This year’s €100,000 TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award will benefit nine researchers and entrepreneurs to help them take their innovative ideas to the next stage of commercialisation.
The Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business handed out funds at this year’s €100,000 Seed Fund Award during a ceremony which was presided over by the Rector of the University of Malta, Prof. Alfred J. Vella.
The TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award received 36 applications, and 14 shortlisted teams had to ‘pitch’ their ideas to the award programme selection committee. In the Proof of Concept category the winners were: Methylation ELISA, with a project to develop a screening kit to detect specific protein modifications that may indicate diseases such as cancer; Increasing Chemotherapy Effectiveness, which proposes a therapy that would drastically reduce the doses of chemotherapy drugs required by certain cancer patients; and, Breast Cancer Biomarkers, to develop testing kits to distinguish between certain types of breast cancer and inform about the required therapy.
Under the Seed Fund Category, the winners were: PhotonMalta to aid in developing an app that would enable users to have digital photos on their mobile devices printed and shipped to their door for free; Flatnumber, with the aim to finalise and promote their software that facilitates the management of apartment blocks and condominiums; Freshy.io, to establish an app that would inform users about cheap food deals in their vicinity, while allowing catering establishments to sell surplus fresh food they would otherwise have to throw away by day’s end; and Registrator, to finalise work on their software application that complements the popular Sage accounting system and allows accountants and their clients to share data and documents seamlessly. Other winners included Mates, Dates & Plates, to develop an app that makes it easier for hosts to create impressive menus for all their guests, including those with religious or special dietary requirements; and Eighty Metrics; to develop a facial analysis system that will be integrated in vending machines to provide anonymised customer demographics.
Minister Cardona congratulated all participants for their ideas and the University of Malta which he described as having “transformed itself into an entrepreneurial University, and now plays a vital role in the economy of the country.” Dr Cardona also reassured the Ministry’s and the Government’s commitment in continuing to acknowledge and aid entrepreneurs and researchers which he described as “the movers and shakers of our economy.”
Go Beyond also presented an award for the Participant with Most Cross-Border Potential, which was won by PhotonMalta. This app aims at being a hyper-local, hybrid business (having both online and offline components) that enables users to extract photos from their phone or tablet and have them printed and shipped for free.
The TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award is a joint initiative between the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation (CEBI) at the University of Malta and the Ministry for the Economy, Industry and Small Business (MEIB), with support from TAKEOFF, the Business Incubator of the University of Malta. The ceremony, which was also attended by TAKEOFF Manager Andy Linnas, and Go Beyond Operations Manager Jean Paul Barthet, was held at the TAKEOFF Business Incubator at the University of Malta.
(Source: PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS)