Techstars Startup Neopenda Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign - Tech Voice...
Neopenda, a Chicago-based public benefit corporation, is now raising funds in an equity crowdfunding campaign. The campaign in partnershi...
$7.1B target market by 2023: Medical devices in Africa
Patent pending and additional provisional patents filed
Founders are biomedical engineers out of Columbia University
Techstars Chicago Class of 2018
$770k raised to date from Columbia University, Cisco, Vodafone, ADAP Capital, Techstars, and others
A for-profit Public Benefit Corporation
Become part of Neopenda’s journey for as little as $100, and see how a little goes a long way in saving lives
Our name comes from “neo” - for neonates, and “penda” - Swahili for love.
In fact, a newborn born in a developing country like Uganda has a nine times poorer chance of surviving its first month than one born in the United States.
It doesn’t have to be this way. WHO data shows that 80% of newborn deaths are preventable. The primary causes are complications of preterm birth, birth asphyxia, and infections. Although these conditions are treatable, many newborns do not receive the attention they need because facilities are overcrowded, understaffed, and ill-equipped. Nurses in these facilities don’t have the tools they need to provide high quality neonatal care. As a result, babies are suffering—avoidably.
At Neopenda, we believe that all communities deserve access to innovative, life-saving health technology. There exists a massive opportunity to create appropriately designed medical devices for a largely untapped market in emerging economies, and to do so in a way that can improve quality of care for millions of patients in need.
Our first product is a wearable 4-in-1 vital signs monitor designed to enable more responsive and appropriate medical care of newborn infants in resource constrained hospital facilities. The patent-pending device uses reflectance pulse oximetry and temperature sensors, and is worn in a reusable band. It continuously measures:
The vitals from many devices are wirelessly displayed on a tablet, where the nurse can see what’s going on with all the babies. She gets alerted when vitals go outside the healthy range, so that she knows where her attention is needed and give patients the best chance to survive and thrive.
Today, nurses in these facilities have to check babies’ vitals by hand. However, hospitals don’t have enough staff to safely monitor newborns as often as they need to be. Neopenda’s product is the only option known to us that continuously measures all crucial vital signs, and unlike other patient monitors or baby monitors, is tailored for use in low-resource settings. We’ve designed our product to be affordable, easy to use, and withstand tough environments for a long time. It doesn’t require continuous stable power or wireless internet.
We’re dedicated to getting this right. We’ve spent the last three years in hospitals in Uganda learning from stakeholders and testing the product with nurses and doctors through our human-centered design process.
We’ve already joined forces with a diverse set of partners across the value chain:
We will sell our product in packages containing 15 wearables, 1 tablet, and all associated software, power supplies, and accessories. This package provides comprehensive monitoring for an entire 15-bed newborn unit for less than half the price of a single machine traditionally used in the U.S.
Gross profit margin on the package: 60-70%
System installation, training, and product support is included
Dual distribution modes for rapid market entry:
Selling direct to hospitals via in-country wholesale distributors such as the Joint Medical Stores in Uganda
Partnering with aid agencies such as Doctors Without Borders, whose international presence will help us rapidly scale
Additionally, the detailed frontline health data we’re collecting is of great interest to parties like NGOs and Ministries of Health. We’re currently working on a strategy to aggregate, analyze, and monetize this valuable data.
We are a team of biomedical engineers and public health experts who care deeply about saving lives and transforming the way health tech is approached in emerging markets.
Co-founders Sona (CEO) and Teresa (CTO) began Neopenda in 2015 as graduate students in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, after witnessing first hand in Uganda the massive opportunity to sustainably improve health outcomes for vulnerable patients. We also have Dorothy and Michael based in Kampala, Uganda, working on program activities and research activities, respectively.
We have a lot of exciting milestones to accomplish in the next year, and we need your help to get there! Here’s what we will do next:
We will be using your investment dollars to bring our solution to market and accelerate our growth:
Neopenda is pioneering health tech in emerging markets. We're starting with a vital signs monitoring tool to help save vulnerable newborn lives.
We invite you to join us, as we create medical solutions for where they’re needed most!
The smallest investment amount that Neopenda is accepting.
$25,000 – $1,070,000
Neopenda needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount Neopenda is willing
to raise is $1.07M.
Neopenda needs to reach their minimum funding goal before the deadline.
If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
The Crowd Safe is an agreement for future equity in the startup,
meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
The Crowd Safe is an agreement for future equity in the startup, meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
We will give you a personal shout out on our website (with your consent)!
All of the above + we’ll add your name to our “plaque” of supporters in our office
All of the above + you’ll receive a Neopenda t-shirt.
All of the above + a Neopenda photo book telling the story of our work in Uganda.
All of the above + dinner with the founders at our HQ in Chicago.
Vital signs monitoring is a long-established standard of quality inpatient care. There is strong clinical evidence behind the practice of continuous vital signs monitoring of critically ill patients, and it is especially important for the management of at-risk neonatal patients in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) or similarly functioning units. Measurement of vital signs is a component of neonatal care guidelines outlined by the WHO. Vital signs are indicators of the body’s most basic functions, and to medical professionals are markers of disease severity. The primary vital signs include heart rate (HR) or pulse rate (PR), respiratory rate (RR) – or rate of breathing, peripheral arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) – a measure of the percentage of hemoglobin sites in red blood cells occupied by oxygen molecules, blood pressure (BP), and temperature. Neopenda chose to include pulse rate, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, and temperature in the device because they are the four recommended by neonatologists to monitor continuously in at-risk neonates. Blood pressure is a lagging indicator that typically does not change until after the other vitals do, and is not commonly measured continuously.
Resource-constrained hospitals present many unique engineering and design challenges. Hospitals require equipment that is durable and long lasting, can withstand extreme conditions of dust, heat, and humidity, and do not rely on continuous power or WiFi. We are designing a comprehensive solution that is ready out-of-the-box; we provide training, education, and maintenance in addition to the vital sign monitoring system.
We have three customer segments for our vital signs monitoring product: private health facilities, public health facilities, and NGOs. We will deploy first in private facilities, due to their relatively greater agility in purchasing decisions. Simultaneously we are engaging Ministries of Health for broad reach in public facilities, and international NGOs for broader scale implementation.
While many developing countries are actively strengthening their own regulatory guidelines, FDA approval or CE Mark (the European standard) is commonly accepted. We are developing medical devices and as such are following the international standards for quality, safety, and efficacy. We are currently pursuing CE Marking for our vital signs monitoring solution, and will be regulated as a Class IIb medical device.
There is a significant gap in the vital signs monitoring space: the sophisticated multi-parameter monitors utilized in high-income settings are extremely costly and not appropriately designed for the environmental constraints and users in low-resource settings. They are also nearly impossible to maintain, repair, and get spare parts for in places like Uganda. Similarly, baby monitor products commercially available in the U.S. are designed for American parents, and cannot meet the need for clinical monitoring in a Ugandan hospital, in addition to being prohibitively power-hungry and expensive. Sparse donated equipment and spot checking tools fail to provide the comprehensive monitoring crucial to timely, life-saving care for critically ill neonates. Currently, most hospitals in emerging markets do not have the equipment or the staff to routinely monitor newborns’ key vital signs. A needs assessments in 20 hospitals across Uganda by the Neopenda team found that the average nurse-to-baby ratio in special care baby units was 13 newborns per nurse, and only 4% of newborns were monitored with continuous multiparameter vital signs monitors.
We are currently undergoing clinical studies to validate the efficacy and feasibility of our solution prior to commercialization at the end of 2019.
No- this solution is the first of a portfolio of medical products. We are building the infrastructure necessary to design and develop needs-based medical solutions for emerging markets. In spending significant time in hospitals, problems that can be solved with technology naturally emerge. We have already filed for a provisional patent on a secondary product related to oxygen delivery.
Africa is one of the world's fastest growing economic regions, and the burgeoning medical device market presents unique opportunities. Africa’s 1.2 billion people make up 16.6% of the total global population, and noteworthy is the disproportionately young population—62% of Africa’s population is under 25 years old. With increased urbanization across the continent (half the population in Africa will be living in cities by 2030), access to health facilities and skilled health workers is improving, and expanding healthcare capacity a priority area. The addressable market for medical devices in Africa is estimated at $4.9B.2 It is expected to grow to around $7.1B by 2023, at a CAGR of 6.3%. Ministries of Health in developing countries are focusing more and more on procuring essential medical equipment. Health facilities in both the private and public sectors are increasing budgets for medical equipment, with a particular focus on neonatal care. Neopenda is excited to enter as a key player in the growing and largely untapped medical device market in emerging markets.
Yes! Though still in development, we have been working with physicians, industry experts, and regulatory consultants to ensure or design fully satisfies safety recommendations and requirements. We are extremely conscious of the fact that neonates, particularly preterm and otherwise ill ones, are very physically vulnerable. The Neopenda device has passed safety testing by a third party laboratory and is in compliance with specified standards of IEC 60601-1 Edition 3.1 (pertaining to medical electrical equipment safety), ISO 80601-2-56 (pertaining to clinical thermometers), and ISO 80601-2-61 (pertaining to pulse oximeter equipment). All clinical trials are conducted under Institutional Review Board oversight, and the product will undergo CE Marking before commercialization.
Yes. We have developed a unique comprehensive monitoring solution tailored for low-resource settings. The product is currently patent pending; a PCT patent was filed in August 2017. We also have a provisional patent on a second product concept.
I see a need for the services provided and am tired of seeing nothing but bad things on the news. They provide opportunity for a possible good news break from the normal.Bradley FenchelInvested 1 day ago
I want to help make this technology available.Jim BurtoftInvested 3 days ago
I invested because of the cause Neopenda is working to address. I am in the healthcare field and wishes Neopenda success in this endeavor.Ramki PillaiInvested 3 days ago
It's going to help the babies.DENNIS PADGETTInvested 8 days ago
I see great potential here to save many children’s lives, and if only one life is saved by my small investment, then it will have been a great investment and more meaningful than any financial return.Rebecca HollandInvested 9 days ago
Excellent team working on solving a real problem.Niki MukhiInvested 10 days ago
A genuine innovation at the bottom of the pyramid. Business model that transcends economies.Rajesh YerrapothuInvested 10 days ago
Ray Blanco, author of investment reccomendations in his seven figure formula newsletter on agora financial.com alerted me about you. May you all at Neopenda have love, have peace, have health! May you have wealth and may you have happiness! Jose USAJose AlbinanaInvested 11 days ago
_Mischa FiererInvested 11 days ago
you are helping to save more babies lives, this tech will be useful for all ages.robert moerkeInvested 12 days ago
Keep healthy is the one of the people thinks.edy jayaInvested 12 days ago
I am a Registered Nurse and I love your product! It will be such an asset for babies and staff. I love its simplicity! Well done ladies!kristin galvinInvested 12 days ago
Not to make money as much as what this technology could do for millions of people in Africa where there are no doctors or hospitals. This will save many lives.Chandra InnugantiInvested 12 days ago
I invested in Neopenda because I know this is going to go a long way to save the lives of newborns all over the world, most especially in developing countries with the inadequate medical staffs and types of machinery.Vincent VormaworInvested 13 days ago
I believe that this device will help to improve baby chances to surviveyoseph ben avrahamInvested 14 days ago
Founders appear to have taken constructive criticism really well and have confidence they can be successfulRichard OwensInvested 15 days ago
Believe in the product and market potential.Timothy ChumaInvested 16 days ago
Pro LifeCarole KingInvested 16 days ago
I invested because I want to help improve global research into the health and well-being of neonates.George AkinkuoyeInvested 18 days ago
I like the product.Thomas ShorttInvested 19 days ago
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