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HeroSupport and Calico Biosystems selected for the Tech4Eva accelerator program

Life sciences

15 May 2024

HeroSupport and Calico Biosystems join Tech4Eva, a six-month equity-free accelerator dedicated to advancing women’s health technologies globally. Tech4Eva offers start-ups the opportunity to enhance their business models and go-to-market strategies while gaining valuable exposure to investors, partners, and customers.

HeroSupport and Calico Biosystems join Tech4Eva, a six-month accelerator dedicated to advancing women’s health technologies globally.

Tech4Eva, a collaborative initiative between EPFL Innovation Park and Groupe Mutuel, is dedicated to accelerating innovations in the women’s health market, which is estimated at USD 25 billion. The program provides start-ups with expert coaching, tailored workshops, peer-to-peer exchanges, and access to a vast network of partners, mentors, and investors. Participants also have the chance to attend global conferences and roadshows, furthering their market reach and visibility.

For its 4th edition, Tech4Eva received 189 applications from tech-driven scale-up start-ups worldwide, each offering solutions to various women’s health challenges. From these, 17 outstanding start-ups from 11 countries were selected to embark on the six-month journey with the Tech4Eva team and support ecosystem.

Two start-ups from Western Switzerland

HeroSupport, a spinoff from the Geneva University Hospitals, was founded by Dr. Giovanna DiPasquale with the goal of making cancer treatment more precise and effective. HeroSupport developed an innovative immobilization medical device that transforms imaging or treatment tables into personalized support systems. This ensures that the table adapts to each patient individually, enhancing precision, reducing complexity, improving reproducibility, saving time, and increasing patient comfort. Their first product, Venus, focuses on breast cancer and is currently being tested by early adopters. HeroSupport’s recent CHF 100,000 seed loan from the FONGIT Innovation Fund highlights its potential to revolutionize cancer treatment through patient-centric innovations.

Based in Lausanne, Calico BioSystems addresses the critical need for more effective cancer therapeutics for female patients, who face a significant risk from cancers, a leading cause of death among women. Traditional artificial models used for testing anti-cancer drug efficacy often fail to replicate the complexity of patient tumors, resulting in many drugs failing to receive approval due to a lack of efficacy. Founded by Riccardo Turrin (CSO) and Marie-Agnès Doucey (CEO), Calico BioSystems is pioneering a platform that tests drugs directly on female patient tumors, thereby reliably predicting drug efficacy at the pre-clinical stage. This approach has the potential to significantly improve the approval rate and effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs.

Tech4Eva’s support will be instrumental in helping HeroSupport and Calico BioSystems advance their groundbreaking solutions, contributing to the improvement of women’s health on a global scale. Through initiatives like Tech4Eva, the EPFL Innovation Park and Groupe Mutuel continue to foster innovation and support startups addressing critical health challenges.