Yale-India business accelerator to promote innovative health solutions
Five early stage startups building innovative solutions in healthcare have been chosen as the first participants in the Sustainable Health Initiative (SHI), a business accelerator established earlier this year by a partnership between the Yale Institute for Global Health (YIGH) and The CoWrks Foundry and RMZ Foundation in India.
The announcement of the inaugural SHI participants was made in June at a launch event in Bangalore, which brought together healthcare entrepreneurs, policy experts, and investors to create a community with a shared focus on ushering innovative and scalable solutions to the Indian healthcare sector.
“Around the world, we are facing both new challenges and growing health and economic disparities,” said Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). “The scope and scale of these challenges is such that the public sector cannot fully address them without private sector ingenuity and creativity. As the first signature program of the Yale Institute for Global Health, we are very excited to launch innovate solutions that will have a significant impact on the health of communities around the world.”
The selected companies will each receive $70,000 in seed capital and mentorship from Yale faculty and alumni, and will benefit from a network of Indian industry experts and structured sessions to help startups evolve into a sustainable and scalable business model, refine their market strategy, and build a sustainable company.
“After a tough and intensive review that included multiple rounds of interviews and diligence, we've shortlisted companies from both the Indian ecosystem and Yale that are solving a diverse set of complex problems with a mission to impact the life and health of millions across the world. We find this class to consist of passionate missions and resilient business models and look forward to arming these companies with the expertise, frameworks, and network required to succeed at scale,” said Nruthya Madappa, managing partner of The CoWrks Foundry.
Out of more than 250 companies from India and the United States, five were selected based on key criteria, including: potential health impact, feasibility, and affordability for low- and middle-income country markets. The selected startups include Khushi-TB, which was developed by Yale students, and four start-ups from India: MetaMagics, JioVio Healthcare, Naps and Nibbles, and Onward Assist.
- Khushi-TB: Using Khushi Baby’s digital health record technology, which has helped improve child health in rural India, Khushi-TB will focus on treatment and case management of tuberculosis in urban centers.
- MetaMagics: Software that reads radiology reports generates a summary of findings for the doctor to concisely read and act on in a clinical setting.
- JioVio Healthcare: A wearable device for pregnant women tracks and transmits vital information to healthcare professionals, enabling them to monitor high-risk conditions or other potential unidentified complications.
- Naps and Nibbles: India's first child wellness application for mobile phones provides structured programs for post-birth health issues, including sleep, breastfeeding, and nutrition.
- Onward Assist: Supported by Harish Prabhala ’15 M.P.H., Onward Assist is a tool to assist and inform clinical decision-making related to breast and cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“We are honored and excited to work with the new Sustainable Health Initiative,” said Ruchit Nagar ’15 B.A., ’16 M.P.H, CEO of Khushi Baby. “Having emerged from a Yale Center for Engineering and Innovation & Design project in 2014, Khushi Baby was started with support from YSPH, the Human Nature Lab, and Yale students. We are very grateful to now have the support of SHI in this next phase and are looking forward to prepare the Khushi Baby technology in a new context — tracking of tuberculosis treatment.”
Saad Omer, who joined as YIGH’s director in July, said he is enthusiastic to have SHI as a signature program for the Yale Institute for Global Health. “SHI is designed to power innovation for long-term social, health and environmental impact,” said Omer. “The initiative supports YIGH’s goal to find innovative and cost-effective solutions that will have a significant impact on the health of communities in and around the world.”
The Yale Institute for Global Health was established in 2017 to bring together expertise and knowledge from across Yale University with partners around the globe to improve and accelerate health and health equity for people worldwide.
The CoWrks Foundry, based in Bangalore, is a premiere acceleration program for early stage businesses in the fields of urban tech, enterprise tech, and social enterprise. RMZ Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was established to promote the well-being of humanity through three pillars of change — sustainable development, resilient communities and urban innovations.