Cypriot start-up EMBIO Diagnostics Ltd, is among the winners of the first online Start-up Innovation Challenge initiated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to encourage creative and innovative responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
EMBIO is a science & technology company which created the proprietary B.EL.D. (Bio Electric Diagnostics) device, related software and algorithms. B.EL.D is one of the very few multi-use handheld chemical analyser systems that within minutes, and on the spot, can accurately detect bacteria and other harmful chemicals in food categories such as dairy and leafy greens. It aims to provide quick and accurate answers on the point of care, to prevent the spread of harmful bacterias and infectious diseases, like Listeria.
Judges had to choose between 226 participants from 30 countries where the Bank invests. The competition targeted high-potential scalable start-ups that have innovated their business models in response to the coronavirus pandemic and was organised entirely online.
The winners share among themselves US$ 500,000 of mixed cash reimbursement and advisory vouchers within the framework of the Star Venture programme including business diagnostics as well as tailored one-on-one technical advisory support, mentoring and access to international investors.
The EBRD’s mandate in Cyprus expired at the end of 2020 and the Bank has now ceased investing in any new projects in the country. The Start-up Innovation Challenge was open to companies based in any country.
Other winners were Otsimo from Turkey, an education platform for children with special needs, Fazla Gıda from Turkey, a surplus management platform which helps to mark products for expiry, 1Trolley from Egypt, a last mile delivery convenient goods service and Plant an App from Romania, a low-code development platform that accelerates delivery of software systems by a factor of up to 40 times.
The EBRD has been promoting and supporting start-ups in its countries of operations for over 25 years through advisory and investment vehicles including the Star Venture Programme, the Early-Stage Innovation Facility and the Venture Capital Investment Programme.
The Start-up Innovation Challenge was supported by donor funds provided by the Republic of Korea, and in Egypt by the EBRD Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the TaiwanBusiness – EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the United States).