BioUpper: the 3 winners of the € 180,000 award have been selected

  • The Award Ceremony of BioUpper third edition, the program promoted by Novartis and Fondazione Cariplo, with the participation of IBM and the collaboration of Cariplo Factory, aimed at supporting young startuppers in Life Sciences, took place today at the Ministry of Economic Development in Rome
  • The winning teams: dermatology, patient care and physiotherapy are the Life Sciences areas of greatest interest
  • Each winner will receive a voucher of € 180,000, for a total of € 540,000, to promote the development of their business projects

Rome, January 17, 2019 – Anant, PATCH and Quickly Pro: these are the winners of the third edition of BioUpper, which was concluded today at the Ministry of Economic Development. The program – promoted by Novartis and Fondazione Cariplo with the participation of IBM and the collaboration of Cariplo Factory – supports young talents who want to create a startup in the Life Sciences sector.


This year, each of the winning teams received a voucher for € 180,000 in services, to be invested in the development of their idea. The teams were assessed by a highly qualified jury, made up of leading figures from the Italian institutional, scientific and academic world and the startup community.


The three business ideas that won the jurors over fall into the following areas of application of dermatology, patient care and physiotherapy.


The project called Anant is based on a device designed to analyze the skin and prevent skin tumors. Anant uses Artificial Intelligence to dialogue with the patient and the dermatologist. PATCH devised a chatbot, based on Artificial Intelligence – an actual personal assistant to the patient – which improves the efficiency and accuracy of clinical tests and the communication with the doctor. Quickly Pro is a wearable device, connected to an app, which guides the patient’s ambulation and facilitates the physiotherapist’s work.


In the course of today’s pitch, the participants demonstrated the progress achieved in the three months acceleration program, tailored to each business idea, during which the teams consolidated the strategic development of their project and expanded their network. The acceleration programs were carried out by a network of incubators throughout the national territory, including: Campania NewSteel, Digital Magics, dPixel, Fondazione Filarete, I3P, JCube, PoliHub and LUISS Enlabs.


“This third edition of BioUpper confirmed that in Italy we have the skills, creativity and industrial capacity required to create innovative projects in the field of Life Sciences, a strategic sector that grows, creates jobs and significantly affects the wealth of the Country”stated Pasquale Frega, Country President of Novartis Italia and CEO of Novartis Farma. “The quality of the finalist projects make us proud of having promoted an initiative that for the past three years has been representing the excellence of our sector”.


“The quality of the finalist projects is a proof that we must continue to believe and invest in a research and innovation that starting from Italy can be far-reaching, at global level. We are proud to accompany the winners towards their success, building part of that bridge that leads from basic research to ideas, and ultimately creating concrete initiatives that, in addition to finding innovative solutions, contribute to create jobs, especially for young people”added Giuseppe Guzzetti, President of Fondazione Cariplo.


“The BioUpper experience confirmed the high level of expertise and technological innovation of the Italian startups. This, in our opinion, is the path to follow”, stated Enrico Cereda, President and CEO of IBM Italia. “We believe that, for our Country, the competitiveness challenge is won by building on skills and capacity for innovation. And as IBM, we are proud to help accelerate this growth process, by making state-of-the-art tools and technological solutions available to public and private companies”.


Besides the three winning teams, seven other startups competed today: ABzero, Confirmo, ElicaDEA, Priya, SpeX, StayActive, SynDiag – Artificial Intelligence for Augmented Ultrasound.


The winning teams will have access to the go-to-market phase, a path that will be customized according to their needs and their reference sector, in order to prepare them for the final BioUpper event: the presentation of their company to potential investors during the Investor Day, planned for May 2019.


The third edition of BioUpper – which received as many as 210 candidatures from all over Italy, recording a 39.1% increase over the previous edition – offered important innovations to Life Sciences researchers, startuppers and innovators: in addition to the Call for Ideas, this year the project also included a track called Call for Scale: an open innovation program that had the dual objective of supporting innovation in the field of Life Sciences through the selection of startups with products and services already on the market and promoting the growth of Italian startups through the collaboration with public and private companies operating in the healthcare and hospital sector.


Further information on the project is available at