MYNERVA nabs CHF 100'000 in DCB Open Innovation Challenge

The neurostimulating medical device from Zurich-based startup MYNERVA helps to reduce chronic pain and to restore the sense of touch in patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy. The startup impressed the jury of the DCB Open Innovation Challenge, winning CHF 100’000 including in-kind suppor to advance the solution.

Despite the advancements in diabetes technology, diabetes has remained a great an unmet need requiring continuing innovation and solutions to improve the lives of affected patients. Dedicated to accelerating diabetes technology, the Diabetes Center Bern organised the DCB Open Innovation Challenge Award to identify and support outstanding projects tackling this problem, providing them with expertise, a network of experts and access to funding to facilitate their development. Eligible to apply are start-ups, health care professionals, researchers, or individuals from all over the world.

The award’s third edition received 66 applications for the Categories Diabetes Devices, Digital Diabetes. Out of these, the jury selected the Top 20 candidates for each category and ultimately the top three finalists that were invited to participate in a four-day bootcamp. During the Award Night the six finalists from the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, Ireland, South Africa and France pitched their projects in front of 300 guests and an international jury, who chose the two winners of the USD 100,000 award prize, which includes cash and in-kind support.

MYNERVA, founded by Greta Preatoni is winner of the category Diabetes Devices, is developing a unique wearable device for people living with diabetic neuropathy, a form of damage to the peripheral nerves, which leads to the loss of tactile sensations. This loss of sensation significantly impacts gait biomechanics, creates balance difficulties, and raises the risk of falls. MYNERVA’s neurostimulating medical device helps reduce chronic pain through a non-invasive electrical nerve stimulation driven by AI algorithms. The neuro-robotic technology with force sensors captures information from the foot-ground interaction and converting it into electrical impulses delivered to a healthy portion of the nerves on the ankle. Besides diabetic neuropathy, the technology has the potential to significantly enhance the lives of millions of individuals with also holds immense promise for several other conditions like amputations, stroke, and spinal cord injuries.

“This was an amazing experience which brought us not only the win, but so many opportunities for development in the future. We are already thinking about how to implement the money that comes with the prize and the network that comes with it,” said Greta Preatoni.

The category winner of the Digital Diabetes is Spotlight-AQ, a UK-based startup offering a validated infographic assessment platform for diabetes patients and healthcare providers.