During March 13th-14th we had the great opportunity to take part in the Jacobs Startup Competition in Bremen, Germany, where out of 147 applicants, the best 10 teams were invited to pitch their idea in front of a jury of successful entrepreneurs. 
Custom Surgical was represented by 3 of our colleagues – Federico Acosta, Fernando Benito, and Borja Sanchez, who pitched our iFundus project, a new system designed to make early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy more accessible and affordable worldwide. 
Diabetes is rising more rapidly every year, and so is diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in American adults. In spite of this, only 50% of people suffering from diabetes in developing countries have access to appropriate medical care. If the proper diagnosis is not privided on time, blindness may become unavoidable.
The iFundus project uses a mobile platform developed by Custom Surgical that allows the screening of this disease using a smartphone and our patented optical system. Using deep-learning (AI) and 3D printing, the devices we create enable the capture of high-quality images of the retina, used within an app that provides a diagnostic report of the disease based on images taken.
We’re excited to announce that out of the very talented top 10 teams, we were selected as the winners for 2020 of the Jacobs Startup Competition, which brings us much joy and confidence to further pursue the development of the iFundus project in order to make it available worldwide in the near future.
We want to thank the organizers of the competition for their hard work and dedication! We are grateful for the 2 days of talks and workshops and we also greatly appreciate the mentorship of Holger Hoffmann, who helped us shape our pitch and inspired us going forward to take the best steps for growing our project.