Student start-up from IISER Pune wins the iGEM Startup Showcase Competition

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Pune, 7th December 2021: Curem Biotech has been judged as the winner at the 2021 iGEM Startup Showcase. Curem Biotech is IISER Pune’s first student initiated start-up and an incubatee at AIC-SEED, the Atal Incubation Centre hosted at and promoted by IISER Pune. At the iGEM-EPIC 2021 Startup Showcase competition, a global event, Curem Biotech team won the Benchling and Hummingbird VC prize of USD 10,000. Curem Biotech was the only selected start-up from India to participate in this programme.

Led by Chinmay Patwardhan, a 4th year BS-MS student at IISER Pune, Team Curem Biotech includes ten students from IISER Pune currently in their 4th year of the BS-MS programme; 2 students from BITS Pilani, Goa; and one student from NID Vijayawada. The team is mentored by IISER Pune faculty member Dr. Saikrishnan Kayarat and PhD students Vinayak Sadasivam and Rashim Malhotra.

The IISER Pune student team, which had previously won a gold medal about a year back at iGEM 2020 synthetic biology competition, was interested to carry on their research work further by pursuing an entrepreneurial journey. The student incorporated start-up, Curem Biotech, was thus registered and incubated at AIC-SEED, the technology business incubator on IISER Pune campus. AIC-SEED provides a supporting eco-system to aspiring entrepreneurs and science-based start-ups. Curem has also filed for a provisional patent for their product with the support of AIC-SEED.

As part of the iGEM Showcase Competition, the team had presented their work on developing a portable machine-learning based diagnostic tool for various disease conditions. The team envisages that this tool would increase accessibility to rapid and reliable diagnostic methods particularly in rural and remote areas.

The iGEM Startup Showcase event highlights and celebrates the achievements of the iGEM entrepreneurial community and involves pitches, keynotes and a live jury. With competing teams from all over the world, the start-up teams present their product and solutions to challenges in the areas of food, health and environment. The teams with the most audience votes in each track proceed to the live final to compete for the two prizes, one of which is Benchling and Hummingbird VC prize of $10,000.

iiser winner

Team Members:

Chinmay Patwardhan: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Shivani Deshpande: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Avijit Arora: Student from NID, Vijayawada

Atharv Sonwane: 4th year student from BITS Pilani, Goa, Engineering

Ishan Tandon: 2nd year student at BITS Pilani, Goa, Engineering

Devarsh Patel: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Purva Parmar: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Ananth Rao: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Jatin Bedi: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Aleena Jose: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Antony Kiran David: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Aditya Bhattacharyya: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune

Avadhoot Jadhav: BS-MS 4th year student, IISER Pune


Vinayak Sadasivam: PhD Student at IISER Pune

Rashim Malhotra: PhD Student at IISER Pune

Dr. Saikrishnan Kayarat: Faculty member in Biology Department at IISER Pune


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