Mentor Spotlight Series: Anne Kjaer Riechert

anne kjaer riechert eyefocus 2016 mentor

EyeFocus Accelerator would like to introduce Anne Kjaer Riechert, one of the mentors for EyeFocus 2016.

Anne is the Co-founder and CEO of ReDI School of Digital Integration, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping refugees integrate into German society by learning to code. She also has experience managing her own humanitarian project, Kids Have a Dreamwhich organizes workshops to empower youth through drawings and discussions about their dreams for the future. The project has reached over 4,000 young people in 33 countries, and garnered support from organizations such as UNAIDS, Rotary International and Amnesty International.

Even with her myriad accomplishments, including receiving the prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship, Anne is most proud of her ability to connect with people from all walks of life and find areas of need that should be addressed.

“We are convinced it’s not only what you know, but who you know if you want to start a new career. That is why networking and community building are core principles at ReDI,” Anne said.

mark zuckerberg redi schoolReDI launched its first two coding programs in February 2016 with an event in Berlin that had as a special guest Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman of Facebook. He had this to say about his experience with ReDI:

“Dealing with the refugee crisis is a huge challenge, and it is inspiring to see people creating opportunities through technology … Germany’s leadership and compassion in the refugee crisis has also become a symbol of what it means to build an inclusive global community, and has set an example for the world.”

As a founder of multiple organizations, Anne has experience building companies from the ground up. Looking back to when she was starting out, she remembers receiving a key piece of advice: “If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together.” She then added that the key to success is to build a strong team.

Anne’s advice to entrepreneurs is to “stop talking about your users – start talking with them! Involve your end-users as much and as early as possible. If possible, co-create your solution with them from Day 1.” For EyeFocus 2016, she hopes to support companies while they find healthcare solutions that will ultimately aid more people in need.

Anne says she enjoys mentoring because she is incredibly curious and wants “to see health innovation ideas help more people.” Specifically, she is interested in scalable solutions for users at the bottom of the pyramid in the developing world – particularly in refugee camps.

Join EyeFocus 2016 to meet Anne and our other great mentors.

Sign Up for Our Eye-Care Innovation Conference

EyeFocus will be ending it’s second accelerator program on January 31 with a one-day conference to explore the future of eye-care technology. The event will provide an opportunity for members of our ecosystem to network and collaborate and gather experts from a wide range of med-tech fields to explore the ways new technologies can make life better for people with vision problems.

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What’s Coming Up in January?

EyeFocus Eye-Care Innovation Conference

EyeFocus is holding a one-day conference about eye-care innovation to end the second accelerator program. The conference is replacing the traditional demo day, and will go beyond startups pitching to investors to also present the ecosystem EyeFocus has built and the knowledge we have gained in eye-care innovation. The day will be a mix of networking, education and information for people working in eye-care, health tech and startups.

We are sponsored by Bayer, and have partnered with the world-famous Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) as well as the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG) to bring together thought leaders from across the eye-care spectrum for a unique event in central London.

Click here to learn more about the Eye-Care Innovation Conference.

EyeFocus Meetup & Pitch-off Events in Cambridge and Liverpool

In January 2017, EyeFocus will be holding two Meetup and Pitch-off events that will focus on bringing together eye-care innovators from Cambridge and Liverpool.

Our events will feature panel discussions from experts in our network, followed by the opportunity to pitch your idea, startup, research or business. These events provide an opportunity for participants to become a part of EyeFocus’s global network and be included in future EyeFocus events.

These events are open to anyone who is interested in innovation and healthcare, including startups, scientists, medics and medical students, as well as people with vision and eye-care conditions, investors, corporates and NGOs.

If you have a great idea in eye-care innovation, EyeFocus is interested in your ideas. Whether you are still in the idea stage, or with a fully fledged company, we would like to invite you to pitch your ideas to a room full of potential investors, collaborators and partners. As a part of the EyeFocus network, we would be able to help provide feedback and support.

Click here to register for the Cambridge event.

Click here to register for the Liverpool event.

Happy Holidays from the EyeFocus Team

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Recapping the RLSB & EyeFocus Idea Hack

On Thursday, November 24, EyeFocus joined forces with the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) at their offices in London to host an idea hack focused on encouraging innovation in post-diagnosis support for young people.

The aim of the event was to create diverse teams where people of diverse backgrounds could share their unique perspectives with others whom they may not normally interact. The event was divided into three different parts: an expert panel discussion, an idea hack and a pitching session.

The Expert Panel

expert eye care panelOur panel included four experts from the top of their respective fields: Dr. Rafiq Hasan, the VP and Global Head of Ophthalmology at Bayer Health Care; Florence Orban, the Director of Corporate Development at RLSB; Jude Thompson, the Education and Quality Director/Principal at Dorton College; and Matt Leverington, a visually impaired alumni of the RLSB Youth Forum.

The topics they discussed included:

  • Drug Compliance and Treatment Management: What are the problems newly diagnosed people and parents of diagnosed children face when managing their new medication and treatment?
  • The Importance of Practical and Emotional Support for the Whole Family: How can parents learn to cope with their child’s diagnosis in order to support and encourage their development? What role does the family play in supporting a visually impaired child?
  • Post-Diagnosis Development and Play: How do young blind and partially sighted children play? Which toys work and don’t work for helping them learn and increase mobility?
  • Losing Your Sight as a Young Person: How can older children adjust to visual impairment? What steps are needed to help young people relearn necessary skills?

The Idea Hack

The event attendees represented a very broad and high level of cross-sector eye-care companies:

  • Peek Vision
  • Imperial College
  • Royal College of Arts
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital
  • Pocklington Trust
  • Hackney Learning Trust
  • HealthForge
  • Health Foundry
  • 01Booster Accelerator, Tokyo
  • RLSB
  • GCA Health PR
  • Okimo (previously Mr. Patch)

The Pitches

Some of our top pitches included:

“Find My Friends” – Networking is an issue, from finding your friends in a playground to working the room at a conference. “Find My Friends” is a name badge a visually impaired person can wear that connects with a phone so they can find their friends in social settings – this could be anything from a child looking for his friends on the playground to an adult trying to navigate a networking event.

“Uber for Guides” ­– Whether you need guiding to the station for your first day at work, need to get to John Lewis to go Christmas shopping for an hour, or maybe you are headed to stay with a friend in Manchester and need a guide through Euston Station, this app could help a visually impaired person book someone to help them navigate everything from public transportation to shopping centers.

“Quick Diagnosis” – Health apps, including Apple Health, already cover a number of functions, but what is lacking is eye health monitoring and tracking data points. The purpose of the “Quick Diagnosis” app is notify people when/if their eye health is deteriorating, as well as when to make an appointment. It could also include a tool to monitor existing degenerative conditions.

What’s Up Next for EyeFocus?

eyefocus eye care innovation conference

EyeFocus is holding a one-day conference about eye-care innovation to end the second accelerator program. The conference is replacing the traditional demo day, and will go beyond startups pitching to investors to also present the ecosystem EyeFocus has built and the knowledge we have gained in eye-care innovation. The day will be a mix of networking, education and information for people working in eye-care, health tech and startups.

We are sponsored by Bayer, and have partnered with the world-famous Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) as well as the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG) to bring together thought leaders from across the eye-care spectrum for a unique event in central London.

Click here to learn more about the Eye-Care Innovation Conference.

When

Where

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Royal Academy of Engineering

Prince Philip House

3 Carlton House Terrace

London SW1Y 5DG

United Kingdom

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Rotterdam Meetup & Pitching Session

rotterdam-promo-banner

EyeFocus is pleased to announce that we are working with the World Association of Eye Hospitals to organize an eye-care event as part of the EIT Health Startup & SME Day in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  The goal of the event is to engage participants with other valuable startups, SMEs and EIT Health partners.

The EyeFocus session will provide participants an opportunity to pitch in front of leading eye-care specialists, including Tjeerd de Faber, President European Society of Ophthalmology & Ophthalmologist in the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. We will be joined by Netherlands-based startups Easee and EyeSense, who will each be pitching for our panel.

Easee provides a full, unassisted online eye exam. All you need is 20 minutes, a computer and a smart phone. This offers users the opportunity to get their eyes tested from the comfort of their own home or office. Test results are verified by registered optometrists or ophthalmologists. Prescriptions are then delivered digitally. Easee’s service helps people save waiting time, travel and costs.

EyeSense, developed by ID Labs, is an Artificial Intelligence application that helps blind and visually impaired people discover their surroundings while also enhancing human-to-human connection.

Agenda

 

Thursday, December 8

1:30-5 p.m.

 

EIT Health Day
5-6 p.m.

 

EyeFocus Meetup & Pitching Session
6-9 p.m.

 

Networking & Refreshments

(See full agenda here.)

Location

Cambridge Innovation Center, Stationsplein 45, 3013 AK Rotterdam, Netherlands

 

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EyeFocus Visits India

aravind entrance

On November 17, EyeFocus embarked on a fascinating trip to India. During the visit, we met with our partners at Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, one of the most important and innovative eye-care hospitals in the world; we also judged eye-care startups pitching at the Startup India Rocks Finale conference in Bangalore.

Partner Visit with Aravind

unnamed-1Aravind is an exemplary global example of how to deliver quality healthcare to everyone – both rich and poor. Our founder, Tobias Stone, visited the hospital to meet with EyeFocus Mentor Thulasiraj Ravilla. During the tour of their facilities, he met with some of Aravind’s innovators and discussed some current issues in the eye-care field around the world, including the fact that many patients have trouble self-administering eye drops. The team has explored a number of solutions, and has now created a simple 3D-printing device that holds any eye drop bottle in the correct position, thus ensuring the drops hit the correct part of the eye.

The visit by EyeFocus led to additional networking opportunities with Aurolab, a company based at Aravind. Aurolab was founded by Aravind to provide high-quality products for cataract operations to NGOs and hospitals around the world. Aurolab has grown considerably since its conception, and is now able to provide low-cost, quality products worldwide. They have developed a kit with sutures, lenses and eye drops to costs only $10, thus furthering Aravind’s commitment to low-cost, quality healthcare.

unnamed-2Aravind have perfected a unique model of healthcare that allows them to treat nearly half of their patients for free – this includes treatment and operations. There are two hospitals within Aravind – the free hospital and the paying hospital. While the facilities differ superficially in terms of comfort and design, the quality of the healthcare is the same across the system, offering affordable or free eye care to those who cannot afford it.

View Footage From Aravind

EyeFocus Joined #STIR2016 Finale in Bangalore

stir2016

In Bangalore, EyeFocus was part of the #STIR2016 Finale Event. We were thrilled to see pitches from our participating startups – some of whom had flown from Mumbai and Delhi. The programs placed a great emphasis on digital braille, as well as accessibility for blind and illiterate people. The winner of the pitching competition was the Oswald Foundation, whose founders range from just 18 years old. The company began with a product designed to provide a reading solution for people with Dyslexia.

These startups and the innovators from Aravind will join the EyeFocus program to receive mentoring and further support from our network of partners and mentors. They will also receive introductions with our sponsor, Bayer, to talk about how to develop products into the wider eye-care market.

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Join Us in Bangalore for #STIR2016

bangalore-promo-announcement

EyeFocus will be joining forces with Startup India Rocks! for the #STIR2016 Finale event in Bangalore this Friday and Saturday, November 18-19. The event will feature world-renowned speakers and investors who will focus on everything from healthcare innovation to technology solutions and business planning. This is the first international event for cross-border investment, bringing together the best minds from global start-up ecosystems. EyeFocus 2016 participants will have the opportunity to take part in product showcase and pitch competition, as well as take part in a panel focused on eye-care innovation.

For the showcase, which takes place on Friday, participants will give a soft pitch for entrepreneurs to talk about their innovation, and will be judged by a panel of corporates, strategic partners and media. Following the showcase, we will take part in an expert panel to discuss everything from scouting interesting products, mentoring, the social impact of eye care innovation, and the investment opportunities of med-tech and healthcare startups from an investor’s perspective. The event itself is a good way for companies to meet investors and potentially raise funds for their endeavors.

Eye-care startups that are pitching at STIR 2016 will be invited to join the EyeFocus Accelerator program. They will also have the opportunity on Saturday to meet with EyeFocus CEO, Toby Stone, as well as some of our local mentors.

If you’re interested in attending the #STIR2016 Finale event in Bangalore, register here!

Event Details

When: November 18-19
Where: SAP Labs Campus, #138, EPIP Zone, Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560066, India
Partner: Startup India Rocks!

EyeFocus Is Going to Aravind

In addition to participating in the STIR 2016 Finale event in Bangalore, EyeFocus is spending the day Thursday, November 17, with our partners at Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India.

Aravind is acknowledged as the largest provider of eye care in the world. It is also known for its sustainable, scalable and replicable model of service delivery to both rich and poor people. Aravind Eye Hospital has won such awards as the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, India’s Most Innovative Hospital Award at India Healthcare Awards, and the FICCI award for the Best Private Hospital in India.

Our visit will focus on meeting with doctors and professors, as well as EyeFocus Mentor R.D. Thulasiraj to learn what the latest areas of interest are in eye health, as well as what’s needed in eye-care innovation.

Stay tuned to hear more about our visit at Aravind Eye Hospital.

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Coming Next – EyeFocus & RLSB Idea Hack!

RLSB idea hack

EyeFocus is partnering with the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) to host an idea hack encouraging innovation beyond diagnosis support. No child should grow up to be poor or lonely just because they have impaired vision. The focus of the idea hack is to help young people living with eye diseases and blindness as well as their families find sources of support so they’re able to grow up with a better life.

The event will feature expert panelists, who will each discuss different topics related to sight loss and post-diagnosis support. Our topics will include:

Speaker: Dr. Rafiq Hasan
Topic:
Drug Compliance and Treatment Management

Questions:

  • What problems do newly diagnosed people face with managing their medication and treatment?
  • What problems are caused by non-compliance with medication?

Speaker: Ed Anderton
Topic:
Development and Play Post Diagnosis

Questions:

  • How do young blind and partially sighted children play?
  • Which toys work and don’t work?
  • What is the serious side of play for blind children (e.g. stimulation to increase mobility, learning, etc.)?

Speaker: Jude Thompson
Topic:
The Importance of Practical and Emotional Support for the Whole Family

Questions:

  • How can parents learn to cope with their child’s diagnosis in order to support and encourage their child’s development?
  • What role does the family play in supporting a visually impaired child?

Speaker: Matt Leverington
Topic:
Losing Your Sight as a Young Person

Questions:

  • How can older children adjust to visual impairment?
  • What steps need to be taken to help young people relearn necessary skills?

The Aim of the Idea Hack

The goal of the EyeFocus Idea Hack is to create diverse teams with a variety of different perspectives, thus encouraging cross-sector dialogue between people who may not normally interact. We want each team to make connections and learn from others in order to develop the ideas discussed in the panel. At the end of the discussion portion, each team will make a pitch for their ideas, coming up with brand names and sales stories. EyeFocus and RLSB will be providing mentoring support for one to two ideas to be developed further through the EyeFocus Accelerator Programme.

Event Details

When: November 24, 17:00-20:00

Where: RLSB Offices, 52-58 Arcola St., Hackney, London, E8 2DJ

Click Here to Register

 

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What’s Happening in November?

EyeFocus 2016 November Events

EyeFocus, the world’s first accelerator and innovation program, is dedicated to bringing together leaders in the eye care and tech fields to create new products and solutions for people who are blind or visually impaired. With that mission in mind, we’re pleased to announce that two events for #EyeFocus2016 will take place this November.

STIR2016 EyeFocus2016 India Bangalore

EyeFocus 2016 India Event in Bangalore

When: November 18-19
Where: #138, EPIP Zone, Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560066, India
Partner:  Startup India Rocks!

EyeFocus will be joining forces with Startup India Rocks! for the #STIR2016 Finale event in Bangalore, India. The event will feature world-renowned speakers and investors who will focus on everything from healthcare innovation to technology solutions and business planning.

#EyeFocus2016 participants will take part in both a product showcase and a pitch competition. For the showcase, participants will give a soft pitch for entrepreneurs to talk about their innovation, and will be judged by a panel of corporates, strategic partners and media. The competition will allow businesses to pitch to raise funds in front of a panel of investors.

If you’re an eye care startup and want to pitch in the showcase or competition, get in touch with us at contact@eyefocus.co.

If you’re interested in attending the entire #STIR2016 Finale event in Bangalore, register here!

 

RLSB EyeFocus 2016 Idea Hack

EyeFocus & RLSB Idea Hack for Eye Care Innovation

When: November 24, 5.00-8:30p.m.
Where: 52-58 Arcola Street, London E8 2DJ, United Kingdom
Partner: RLSB (Royal London Society for Blind People)

Vision impairment in children and young people can lead to a host of difficulties, not just for those who are diagnosed, but also for their families.  EyeFocus is teaming up with RLSB to host an idea hack aimed at encouraging innovation in post-diagnosis support. The event will feature expert panelists in the field of eye care. Panelists will discuss everything from treatment management and emotional support to development and play post-diagnosis. After the panels, attendees will break into teams that will work together to share ideas and come up with solutions to some of the proposed issues those with vision impairment face today.

Register for the event here!

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EyeFocus 2016 Mentor Spotlight Series – Tram Nguyen-Trinh

Tram Nguyen-Trinh EyeFocus 2016 Mentor

EyeFocus Accelerator would like to introduce Tram Nguyen-Trinh, one of the mentors for EyeFocus 2016.

Tram Nguyen-Trinh is the Founder and CEO of VITAnLINK, a Paris-based tech transfer and healthcare consultancy. She has over 20 years of multinational business experience helping digital health startups expand their company by networking, providing key strategic input and validating their business model. She helps these companies achieve rapid results through mentoring, as well as through a drive to help expand health and eye care innovation. At the heart of it, she is also a consumer looking for solutions.

“I have glasses,” Tram said. “I don’t see very well. If I lived in the prehistoric period, I would have already been eaten by a mammoth, because I wouldn’t have been able to see it coming.”

Even with over 20 years of multinational experience, Tram admits that she doesn’t know everything – but she enjoys helping companies find a way to create innovations without constraints and how she can continue to learn as she works. She has extensive experience working at Welch Allyn, Johnson & Johnson, and Ernst & Young before she founded VITAnLINK. Since then, she has sat on the board of a number of healthcare startups and scaleups, and thus brings together a rare insight into both corporates and innovation. Tram is notoriously well-networked in Europe’s healthcare sector, and brings all this to her role supporting healthcare and eye-care companies.

“I founded VITAnLINK because I believe that any emerging idea, project or business is successful when the right partners connect,” she said. “Sometimes, we get bogged down looking at things through our limited scope. When I mentor, I like to help these companies see their ideas from a different perspective – to see the big picture.”

Tram’s passion lies in prevention, which is how she knows that solutions are often pulled together from a variety of healthcare and technology areas. “The value of EyeFocus is that it helps you learn from other businesses and sectors that may be better than you at certain things, or at seeing the bigger picture.” Tram went on to say that EyeFocus excels at bringing together mentors of various backgrounds for a common vision, each of whom bring something new and unique to the table.

Tram said she relishes the challenges mentoring presents. “Even when I was starting out in business, it was good to have an outsider’s perspective on what I was doing and how I could improve.” She said she enjoys helping companies overcome the barriers that prevent them from innovating.

“When I talk to companies, I see things two years down the road – I see that there are a number of things to be done between now and then.” Those things could be anything from a lack of resources to a missing link in the technology or application of their company’s service or product. Tram says it’s her job as a mentor to help bridge that gap by utilizing her network and experience.

Tram has high hopes for EyeFocus 2016, and believes it will build upon the success of the 2015 program by helping companies grow and cultivate relationships with partners. “At the end of the day, what matters most is people and the human values that make things happen.”

Join EyeFocus 2016 to meet Tram and our other great mentors.

Photo Credit: Olivier Ezratty pour http://www.qfdn.net

Information About the EyeFocus 2016 London Launch Event

When?

18 October, 2016
12 p.m.-8 p.m.

Join Us Live on Facebook to Stream Events Throughout the Day
RSVP Here for Our Networking Event From 6-8 p.m.

Where?

The Hangout
Unruly Hive
42-45 Princelet Street
London E1 5LP

Who’s Coming?

We welcome all of our program’s companies, mentors, sponsors and partners to attend.

 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information about our upcoming events in Bangalore, India, and Tel Aviv, Israel.

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Matt Hartley EyeFocus 2016 Mentor

EyeFocus 2016 Mentor Spotlight Series – Matt Hartley

Matt Hartley EyeFocus 2016 Mentor

EyeFocus Accelerator would like to introduce Matt Hartley, one of the mentors for London EyeFocus 2016.

Matt is the CEO and Co-Founder of health tech startup Healthforge, and a mentor at EyeFocus. Healthforge is a funded startup that provides healthcare developers with tools to build and deploy compliant apps (web, mobile or desktop) in the cloud, getting them to market faster, for less.

In his role with Healthforge, and in his past role at the world-leading Moorfields Eye Hospital, London,  Matt has witnessed the struggles encountered by development teams in the health tech space, ranging from managing secure infrastructure to dealing with compliance.

“You’re never going to see the kind of levels of innovation in health tech that you see in other tech verticals until developers have better tools to do their jobs. There are simply too many barriers in the way of getting to market quickly and inexpensively. Healthforge is a set of tools that addresses the most commonly encountered technical barriers associated with getting an app to market in healthcare,” Matt said. “Our goal is to help companies spend more time on innovating, and less on re-inventing the wheel, saving them a lot of time and money in the process.”

Matt and the Healthforge team are at the forefront of platform development in the health tech field. Before launching Healthforge, he and his team built the electronic health record (EHR) at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

When asked why he was excited to be a mentor for EyeFocus 2016, Matt said he was looking forward to seeing what’s new in software in eye care. “I have a bit of a soft spot for ophthalmology, given all our past work with Moorfields, and am keen to help companies active in the area to succeed, if I can.”

By focusing on the technical side of innovation, Matt is able to provide a unique perspective to participants. “I’m more interested in the unsexy stuff – the building blocks and developer tools that will create the conditions for more of the sexy stuff – impactful clinical software,” he said. His experience working with a major eye-care hospital, and for clients from across the healthcare sector, from charities to big pharma, is invaluable for EyeFocus companies as they go to market.

His ultimate goal is to have a positive impact on patient care. “Improving the quality of care delivered to patients is what excites me – that’s to say, doing things that improve the effectiveness, safety and experience of patient care.”

With EyeFocus 2016, Matt hopes to help participants create new and lasting relationships within the ecosystem, and ultimately raise money for their companies.

Matt will be at our London Launch Event on October 18th and available for one-on-one mentoring there. Click here to register for the event!

More Information About the EyeFocus 2016 London Launch Event

When?

18 October, 2016
12 p.m.-8 p.m.

Join Us Live on Facebook to Stream Events Throughout the Day
RSVP Here for Our Networking Event From 6-8 p.m.

Where?

The Hangout
Unruly Hive
42-45 Princelet Street
London E1 5LP

Who’s Coming?

We welcome all of our program’s companies, mentors, sponsors and partners to attend.

 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information about our upcoming events in Bangalore, India, and Tel Aviv, Israel.

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