Healthtech Startups Lifebank, Crib A’Glow Win Johnson&Johnson Innovation Challenge, Worth $50,000 in Funding

US-Based WorldCover InsurTech Raises $6m Series A Funding from Nigeria's EchoVC
LifeBank is one of EchoVC’s many Nigeria-based portfolio companies

6 African healthtech startups have been selected as winners for the Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0. Of the 6 startups selected at the ongoing 28th World Economic Forum on Africa, 2 are Nigerian – Lifebank and Crib A’glow.

Organised by medical company, Johnson & Johnson, the challenge is aimed at getting African innovators in the health space to submit ideas for innovative technologies, products and solutions that have the potential to create positive impact on communities across the continent.

And with a thriving African healthcare ecosystem, the challenge got nearly 900 applications from 39 countries, after which it had to select its 6 winners. The winners selected according to Johnson & Johnson, are addressing major healthcare challenges with novel technology and approaches and have a pathway for scaling operations for long-term sustainability.

“The new winners are equally impressive and talented, and we are confident that by linking the energy and ingenuity of these winners with the resources available through the Johnson & Johnson family of Companies, that they will also make a real and lasting impact in communities across Africa.” 

Seema Kumar, Vice-president of innovation global public health and science policy communication, Johnson & Johnson.

Lifebank, for example, is solving an issue that affects thousands of Nigerians. The 4 year old Lagos-based startup, helps to deliver blood and oxygen to hospitals in less than 1 hour. While Crib A’glow is providing a solar-powered, foldable photo-therapy crib, used to treat jaundice in babies, to places where they are needed. Especially places where stable electricity is not available.

Image result for Crib A' glow
A Crib A’ Glow baby crib

The other winning innovators include, Ugandan healthtech startups, portable ultrasound scanner maker, mScan and Organic soap producer, Uganics; Botswana’s health mobile app, Dreet; and Rwanda’s research based startup, The Hope Initiative.

All selected winners will get a share of the $300 000 prize pool. This will see each of them receive $50,000 in equity-free funding. They will also receive mentorship from the global network of scientists, engineers and business managers within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to bring the new solutions forward.

Building on these network of professionals, these startups will be able to scale their solutions and expand their companies to other places faster.

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