GET IN THE RING OSAKA 2023（February 17, 2023）
【GET IN THE RING OSAKA 2023 -Health Tech-】
Osaka Innovation Hub hosted “GET IN THE RING”, a global pitch contest from the Netherlands, and this year’s theme for the 7th year was “Health Tech”.
Six Japanese health tech startups, all aiming to take on common global challenges and expand their business globally, gathered in the ring here in Osaka to battle it out for the win!
In the pitch battle held completely online, unique startups participated in the finals and gave spectacular pitches.
As the final battle kicked off with the opening song, Ringmaster Nathan Bryan made a lively appearance! After explaining the battles and introducing the judges, the event began with the lightweight battles！
＜Light Weight Battle＞
Osaka Heat Cool Inc.
Mr. Kenzo Ibano, CEO
Solving the pain of itching with the illusion of pain caused by temperature, “Thermo Scratch” provides a tingling sensation by applying heat and cold stimuli simultaneously, relieving itching without scratching or damaging the skin, and helping to improve the quality of life of people around the world.
With a team of five experts specializing in heat, materials, electronics, modalities, and computer-human interaction, we will develop products that hack the five senses!
Smart Tissues Ltd.
Ms. Denise Zujur, Co-Founder
Smart Tissues will develop Japan’s first antibacterial and universal bioink for bioprinting human biological tissues and organs, enabling bioprinting to save time and cost in research and clinical settings. Researchers no longer have to worry about materials in drug development and basic research, and the technology has the potential to solve the shortage of transplanted organs in the future.
From the very first round, the jury’s votes were split between red and blue, creating a tense situation. And the winning vote went to Smart Tissues!
Their research on bioink development technology for “bioprinting human biological tissues,” its versatility and potential for use in the field of drug development, were highly evaluated. The team from overseas who started their own business in Japan won the competition, and their future success is greatly expected!
On the other hand, Osaka Heat Cool was highly evaluated for its clear roadmap to solve the “itch” problem, and the judges commented on the feasibility of the project based on the size of the global market.
＜Middle Weight Class＞
Next, the middleweight battle began!
These two companies competed against each other.
Liquid Mine, Inc.
Mr. Shunsuke Koide, COO
LiquidMine solves the problem of “no test” for leukemia treatment and provides tailor-made test drugs for leukemia treatment through genome analysis.
They bring hope to patients by making painful testing painless and minimally invasive, and by making it possible to reveal all genetic mutation information of individual patients, which until now has only been partially known, through genome analysis.
Mr. Munemasa Sugimoto, CEO
INOPASE develops an implantable neuromodulation medical device utilizing wireless power and closed loop technology. The wireless power miniaturizes the implant device while the closed loop stimulation based on nerve activity sensing improves the outcome through personalized treatment. Currently, INOPASE develops a closed loop sacral neuromodulation for treatment of overactive bladder as well as a closed loop brain neuromodulation for treatment of epilepsy.
Both companies are working to solve real pain for patients and also have the potential to expand the range of diseases to which they can be applied in the future.
The jury’s votes are divided, in order, blue for INPASE and red for Liquid Mine.
Both companies are taking on technologies that will greatly reduce the burden on patients, and it is difficult to decide between them. The decision then falls to the third judge…!
The winner of the tense situation was INOPASE! With plans to enter the European market in the future, we look forward to their success in the Global Meetup they will be competing in this year!
Despite the close victory, the judges expressed their hope that Liquid Mine will be applied not only to leukemia but also to a wider range of cancer treatments in the future through the development of genomic medicine.
＜Heavy Weight Class＞
Finally, the gong rings for the final match-up, the heavyweight battle!
Here are the two companies that have taken the stage for the final round of competition between the most talented startups that have established outstanding products and built up a track record!
Magic Shields, Inc.
Hiroshi Shimomura, CEO
Magic Shields has developed a new material that does not dent when walking or a wheelchair rides on it, but softens only when a fall occurs, to prevent bone fractures caused by falls in the elderly, and sells it as a floor or mat. It is a new material and structure that combines two properties, walking stability and shock absorption, and has already been introduced in more than 400 medical and welfare facilities. The number of reported femur fractures due to falls at the facilities where the product has been introduced is zero.
CogSmart Co., Ltd.
Akira Higuchi, CEO
CogSmart, which develops solutions for dementia prevention, provides a program for brain docks that detects the risk of cognitive decline and calculates brain health levels through AI analysis of MRI images. CogSmart proposes a series of “Lifelong Healthy Brain Cycle” that visualizes and evaluates cognitive ability and other brain health conditions, and improves them with a brain health management application.
Both companies have significant achievements in Japan, and have clear future sales strategies. They threw back concrete answers to questions from the judges. It was a heavyweight battle well worth watching!
And the vote was… unanimous, with Magic Shields in the red corner taking the heavyweight win!
Magic Shields was also recognized for its ease of installation and potential to expand into a broader market, such as pregnant women, children, and construction sites, in addition to its current use in hospitals and nursing homes for the elderly.
Meanwhile, the judges also praised CogSmart’s two product marketing strategies that follow the brain health cycle of “diagnose,” “understand,” and “improve.
We would like to commend Magic Shields and CogSmart for their efforts in taking on the major challenges of “falls and fractures” and “dementia,” which are becoming more important to address as our society ages!
In this year’s competition, which brought together startups with innovative technologies in the field of health tech, the potential of the teams, technologies, and market expansion were so close that at times it was difficult to determine the winners.
The Q&A session, in which the judges asked questions to the startups on stage, was another highlight of the competition, so don’t miss it!
The smoothness of the English pitches and Q&A sessions has improved with each round of the Japanese finals, and the winners are expected to perform well at the Global Meetup in which they will participate.
Regardless of who won or lost, the finalists received generous praise and comments from the judges, who expressed their hopes for their future success, and the sponsors presented extra prizes to the winners.
The Osaka Innovation Hub will continue to support all globally-minded startups who participated in GET IN THE RING OSAKA.
You can watch the event on the OIH YouTube channel!
About the Event
GET IN THE RING OSAKA 2023
Date：17th February, 2023