On December 1, as part of our December Transformation Tuesdays Investment & Startup Industry series, Founders and CEOs of some remarkable startups joined us to discuss their contributions in COVID-19. While startups are often viewed as fragile, risky investments, true innovators know the potential these young organizations hold. Extremely lean and nimble, startup ventures possess the flexibility to stay current and make themselves applicable in nearly any situation. In the face of COVID-19, the health industry capitalized on this feature, leveraging the drive of these entrepreneurs for quick turn around on essential supplies and ground-breaking research.
With testing capacity, or lack thereof, highlighted early on in the COVID-19 outbreak, the lay public has come to understand more about its dire importance. Individuals have now been educated on diagnostic lingo like false-positives, antigens, antibody testing, and contact tracing. According to Silicon Valley Bank, money is flowing into testing and tracing companies at an unprecedented rate. Investors saw, in Q1 and Q2 of 2020, over $1.3 B into diagnostic companies, with continued increases into the third and fourth quarters of the year. Compared to approximately $500 M in the first half of 2019, the uptick in demand has been clearly noted. Now finally at a point where the number of tests per day are increasing, so is the disease rate. With increasing cases, how do we sustain sufficient testing in a cost-effective and meaningful way? We’re here to say it’s through the contribution of companies like those included in this Transformation Tuesdays.
In this session, moderated by Akhil Saklecha, MD, Managing Director, Cleveland Clinic Ventures, speakers Murali Aravamudan, Co-founder & CEO, nference, Arnon Chait, PhD, CEO, Cleveland Dx, Adam de la Zerda, PhD, Founder & CEO, Visby Medical, Ayub Khattak, CEO, Cue Health, and Tal Wenderow, President & CEO, Vocalis Health, were proud to share of the inroads they’ve made in screening, diagnosing, and monitoring COVID-19.