UCB's first Digital Health Incubator Demo Day
On October 28th, UCB held its first Digital Health Incubator Startup Pitch Day - an opportunity to highlight the learnings and achievement across the 2022 cohort of the program, as well as to see great examples of the entrepreneurship we support in order to create leading healthcare innovation.
Our day started with the Head of the DCTx Incubator Strategy, Thyago Ohana addressing how the incubator began by thinking outside of the status quo. The next generation of innovators within the healthcare technology ecosystem accepts that notion, with incubators as a key form of collaboration to drive new ways of thinking to create value for people living with severe diseases now and in the future.
Pitches were made by each of the incubated ventures, as they outlined key friction points, their unique solution and ambitions for the future.
VRx Medical, represented by Co-Founder, Paul Lafferty, deploys AR to solve chronic pain issues and increase adherence related to arthritis. The company’s vision, when working with UCB, is to provide accessible and drug-free pain relief to arthritis sufferers.
Epihunter, pitched by Founder & CEO, Tim Buckinx, enables people with brain disorders "to participate more fully in society". The company wants people to be able to plan their lives and avoid emergency visits with seizure prediction and forecasting. Tim described that one challenge of the incubator was how many different needs could be addressed with Epihunter's technology, so they needed to thoughtfully consider what problems they would prioritize.
Peak Profiling’s technology helps detect disease using the human voice. Founding partners Julia Volkening & Claudio Hasler explained that “voice can successfully serve as a biomarker”. Quantitative musicology is used to analyse many aspects of a human voice, with nine algorithms for diseases already created and a further 26 in the pipeline.
Xsensio, pitched by Founder & CEO Esmeralda Megally, has a unique ‘Lab on Skin’ wearable biosensing device that can detect minute changes in interstitial fluid, to gather real-time health data. This in turn enables doctors to be more reactive and reduce misdiagnosis of autoimmune diseases which can lead to severe illness. The team are driven to commercialising partnerships with doctors in the future, as well as bringing the tech to patient’s homes.
A jury made up of internal executive Vice Presidents of Immunology and Neurology alongside the UCB Incubator's leadership team awarded VRx Medical the Jury's Choice award, whilst the Audience’s Choice went to PeakProfiling. Both will get a 'ramp-up' session with UCB executives and the chance to continue their partnership into the future.
To sum up, Andrew Humphries from The Bakery, UCB’s Incubator innovation partner, addressed the group and outlined the key valuable output for startups who take part in the incubator collaboration. Andrew spoke to the importance of collaboration to both incremental and breakthrough innovation - something that is critical in the relationship between venture startups and UCB.
To learn more about UCB’s Digital Care Transformation Incubator or even submit your startup or idea to the program, visit the website www.ucb-dctx.com.