The first ever University of California Berkeley Health Tech Demo Day was held January 29th in the Penthouse Suite at the Berkeley Skydeck. Hosted by Berkeley Edge (an Edge Interns branch section at UC Berkeley) Zachary Zeleznick, Neha Kumar, and Gaby Wantah, the event kicked off with an astounding 100+ audience eager to get their health tech learnin’ on. Health Tech Demo Day is a gathering of all those interested in the future implementation of technology in healthcare and a showcase of what the talented minds of UC Berkeley, UCSF, and the Bay Area have developed so far.
The event began with a small presentation from five guest speakers: Josh Mohlo MS, Ph.D, Co-Founder and CTO of Zephyrus Biosciences, Charvi Shetty MS, Co-Founder of Knox Medical Diagnostics, Connor Landgraf, Co-Founder and CEO of Eko Devices, and his Business Developer and Operations, Jason Bellet, and Jeremy Fiance, Co-Founder and President of Dropsense. Here are some key points to take away from their presentations:
- The median age for first time entrepreneurs is 43 so don’t be deterred and allow yourself to explore other opportunities. Build your own startup when you are motivated and determined to do so. (by Josh)
- Find what interests you, go build your connections, speak/listen to experts in the field, persevere and just do it as needed after validation or invalidation. (by Charvi)
- You need to take risks to be an entrepreneur to reap the profits later. (by Connor)
- Work on a problem you’re passionate about and creatively test your ideas (by Jeremy)
- Health and tech experts must work together to keep pace and not stifle innovation (by Jeremy)
- Multidisciplinary collaboration is necessary (by Connor and Jeremy)
Interested in connecting with these speaker? Here are their social media links:
Charvi Shetty – LinkedIn
Team Pitch Competition
Up next was the main event for the day, the team pitch competition. The judges for this competition were Brian Birch (Kaiser Permanente), Sophie Park (Health 2.0), Kirsten Bova (Rock Health), Sean Chai (Kaiser Permanente), Patricia Salber, MD, MBA (Health Tech Hatch), Mark Evans (Brand Garage), and Daniel Weng (Fio). The total number of team pitches amounted to five: Noninvasive SVO2 Monitoring, Concrn, Demilune, Kanga Kare, and Bioniks.
Noninvasive SvO2 Monitoring, developed by Nimmi Bhatt, Marie Biscarrat, Robert Chen, and Manali Sawant, is a noninvasive measurement of venous oxygen saturation. The aim here is to noninvasively monitor SvO2 in patients using their neck-localized absorbance device to give doctors an easily-acquired measurement that quickly provides them with the patient’s state to begin differential diagnosis.
Concrn, created by Jacob Savage and Doug Marks, is a mobile app device similar to Lyft but targeted towards people with mental health issues. Currently in a relationship with the City of Eugene, Oregon, who has a public-private partnership with CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Our On The Streets), Concrn provides an easy and more time-efficient system that helps decrease response time, report logging, and linkage. With their program, Concrn is saving 10% of the company’s time that can be directed towards dealing with and helping mentally ill people.
Demilune, developed by Noah Goldman, Andrea Dickey, Robin Parrish, and Geonyoung Kim, is a recreation of the walker for the elderly. With its new slick semicircular design, the Demilune Walker provides elderly individuals with a cost-effective means to prevent in-home falls while promoting independence. The Walker claims to provide maximum stability for users in multiple configurations and has a market price of $50 or less.
Kanga Kare, developed by Pieter Doevendans, Asad Akbany, Ian Shain, Lucas Gérard, and Gary Duan, addresses a continuous but preventable prenatal problem occurring every year in countries across the world. As they pointed out, 4 million preterm infants die every year from preventable causes, such as limited resources. In response to this, Kanga Kare has created the IncuPack, a baby incubator device that functions as an attachment to the mother/nurse while providing immediate urgent care. IncuPack will be implemented in Thailand where rural communities and hospitals will receive the IncuPack along with a visual training program and one-to-one donated nesting days carriers at a low cost of $30.
Bioniks, developed by Mark Sena and Cory Laws, aims to deliver research-grade movement assessments to help health professionals (e.g. physical therapists) and their patients determine how well the patients are performing their exercise. With a low-cost 3D camera (e.g. Kinect) and wearable markers, health professionals are able to assess a patient’s joint function by using three standardize tests and seeing the dangers of each exercise on the patient’s joints through a numeral score system.
Decisive Moment: The Winner
The event then came to a close as the judges went into a separate room to decide the winner. In twenty minutes time, the winner of the competition was Demilune! Their innovative design and multi-configuration Walker won the hearts of the judges and $500. Congratulations Demilune! I hope to see your product come to fruition in the market.
What an absolutely amazing event. This is most definitely a great way to gather resources, create connections, and forge potential partnerships between startups, clients, and corporate sponsors. Mad props to the Berkeley Edge hosts of the first annual Health Tech Demo Day. I can’t wait to see what Berkeley Edge will have in store for us next year.