QuickCount, which is developing a low-cost solution for point-of-care blood analysis, has won first prize in Programm/able 2018, Imperial College London’s combined software-business competition.
QuickCount was represented by Callum Hays, who pitched against six other software-based business ideas for the grand prize of £10,000 in Proof-of-Concept funding, as well as £2,000 in Amazon Web Services credit. The group, comprising Zainab Ahmed, Mohit Devgan, Pashiini Supramanian, and Callum Hays, hopes that making point-of-care blood analysis more accessible will lead to more accurate diagnoses and, by extension, a reduced use of antibiotics.
In its second edition, Programm/able selected 14 semi-finalists out of a crop of nearly 50 entries. Teams were then given two weeks to demonstrate traction on their ideas with the help of a business coach. Participants were also given the chance to receive pitch training. A final seven businesses were selected to present before a panel of five judges combining expertise from academia, technology transfer, venture capital, and industry.
Surbhi Gupta, Senior Healthcare Licensing Executive at Imperial Innovations and Programm/able 2018 judge, said: “There was a lot of debate during judges’ deliberation, which speaks to the quality of applicants in this year’s competition. QuickCount addressed a clear, unmet medical need, and presented a realistic proposal for commercialisation based on a good understanding of the underlying science.”
The judging panel also awarded two runners up prizes to TOffee, which is creating AI-based systems to increase efficiency in design engineering, and to QuantumX, which is developing a web-based platform for multi-scale material modelling. Each team won £4,000 in Amazon Web Services Credits.
The Programm/able 2018 judging panel comprised:
- David Chan, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CyLon;
- Will Knottenbelt Professor of Applied Quantitative Analysis at Imperial’s Department of Computing;
- Surbhi Gupta, Senior Healthcare Licensing Executive at Imperial Innovations
- Eloisa Angeles, VC Investor at Five Seasons Ventures; and
- Gaurav Kaul Senior Consultant, High Performance Computing at Amazon Web Services.
The remaining teams that pitched in the Programm/able 2018 Final were:
- AquaMind, bringing machine learning to aquaculture for fish-egg counting;
- Explainable Robots, a new intelligence platform to bring trust into robotics;
- Revive Controls, a new interface software that facilitates the control of prosthetic limbs;
- Sign In(C), a real time British Sign Language interpreting platform to enable better communication between those in the Deaf and Hearing communities.
Programm/able is co-run by Imperial Innovations and Imperial Enterprise Lab.