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25 July, 2013 - 14:06 By Tony Quested

Dementia technology wins KickStart competition

Sina Habibi, co-founder of Diamentech – winner of the CambridgeElevator 2013 KickStart competition at the Nerve disruptive technology conference

Diamentech, a young company steering technology to improve diagnosis of dementia, won the CambridgeElevator 2013 KickStart competition judged at the  Nerve disruptive technology conference  in Cambridge last month.

The company wins a £17k prize pot including cash from ARM and TTP, intellectual property assistance from Mathys & Squire and a space+mentoring package from ideaSpace in Cambridge.

Diamentech also received a trophy on behalf of the sponsors and judges from James Pitchford of Mathys & Squire.

Diamentech pipped Desktop Genetics and Driive to win KickStart after 12 finalists pitched to delegates and judges during the three-day Nerve conference. They were drawn from a global entry of more than 150.

An estimated 800,000 people in the UK have dementia and 46 per cent of this population never receive diagnosis. NHS memory clinics’ average waiting time is six months (reaching up to 18 month in some locations). Memory is one of the last brain functionality affected by the disease, hence the current diagnosis methods are inefficient in detecting the symptoms in the early stage. Diamentech has developed a revolutionary technique which targets a lot faster much more widely accessible and cheaper diagnosis and is in the process of applying for an EU patent.

The 12 finalists were ChiroCam, OpSalva, Noodle live, Diamentech, Desktop Genetics, zerolatency, Hubciti, GeoSpock, Genetrainer, Driive, DNADigest, Advanced Balance Systems.

There was strong support for Desktop Genetics, tipped by CambridgeElevator partner company Business Weekly as One2Watch for global stardom. Formed by three Cambridge University alumni, Desktop Genetics has developed AutoClone™ – a platform enabling life scientists to build and share DNA molecules essential to their research. Labs around the world are using AutoClone to build DNA molecules faster, cheaper and more accurately than ever before.

Similar to a travel website that finds the best fares, AutoClone finds the best way to make any molecule of DNA from fragments already in a lab somewhere. This process takes hours to do by hand, but only minutes with AutoClone.

The other runner-up, Driive, is literally a driver feedback and risk prediction engine. It uses smartphones to track drivers, then its proprietary technology contextualises and predicts the likelihood of driver being involved in a car accident. It is also able to pick up on fuel efficiency as a result of driving behaviour.

All this information is used to give in-car simple feedback, which encourages behaviour change to make drivers safer and more efficient. Driive is in early stage discussions with numerous insurers who have expressed considerable interest and in later stage discussions with one of the world’s largest vehicle rental companies. The smartphone application has been built for android, with the iPhone application in development.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Sina Habibi, co-founder of Diamentech – winner of the CambridgeElevator 2013 KickStart competition at the Nerve disruptive technology conference. Picture by Jessica Bernard –  ph0t0.co.uk

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