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StarFinder Lab

StarFinder Lab invests in the most promising entrepreneurs and teams that develop highly innovative ‘Proof of Concept’ (POC) AI-BASED solutions for some of the most pressing global health challenges.

Powered by Roche and aMoon, we provide ACCESS, FUNDING and TOOLS through a uniquely tailored 9-month program and MORE if successful.

If you are an entrepreneur, researcher, practicing professional, an existing company or AI-expert AND ready to tackle with us one of our three challenges….

Cancer - Pressing Challenges
CANCER
Digital Pathology - Pressing Challenges
DIGITAL PATHOLOGY
Antimicrobial Resistance - Pressing Challenges
ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
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StarFinder Lab

StarFinder is an exclusive innovation program for entrepreneurs to execute ‘Proof of Concept’ (POC) AI-based projects in order to address global Healthcare market needs.

Established in 2020 by Roche and aMoon Fund, this unique early stage investment program is aimed at identifying exceptional Israeli entrepreneurs who are addressing pressing global health challenges.

The collaboration, called “StarFinder Lab”, will provide funding, mentoring, data from HMOs and hospitals, unparalleled access to leading global expertise from within Roche and aMoon, personal office space at aMoon’s offices, and more. StarFinder is a 3 years program that will consist of three cohorts, each cohort will be composed of 3 selected ventures, each centered around a specific challenge.

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Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. For more information, please visit www.roche.com

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aMoon

aMoon is a leading HealthTech and Life Sciences venture capital fund headquartered in Israel. Our mission is to launch tomorrow’s cures to the world’s greatest healthcare challenges. We are passionate about giving the most promising thinkers and innovators the resources they need to propel their business and technology to the next level and beyond.  With over $1.1 billion under management, our mission is to harvest the tsunami of the convergence of health and technology and to accelerate cures for humanity’s most life-threatening conditions and global healthcare’s biggest cost drivers.

Q:
What is StarFinder Lab?
A:

StarFinder Lab is a first-of-its-kind digital health lab powered by Roche and aMoon. Established in 2020, it offers a unique early stage program, aimed at identifying exceptional Israeli entrepreneurs who are addressing pressing global health challenges. Selected entrepreneurs will receive funding to execute “Proof of Concept” projects based on data from Israeli HMOs and/or hospitals, mentoring, unparalleled access to leading global expertise from within Roche and aMoon, personal office space at aMoon’s offices, and more. StarFinder Lab will launch one cohort per year, each cohort will be composed of 3 elected ventures centered each around a specific challenge.  

Q:
How much funding will the selected start-ups receive?
A:

Each venture will enter into an agreement with each of Roche and aMoon separately and receive an aggregate amount of $250K over the period of the program. Upon successful graduation of the program, aMoon and/or Roche may consider further funding/partnership with the venture.

Q:
What therapeutic areas are we looking for?
A:

Some challenges may be centered around specific therapeutic areas, some may be centered around platform technology with a defined use case for first validation.  Those details will be provided in our call for proposals.

Q:
Where is the program located?
A:

The program will take place at aMoon offices in Ra’anana. The participants will have full access to aMoon’s working space, shared meeting rooms, and shared dining areas.

Q:
What are we looking for in applicants?
A:

We are looking for outstanding entrepreneurs with disruptive approaches to our health challenges, able to demonstrate technological feasibility and reach a POC within 9 months and the allotted budget, relying on the use of data and AI.  We will evaluate the proposals based on additional parameters, including the quality of the team, interdisciplinary thinking, experience, commitment level, quick learning curve abilities, clear intended use and benefit, technical, data, IP and regulatory requirements.  

Q:
Will you pick a venture for each of the topics in your call for proposals?
A:

The investment committee reserves the right to choose none or one venture for a specific topic.

Q:
Will founders who are not based in Israel be accepted?
A:

The program is open only for Israeli incorporated entities with the core team located in Israel.

Q:
Is onsite presence at the aMoon offices mandatory?
A:

Yes. In a frequency as shall be agreed between the parties.

Q:
What is the application deadline?
A:

Registration will open on November 3, 2020 and close on December 9, 2020.

Q:
What is the duration of the program?
A:

The program is 9-month long.

Q:
What will the program include?
A:

The program will include funding to execute “Proof of Concept” based on data from Israeli HMOs and/or hospitals, mentoring, lectures and workshops, unparalleled access to leading expertise from within Roche and aMoon, personal office space at aMoon’s offices and more.

Q:
How many startups will participate in each cohort?
A:

3 startups will be selected for each cohort.

Q:
Can applicants who have not yet incorporated their company apply for the program?
A:

Entrepreneurs can apply prior to incorporating their venture. However, the company will need to be established by the beginning of the program. 

Q:
Can existing companies that already have a product/sales also participate in the program?
A:

The program is open to all entrepreneurs and start-ups, regardless of their stage. The focus, however, is on the development of a novel solution and the company will need to devote the required resources, including management attention, to that end.

Q:
What happens after the program ends?
A:

At the end of the program, the venture teams will present their POC projects to Roche and aMoon leadership. Upon successful graduation from the program, Roche and/or aMoon may consider further funding/partnering with the venture.

Q:
What can we use the program funding for?
A:

The use of proceeds will be agreed between the venture, Roche and aMoon as per the mutually agreed work plan at the beginning of the program.

Q:
Why did you pick these specific topics?
A:

The topics identified, all represent real world needs identified mutually by Roche and aMoon, based on in-depth analysis.

Q:
Why should I participate in this program?
A:
  • Collaboration between Roche, global pioneer in personalized healthcare and #1 in-vitro diagnostics company, and aMoon, Israel’s largest life sciences and healthtech VC fund, combining their mutual in-depth experience, know-how and diverse resources for the benefit of the program participants.
  • Guaranteed $250K funding in each elected start-up.
  • Support with access to relevant digital datasets from leading HMOs and hospitals, allowing participants to focus on the R&D and save valuable time otherwise spent on locating and gaining access to data.
  • Program based on real-world market needs, providing access to experts within Roche and aMoon, which will act as design partners to enable arriving at a strong product-market fit.
  • Intimate cohort group of only 3 startups, allowing customization for the needs of each participant and personal attention to significantly increase chances of a successful POC.
  • Potential for significant post-program investment and/or partnership with Roche and/or aMoon.
Q:
How will COVID-19 affect the program?
A:

Although we plan for the start-ups to visit the relevant business units at Roche, any travel limitations imposed as a result of the COVID-19 situation will not impact the program or the value they will derive from it.

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Roche & aMoon joint venture looks to Israel’s ecosystem for next healthtech superstars

Swiss pharma & diagnostics company Roche partners with Israeli VC aMoon to bring the next wave of Israeli healthtech innovation to life…

Roche, a Swiss healthcare giant with global reach, teams up with one of the leading Israeli healthcare and life sciences VC firm, aMoon, on a collaborative investment program aimed at accelerating innovative diagnostic technologies from Israel’s healthtech ecosystem. The collaboration, called “StarFinder Lab,” will provide funding, mentoring, and strategic support to “9 Stars,” newly-formed or existing ventures, elected through the program.

The partnership focuses on identifying and cultivating disruptive AI-driven data as well as digital healthcare solutions from early-stage startups providing different technological solutions for the many different moving aspects of healthcare. “Healthtech and AI are transforming the healthcare industry as we know it, and we see great value in working with Israeli healthcare innovators as they build their companies,” said Michele Pedrocchi, Head of Global Strategy and Business Development at Roche Diagnostics.

The joint venture will create an innovative atmosphere, where selected startups will receive access to global expertise from the Roche and aMoon. Through focused guidance startups will be able to tap into the Swiss healthtech company and the partnering VC firm’s vast resources including capital, key-market access, deep data, as well as office space at aMoon’s Israel-based headquarters.

Pedrocchi continues to explain: “This program will allow us to build exceptional relationships with Israel’s brightest entrepreneurs, as well as take an active and strategic role in building disruptive start-ups together with Israel’s leading Life Sciences and HealthTech fund. aMoon’s

experience and know how in healthtech investment complements our ability to provide unique market access and expertise to design solutions that are tailored to real market needs in collaboration with our customers globally. This program is a valuable aspect of our digital healthcare footprint and we are excited about the potential of this initiative.”

“StarFinder’s emphasis is on the best of the best talents who can deliver impactful solutions for defined global challenges in healthcare,” said Avi Danziger, CEO of Roche Israel. “Roche Global is ranked first in the world among healthcare companies with global investments in R&D reaching $12.6 billion in 2019. Roche brings with it unique integration capabilities under “OneRoche” for leading the world’s personalized healthcare, with most effective and safe solutions to the right patients, at the right time at the right value.”

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Roche, aMoon to launch early-stage innovation program

The program is scheduled to run for the next three years, with three companies set to be selected and receive investments each year
Israel-based life sciences venture capital firm aMoon and Swiss biotechnology company Roche have announced a collaborative agreement to launch an early-stage investment program named “StarFinder Digital Innovation Lab.”

The program is scheduled to run for the next three years, with three companies set to be selected and receive investments each year. According to aMoon, the program will provide elected entrepreneurs access to global expertise from Roche and aMoon, access to a network of contacts, several hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment with an option for a follow-up SAFE investment, access to studies and deep data, as well as physical office space within aMoon headquarters in Ra’anana.

“This program will allow us to build exceptional relationships with Israel’s brightest entrepreneurs, as well as take an active and strategic role in building disruptive startups together with Israel’s leading Life Sciences and HealthTech fund,” said Michele Pedrocchi, Head of Global Strategy and Business Development at Roche Diagnostics. “aMoon’s experience and know-how in healthtech investment complements our ability to provide unique market access and expertise to design solutions that are tailored to real market needs in collaboration with our customers globally. This program is a valuable aspect of our digital healthcare footprint and we are excited about the potential of this initiative.”

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“בקרוב עולם הבריאות לא יראה אותו הדבר, יש האצה מטורפת”

האם ישראל היא עדיין “סטרטאפ ניישן”? התקופה האחרונה נתנה תנופה רצינית ומשמעותית לעולם החדשנות הרפואית, שמאז ומתמיד היה מפותח בישראל. ב”ועידת הבריאות של ישראל” התכנס פאנל בנושא בהנחייתה של מירי מיכאלי יחד עם עדי זמיר, מנהלת שותפות aMoon-Roche, ד”ר עדי ניב יגודה, מומחה למדיניות בריאות ומשפט רפואי ופרופ’ יצחק חביב, מדען ראשי AID-GENOMICS. אז מה חדש בעולם הטכנולוגיה הרפואית?

“במסגרת השותפות שהתחילה הרבה לפני הקורונה ויחד עם קרן אמון הישראלית, בחרנו ליישם בישראל תוכנית שתאפשר לפתח טכנולוגיות דיאגנוסטיקה שיתנו מענה לצרכים גלובליים שמופו על ידי רוש”, מסבירה עדי זמיר, מנהלת שותפות aMoon-Roche. “דווקא בנקודת הזמן הזאת, כשהקורונה בכל מקום, אפשר לראות את הצורך והערך האמיתי של תוכנית כזאת והתנהלות כזאת שמסתכלת על שימוש בטכנולוגיות מבוססות בינה מלאכותית, למידת מכונה, כל הנושא של פרסונליזציה של הרפואה וכמובן, כל מה שקשור לרפואה מרחוק”.

התקופה הזאת באמת מתאפיינת בחדשנות הזאת כי אין ברירה. האם זה איתנו כדי להישאר או יחלוף עם הקורונה?
“אין ספק שהיא כאן כדי להישאר והולכת להיות בעוצמות הרבה יותר גדולות ממה שאנחנו מכירים”, הסביר ד”ר עדי ניב יגודה, מומחה למדיניות בריאות ומשפט רפואי. “אני חושב שהקורונה אפילו תרמה לזה ואם אפשר לדבר על משהו חיובי בתקופת הקורונה זאת הסיטואציה שבה הקורונה פתחה המון חסמים שהיו בתוך מערכת הבריאות ומחוצה לה, בכל מה שקשור לרפואה מרחוק, לפיתוחים טכנולוגיים שראינו הרבה פעמים שכח אדם לא בדיוק רצה והרפואה מרחוק לא בדיוק נראתה לו והתקשו לעבור את החסם הטכנולוגי. הקורונה דחפה את כולם בין אם הם רוצים ובין אם לא, היום אנחנו רואים שקפצנו אולי שנות דור קדימה, בזכות הקורונה אנחנו היום נמצאים במקום שבו הרפואה מרחוק התפתחה והתקדמה, אנחנו בקפיצה של 20-10 שנים ממה שהיינו”.

איזה עוד דברים נוכל לראות בעתיד הלא רחוק?
ד”ר יגודה: “כבר עכשיו אנחנו יכולים לראות כל מיני טיפולים מרחוק אם אנחנו מדברים על הטכנולוגיה הזאת כמו שיקום מרחוק, טיפולים פסיכולוגיים ופסיכיאטרים מרחוק, טיפול בהפרעות תקשורת מרחוק.

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aMoon and Roche to cooperate on digital health. The Israeli venture capital fund and the pharmaceutical giant will invest in nine early stage startups.

Israeli healthcare venture capital fund aMoon and pharmaceutical giant Roche have launched a joint program for investment in early stage digital health companies. The project is called the Starfinder Digital Innovation Lab. The companies will mark out each year, for the next three years, three subsectors in the field of digital health and will then seek out startups leading in the area. Ultimately they will select nine companies for the venture.

In the coming year, aMoon and Roche will seek companies in the fields of lung cancer, resistance to antibiotics, and digital pathology. Each startup will receive funding, support and strategic mentoring as well as access to medical data banks with the assistance of Roche as well as access to potential customers.

aMoon cofounder Dr. Yair Schindel said, “Roche is a huge company with major digital activities. They are very innovative in this field and acquire a diverse range of technology from outside. They are deeply acquainted with the needs of companies like them and like their customers as well as doctors and hospitals. They are leading in the world in the field of medical research using computers and recently hired Prof. Aviv Regev, who was previously one of the leading researchers in the field at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Access like that gives Roche an advantage in preparing itself for the future.

Schindel sees in Starfinder, an opportunity to bring Roche closer to Israel’s innovative medical ecosystem. He said, “When you look at what caused places like Boston and California to grow into the leading biotech areas in the world, then we see that you need the biggest players to be involved and invest in companies. This needs to happen in Israel.”

When asked why Roche is interested in Israel’s ecosystem, Babette Güldenpfennig, Global Head of Licensing, Diagnostic Business Development at Roche said, “Our ambition is to provide all patients with the right treatment at the right time. Roche Diagnostics has come a long way towards materializing this ambition by offering the industries` most comprehensive portfolio of test assays and instruments as the necessary basis for clinical decision making and personalized healthcare. However to further improve and help materialize our ambition to the fullest we need to continually improve our abilities to digitally collect, aggregate and interpret the vast quantity of test results and patient data to provide actionable information and decision support tools to doctors and patients across the continuum of care. We realized that we need to complement our internal efforts by creating synergies with strong innovative partners in the data and AI field to further contribute to precision diagnostics and, in the future, enable integrated diagnostics. The Israeli healthcare community is known for their strong role, knowledge and expertise when it comes to data generation, collection, interpretation, and the development of sophisticated analytics and AI solutions.”

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הקורונה היא כבר היסטוריה רחוקה: בקרן aMoon וחברת רוש מחפשים פתרונות לבעיות של העתיד

תוכנית Starfinder Digital Innovation Lab תבחר 9 חברות שיזכו להשקעה, תמיכה והכוונה, ויקצרו את הדרך למוצר בתחום ה-Healthtech. ההרשמה פתוחה

בשנים האחרונות אנחנו רואים כיצד הופכת ישראל לאחד מהמקומות המובילים בעולם בתחום הטכנולוגיות הרפואיות (HealthTech). על פי עדי זמיר, מענקית התרופות השוויצרית ROCHE, ישנם מספר גורמים שתורמים לכך: ראשית, השילוב של סביבה יזמית חזקה; שנית, קיימות כ-1,800 חברות בתחום מדעי החיים וה-HealthTech; סיבה נוספת היא הרמה הגבוהה לדבריה של האקדמיה והחוקרים; וגם מאגרי הדאטה הרפואיים, שאיתם ניתן לבדוק, לתקף ולחקור הליכים רפואיים שונים הם מהגדולים בעולם. למעשה, 2 מתוך 3 המאגרים הגדולים בעולם הם ישראליים (של הקופות “כללית” ו”מכבי”). לבסוף, מציינת זמיר כי כל התחום נהנה מתמיכה ממשלתית משמעותית, שמגיעה דרך הרשות לחדשנות וישראל דיגיטלית למשל.

האקוסיסטם הזה של טכנולוגיות רפואיות הביא לאחרונה לשיתוף פעולה חדש בין קרן aMoon של מריוס נכט, ממייסדי צ’ק פוינט, וד”ר יאיר שינדל, וחברת התרופות השוויצרית רוש. השתיים הודיעו לאחרונה על השקה של תוכנית “Starfinder Digital Innovation Lab”, במסגרתה בכל אחת מ-3 שנים הקרובות הן יבחרו 3 חברות early-stage ישראליות, שלהן פוטנציאל לענות על אחד מהצרכים הבוערים ביותר של עולם הבריאות – ישקיעו בהן מאות אלפי דולרים, ויעניקו להם תמיכה והכוונה, גישה למאגרים, מנטורינג ועוד.

הקורונה היא כבר היסטוריה
בפועל, מציעה התוכנית לחוקרים מן האקדמיה, ליזמים ולחברות סטארטאפ להביא רעיונות טכנולוגיים בתחום הדיאגנוסטיקה המבוססת בינה מלאכותית לשלב הוכחת ההיתכנות. בין היתר מדובר על הגדרת צורך אמיתי וברור, שגובש על ידי חברת הביוטק הגדולה בעולם; מימון בסך 250 אלף דולר; גישה לדאטה שנדרש לשם בניית האלגוריתמיקה; ולבסוף, הכוונה הדוקה ואישית מצד מומחים של חברת רוש וקרן אמון, בארץ ובעולם, הן בצד המדעי והן בצד העסקי.

בימים אלה ניתן להגיש מועמדות להשתתפות בתוכנית, שמיועדת לחברות, מעבדות ומיזמים העוסקים לפחות באחד מהנושאים הבוערים שנבחרו השנה, והם: סרטן ריאות; עמידות לאנטיביוטיקה; ופתולוגיה דיגיטלית.

שלושת התחומים האלה מצביעים על כך שמבחינת התוכנית ומנהליה, משבר הקורונה הוא כבר למעשה היסטוריה, או ליתר דיוק מטופל ומנוהל והחיסונים כבר בדרך, ולפי ראייתם לעולם HealthTech יש אתגרים בוערים לא פחות לטפל בהם.