ms. Krasna in the months to come?
Xsensio is entering a new and exciting phase, where we discuss collaborations with companies across different industries, from large tech companies wishing to integrate our Xchip into their products, to drug and diagnostics companies interested in using the Xchip as a companion to their medical offering. Beth has a strategic mind, and we therefore look forward to working with her and the rest of the Board on setting the priorities and developing a sound B2B strategy.
What are the next steps (competitions, product launches, funding rounds) for Xsensio?
The team is focused on 3 priorities: (1) on the development side, we are finalising the wearable version of the Xchip, (2) on the business development side, we are launching a collaboration with an industry partner and (3) on the funding side, we are closing our investment round in a few weeks, with European and US angel investors.