In an arrangement that should sound like music to the ears of startups in the â€˜medtechâ€™ space, the University of Berkeley, California has set up an accelerator program in Bengaluru in association with IKP Eden, an Indian startup incubator. The program intends picking up 15 startups in each batch.
In the first batch, they have received 250 applications out of which 11 have been shortlisted, as per a report in The Economic Times. They have identified certain parameters based on which the selections will be made. The product or concept being developed by the startups must prove to be useful for rural Indian healthcare settings and at the same time should be capable enough of being replicated worldwide.
In the first batch, for example, there is one startup that has come up with a wearable device to monitor high-risk pregnancies and a chip that can detect cancer at early stages. The names of the lucky startups in the first set have not been revealed due to NDA clauses within the agreements entered into.
The accelerator program will last 18 weeks and the top four or five may be taken to the US to interact with and make presentations to investors in Silicon Valley for possible series A funding opportunities.
UC Berkeley and IKP Eden would prefer that the startup they accept for the accelerator program has already received some seed funding and has developed a product already. The program can then step in and help the promoters with getting the product field-tested and then come up with the right pricing and marketing strategies.
The cornerstone of these startups must be their ability to apply technology that makes it simpler for people to use even in the case of life-threatening diseases and the cost of such a product should be reasonable and affordable. If these criteria are met, then the startup will stand a very good chance of being selected for the accelerator program.