Disrupt Berlin 2018 heavy on machine learning, picks sperm freezer Legacy as Startup Battl...

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A panel of tech industry judges narrowed down a dozen contestants picked from over a thousand applicants to pick up the Disrupt Cup award at Disrupt Berlin 2018. The panel ultimately bypassed other startups putting machine learning directly into consumers' hands, and ultimately decided on a single winner that wiggled its way past the others to win $50,000 -- a Swiss startup named Legacy that freezes men's sperm when they are healthy and young to archive reproductive ability until the time is right.

Startup Battlefield
Shweta Gupta of ImagoAI presents her company's case in the Startup Battlefield

Runner Up: Imago AI

Disrupt picked a runner-up winner also connected to seed, this time of the plant variety. Phenox, an app by Imago AI, uses computer vision and machine learning to automate the measurement of crop output and quality for farmers, greatly accelerating the time-consuming process of quantifying desirable plant traits with the goal of developing higher-yielding, more disease-resistant crop varieties.




The startup, based in Gurgaon, India near New Delhi, has developed technology that claims to reduce the time required to measure crop traits by three-quarters, providing a potential alternative to developing new crop varieties using genetic engineering. By accelerating the process of breeding and phenotyping plants, new varieties could be developed that are optimized to thrive in a particular location or climate.

Additionally, its computer vision and machine learning can be used to identify crop diseases and measure in great precision how extensively a particular specimen is affected. The system can take advantage of the cameras on mobile devices to review data literally in the field. The system is also non-destructive, as plants aren't required to be dug up and tested in a lab.

Winner: Legacy

Legacy works like a sperm bank but enables men who want to preserve their fertility for later to make a deposit from home, using a special container that is picked up by a courier and delivered to a clinic. Once received, the goods are tested and can be stored cryogenically and indefinitely for a one-time payment.

The Geneva, Switzerland, based Legacy offers plans ranging from basic fertility testing to long-term, parallel storage kept redundantly at six secure locations to avoid any loss. Users pay between $1,000 and $10,000 for the storage plans, enabling them to delay having children without any risk of degraded fertility or genetic mutation.

Legacy's founder Khaled Kteily said he was inspired to develop the "Swiss Bank of sperm storage" after a friend facing cancer treatment complained that existing options for banking his seed seemed less than trustworthy. Beyond potential damage from medical treatments, a man's ability to produce healthy sperm also degrades over time.

"Every eight months," Kteily stated, "men produce a new genetic mutation that gets passed on to their children. Birth rates around the world are plummeting and men are responsible for infertility in 30-50 percent of couples. Meanwhile, you can freeze sperm indefinitely with no loss in quality, through Legacy, without having to leave your home and at a tenth of the cost of egg freezing."

Other Battlefield survivors

Other finalists in the Disrupt Berlin Startup Battlefield included Spike, an app created by Ziad Alame, a diabetic himself, to simplify the work of monitoring and responding to changing blood glucose levels. Beyond simply recording data, the service is designed to proactively help users to coach their behavior, suggesting foods with specific carb counts or recommending specific behavioral changes in response to learning their health patterns over time.

The firm also launched its new Spike Guardian app designed to link people managing their diabetes with friends and family, creating a social network of support that helps others assist them in maintaining their ongoing requirements for carb-counting and insulin injections.


Ziad Alame presents Spike, a tool for helping diabetics manage their condition


The Berlin-based Polyteia is a startup working to help city governments take advantage of the data they have available in various databases. The platform aspires to centralize data and derive meaningful insights that can be used to chart out performance indicators from financial and operational data, optimizing city services based on utilization, and even forecasting future needs.

The final round also included Kalepso, a startup from Montreal, Canada that claims to have a solution to securely encrypting database information with higher performance using differential privacy to enable database analysis without leaking any individual's private data.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    rissriss Posts: 40member
    What a joke... just like EU commmison and their digital initiatives disconnected from market realities 
    elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 9
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,647member
    Phenox is the more significant technology, but limited market. And it is for plant breeders, not “farmers”. Although market potential doesn’t seem to be the driver, as you aren’t going to see a sperm bank on every corner either.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    riss said:
    What a joke... just like EU commmison and their digital initiatives disconnected from market realities 
    Not everything has to relate to the fucking market. Geez, does anyone do anything good for humanity out of the goodness of their heart? What a shallow time we live in and with some seriously fucked up values. I take solace in the fact that there will be a reckoning for all who have placed the accumulation of money (at any cost) at the top of their value system. 
    StrangeDaysfotoformatelijahgCarnage
  • Reply 4 of 9
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 877member
    mac_dog said:
    riss said:
    What a joke... just like EU commmison and their digital initiatives disconnected from market realities 
    Not everything has to relate to the fucking market. Geez, does anyone do anything good for humanity out of the goodness of their heart? What a shallow time we live in and with some seriously fucked up values. I take solace in the fact that there will be a reckoning for all who have placed the accumulation of money (at any cost) at the top of their value system. 
    This is bad for humanity. We need less humans, not more. 
  • Reply 5 of 9
    People still starving in Africa, warlord still run many countries, people know more about sports player/TV star/movie star/youtuber then they know about their own children, family or neighbors... disruptive?!.. apps can't solve everything folks!!!  
  • Reply 6 of 9
    rissriss Posts: 40member
    mac_dog said:
    riss said:
    What a joke... just like EU commmison and their digital initiatives disconnected from market realities 
    Not everything has to relate to the fucking market. Geez, does anyone do anything good for humanity out of the goodness of their heart? What a shallow time we live in and with some seriously fucked up values. I take solace in the fact that there will be a reckoning for all who have placed the accumulation of money (at any cost) at the top of their value system. 

    I didn't say anything about monetization my dear. None of these apps disrupt anything and the claimed benefits are questionable. By all means let them go into the wild and survive, 'maybe' do some good. My comment was on the format which looks like a 'competition' I've seen in the communist era.
  • Reply 7 of 9
    elijahg said:
    mac_dog said:
    riss said:
    What a joke... just like EU commmison and their digital initiatives disconnected from market realities 
    Not everything has to relate to the fucking market. Geez, does anyone do anything good for humanity out of the goodness of their heart? What a shallow time we live in and with some seriously fucked up values. I take solace in the fact that there will be a reckoning for all who have placed the accumulation of money (at any cost) at the top of their value system. 
    This is bad for humanity. We need less humans, not more. 
    Do you have the courage of your convictions?

    I question the general value, outside of certain specific industries, of such a sperm bank in the first place.  Most men will retain viable sperm well into advanced years, when they likely won't have time to properly rear the child anyway.

    Now, as a form of insurance for people in certain jobs, such as those where radiation is a concern, or in which the mortality rate is high, I can see something like this as being not only valuable, but invaluable.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    mac_dog said:
    riss said:
    What a joke... just like EU commmison and their digital initiatives disconnected from market realities 
    Not everything has to relate to the fucking market. Geez, does anyone do anything good for humanity out of the goodness of their heart? What a shallow time we live in and with some seriously fucked up values. I take solace in the fact that there will be a reckoning for all who have placed the accumulation of money (at any cost) at the top of their value system. 
    Even original comment was not probably meant like that we should realize that society become servant of economy long time ago. But economy should be servant of society. In individual profit driven system you can hardly achieve such goal.
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 9 of 9
    frantisek said:
    Even original comment was not probably meant like that we should realize that society become servant of economy long time ago. But economy should be servant of society. In individual profit driven system you can hardly achieve such goal.
    Of course, some of us believe that the "individual profit driven system", i.e. true free market capitalism, is the only way to achieve such a goal.  Note that I'm not talking about the fascist leaning economic system currently in place in the United States.  Given that "society" wouldn't exist without the individuals who make it up, anything other than freedom of choice for all individuals is no service of "society".
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