Brazilian Startup wins Latin American challenge of entrepreneurship in health

100 Open Startups
2 min readJul 11, 2018

With a genetic test prototype for oral health, which seeks to detect bacteria associated with dental caries and periodontal diseases, Scheme Lab, a startup in the molecular diagnostics segment, was announced as the winner of a challenge between startups from all over the world to Latin America. The challenge was made by Janssen, a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson, in partnership with the 100 Open Startups movement. The test to be developed can be used for disease detection and for prescribing treatments. The result was announced during Oiweek, in São Paulo, an event of open innovation and divulged here in the blog.

Founded in 2012 by biologists John Katz and Alessandra Bizeray, Scheme Lab develops innovative molecular diagnostic kits called Point-of-care (PoC), which can be used in any laboratory structure, in remote or industrial use. As recognition for the award, researchers will be able to choose between an incubation period at JLABS in Houston or a grant of $ 25,000. JLABS are incubation laboratories of the multinational that promoted the challenge, where companies have access to the latest equipment, specialists and investors, all in an environment focused on innovation in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and consumer products.

The challenge, the result of which was announced yesterday, brought together startups with innovative ideas, technologies or solutions in the specific areas of: personal devices, natural assets and microbioma, oncology, neurosciences and infectious diseases.

In 2017, the challenge was “Aging Population”, and the winner was also a Brazilian startup, HooBox, which developed facial recognition software that uses a 3D camera to map facial expressions. The winning project was a kit that can be installed in less than 7 minutes on any motorized wheelchair, using the facial expressions to move the chair. Paulo Gurgel Pinheiro, CEO and co-founder of HooBox, is already at JLABS Houston, working on startup technology and business development.

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