oDocs Eye Care – a New Zealand-based social enterprise that focuses on the development and distribution of affordable smartphone based technology for primary eye care, has been awarded Best Start Up – Social Impact at the global Talent Unleashed Awards.
Since 2013, Talent Unleased has awarded individuals and businesses that are driving innovation and disruption across the technology community. Judged by an expert panel, including Richard Branson (Virgin) and Steve Wozniak (Apple), previous winners have enjoyed trips to the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa as well as Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island to attend the Igniting Change workshop.
Social Impact winner oDocs Eye Care was founded in 2014 by two eye doctors and launched its first open-source retinal camera project which received global attention and gained more than 3,000 clinical users in less than a year.
Co-founder and Executive Director Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong said receiving the Talent Unleashed Award for Social Impact meant a lot to the company and the entire team.
We are hoping that this award will make us more noticeable among the pool of investors both locally and abroad
“I would say it’s a huge boost not just to our profile but the company’s credibility,” Dr. Hong told mivision. “We are hoping that this award will make us more noticeable among the pool of investors both locally and abroad.”
As one of this year’s five grand prize winners, Dr. Hong spent one-on-one time with Steve Wozniak at an exclusive reception and was invited to fly to Silicon Valley in the United States of America to attend a cutting edge technology conference and a bespoke tour of some of the region’s leading tech companies.
Having met Mr. Wozniak at the Award event, Dr. Hong said Mr. Wozniak had since introduced him to a number of business contacts. “We are hoping these new connections would bring us new source of funding and business collaboration for expansion and growth,” said Dr. Hong.
Dr. Hong said oDocs is at the stage of commercialising its first generation of smartphone based ophthalmic devices, which includes a retinal imaging tool (visioScope) and the anterior segment microscope known as visioClip. “We are now taking pre-orders, and intend to ship them by November 2016. Over the next 12 months, we intend to do a seed capital raise of up to AU$1 million to further grow the business both in Australia and New Zealand, and abroad (Europe & USA).
“Part of the funding will also go into developing a self-care device and software intended to decentralise eye care. We foresee that in the near future, patients will have an autonomous device capable of refracting and screening a patient’s eye for refractive errors and ophthalmic diseases,” said Dr. Hong.