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Life Sciences: the future is now. Awarded the winners of the Open Accelerator 2018, #5 startups that are planning the solutions of tomorrow

The program has awarded 5 startups in two therapeutic areas, Central Nervous System and Respiratory, with seed investments of up to 100,000 euros and the chance to start a strategic partnership with Zambon

The announcement of the winners concludes the third edition of Open Accelerator, the initiative supported by ZCube, Zambon Research Venture, which finances the most deserving startups in the field of Life Sciences.

Milano, 03/12/2018 – A sphere to reduce the essential tremor of the hands and to allow patients to perform daily activities; shoes with an integrated device that oversees the motor behavior of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and suggests an adjustment of therapy to the specialist and prevents the risk of falls; a digital stethoscope connected to the smartphone that detects the sounds of the lungs and foresees the  exacerbations; a blood test for the early diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. These are the winners of the third edition of Open Accelerator who received a seed investment, the opportunity to start a strategic partnership with Zambon and consulting and legal services to facilitate their entry into the market.

“Open Accelerator is a “gym” to train for the challenges of a very complex market and to deepen the knowledge of technologies and business, necessary for innovative startups. It is no coincidence that the program takes place in OpenZone where science meets industry, where innovation and entrepreneurship interact, in short where science oxygen business – says Elena Zambon, President of Zambon Spa -. This is the most effective representation of the spirit that animates us: making sure that new ideas and solutions are translated into reality able to improve patients’ care and quality of life, adopting a cure&care approach. We focused this edition on neurodegenerative and respiratory diseases to make our network and skills available. This is how we can promote value entrepreneurship, trying to anticipate the future”.

Below is the list of winners and dedicated investments:

  • Prindex: a blood test for the early diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, not invasive, based on a simple blood sample – Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

100.000-euro seed investment;

  • Vilimball: Therapeutic device, shaped as a sphere, able to temporarily reduce the essential tremor of the hands. The patient, holding it in his hands for a few minutes, can receive temporary relief from this disorder by having the opportunity to carry out daily activities – Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania.

50.000-euro seed investment and Zambon Partnership Engagement;

  • Mobile GaitLab: Motion sensors for patients suffering from Parkinson’s integrated in orthopedic shoes that continuously record patient gait data that neurologists can track through an app– Erlangen Universitu, Nürnberg, Germany.

50.000-euro seed investment and Zambon Partnership Engagement;

  • LungPass: Digital stethoscope that, combined with an application based on the Machine Learning, allows patients suffering from COPD to remotely monitor sounds from the lungs and keep track of their conditions to prevent exacerbations – Minsk, Belarus.

30.000-euro seed investment and Zambon Partnership Engagement.

Finally, the four startups will have the opportunity to get office spaces in OpenZone for one year for free.

In addition, the Cameroon Diagnos, protagonist of a special fast track for the design of an app that remotely connects patients and specialists, was awarded a special prize of 10.000-euro.

“Innovation must be rewarded and continuously fed with the correct support of skills. This is why we have studied a tailored acceleration process for each startup – continues Giovanni Rizzo, Chief of Innovation Division, Zcube -. In the field of Life Sciences there are many skills and competences that need to be put together and in this respect a program like Open Accelerator is of great importance. Thanks to the support of Zambon and of a global network of mentors, collaborators, advisors and tutors was offered to the startups specific and multidisciplinary knowledge to be successful. An important news is that three of the selected startups will have the opportunity to start a strategic partnership directly with Zambon”.

In fact, in addition to the seed investment, three startups have been rewarded with a Partnership Engagement, a Zambon scholarship and creation of a specific business case for the strategic fit between the company and the startup.

“We are developing a device for hand tremor, based on a vibrational therapy and an algorithm that helps to provide an individual therapy leading to up to 4 hours lasting effect of reduced hand tremor. This helps patients in their day to day life activities. – claims Mantas Venslauskas, CEO at ViLim Ball – The support of the Open Accelerator helped us in preparing a good business plan taking into consideration all its aspects. The most important thing of this program is the great network of experts that it provides to young startups as ours. I think that partnering with Zambon could help us on the clinical studies side and on the go-to-market strategy”.

To these acknowledgments are added the awards of the partners of the initiative:

  • Generali Welion has awarded Mobile GaitLab with an investment of 000-euro.
  • Deloitte Italia has awarded Mobile GaitLab with of 000-euro and Parkintest and Prindex with 5.000-euro each, in in-kind consulting services
  • The international law firm Bird & Bird will offer 16 hours of legal assistance to Prindex and 8 hours each for Lung Pass and Spyras.

78 startups from 16 different countries participated in the international call for project, launched in April. Four the areas of interest: Drug delivery systems; Medical devices, biomarkers and diagnostics; Wearables and digital health; Big Data. 11 were the selected startups that participated in the 12-step acceleration program, that took place between September and November, with mixed sessions at OpenZone, the scientific campus near Milan, and online sessions tailored to the needs of each startups.

The announcement of the winners concludes the third edition of Open Accelerator in collaboration with Officine Innovazione di Deloitte with the support of Italian Angels for Biotech, Innogest, Premio Marzotto, Unicredit, StartLab, Studio legale Bird& Bird, Generali Welion.

Open Accelerator gives appointment to 2019 to support new ideas and projects aimed at improving people’s lives. For all updates visit

Federica Bologna Rossi

Account Executive

T +39 02 57378402

M +39 342 9229541


Weber Shandwick, via Vigevano, 18 –  20144  Milan Italy

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