Ugandan startup Neopenda gets Shs113m from UN

Noependa funding Neopenda Uganda

Noependa, a Ugandan-based healthcare startup creating solutions that give patients in low-resource settings access to high-quality care, won US$30,000 (about Shs113 million) from a United Nations Program, SautiTech has learnt.

The UN program is called UN Women She Innovates Prize for Gender-Responsive Innovation and it was sponsored by Citi and SAP Next-Gen.

Neopenda, it should be recalled, is also among the startups that have been selected to join the 2018 MIT Solver class.

Neopenda was founded in 2016 by Sona Shah and Teresa Cauvel, who were biomedical engineering students at Columbia University.

The idea to build the startup came about after the duo visited Uganda and realized that babies born with complications face long odds of survival in countries where medical staff and equipment are in short supply.

Their first product called Neopenda is a small wearable device that monitors the vital signs of critically ill newborns being cared for in hospitals in low-resource areas.

The device wirelessly transmits data to a centralized app, allowing a single nurse to monitor multiple newborns at once.

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This solution is being designed hand-in-hand with nurses and doctors in Uganda, to ensure it will meet the needs and constraints of low-resource settings.

Neopenda at MIT Solve Global Challenge

Neopenda was selected alongside 33 Solver teams at an event held in New York on September 23.

Each of the members of the Solver class will benefit from $10 000 (about Shs38 million) in funding as well as mentorship and support from the Solve community.

The class will over the next year collaborate with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Solve initiative on their solutions.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Solve initiative seeks to crowd-solve four global challenges — economic prosperity, health, learning, and sustainability — through open innovation.

The MIT Solve Challenge finals featured a group of 60 finalists selected from across the initiative’s four global challenges: Coastal Communities, Frontlines of Health, Teachers and Educators, and Work of the Future.

The winners from Africa are from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria.

Neopenda has previously participated in more than 20 IT competitions, including emerging as outstanding IoT Project at the 2018 Computing Big Data Awards and coming in the first place at the Cisco Internet of Everything Challenge at the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition and 2016 Columbia University Women Entrepreneurs Pitch Competition.


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