SLINGSHOT Spotlight Series: QuantumCyte 2021 Grand Winner
The SLINGSHOT Startup Spotlight series is a collection of stories featuring SLINGSHOT alumni who continue to blaze the trail post-SLINGSHOT. In each instalment, the founders and teams from the SLINGSHOT alumni share their experience in building and growing their companies. To apply for SLINGSHOT 2022, please click here.
QuantumCyte being crowned Grand Winner at SLINGSHOT 2021. Image courtesy of SLINGSHOT
Can we do more to help cancer patients who suffer from lack of treatment due to non-conclusive diagnosis with non-diagnosable biopsies?
This question was the starting point for biotech company QuantumCyte, which was born out of the need to address this unmet demand in the healthcare sector.
Their solution uses an AI-machine learning platform that integrates digital pathology with precise extraction of molecular data. This first-to-market platform harnesses the power of AI for digital pathology to deliver precise & pure cellular data.
The QuantumCyte Platform Box. Image courtesy of QuantumCyte
Designed to be highly scalable and cost-effective, the QuantumCyte platform annotates, enriches and extracts molecular material directly from targeted cancer cells, delivering genomic data that leads to actionable insights for both clinicians and researchers needing complete molecular data to advance patient care.
The impact of promising startups like QuantumCyte has not gone unnoticed. After four extensive rounds of judging, QuantumCyte emerged as the Grand Winner of SLINGSHOT 2021. Through the competition, QuantumCyte has gained access to a comprehensive network of investors, corporates, and industry professionals that are invested in their growth. Post competition, they have been focused on international expansion and growth into Asia and have entered SOSV’s list of Top 100 Human Health Companies to invest in.
Let’s hear more about QuantumCyte’s exciting journey at SLINGSHOT 2021 and find out what else is in store for them!
Q: Could you share more about your participation in SLINGSHOT 2021 and what the process was like for you?
A: We applied for SLINGSHOT as it’s the leading pitching platform in the region and we wanted very much to understand the level of acceptance for our business value proposition with a larger global audience.
We were impressed by the team and the “machinery” behind the entire event as it was very well-organised. The liaison team was extremely supportive and helpful throughout the competition and patiently addressed all our queries and the challenges that we faced. Without them, we may not have stuck through the process!
After winning SLINGSHOT, we were able to forge meaningful connections with members of the jury such as Nick Nash from Asia Partners and Paul Santos from Wavemaker Partners; they shared more insights and mentored us further on our pitch. We were also approached by other companies and wealth offices when they read about our win at SLINGSHOT. These companies include Qritive and the Melaxmi Group, a private wealth fund with a strong network into healthcare in India.
Pitching at SLINGSHOT 2021. Image courtesy of SLINGSHOT
Q: What are your key takeaways from SLINGSHOT 2021?
A: There are 3 key takeaways we have gleaned from SLINGSHOT 2021:
1. SLINGSHOT provided access to a wide network of industry experts
We were able to use the SWITCH Platform to reach out to many VCs and industry leaders which we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. The platform helped take away the inertia for us to reach out to just about anyone and everyone because it was easy to engage with them via a short message.
2. SLINGSHOT’s preparatory programmes helped us deliver a better pitch and better understand our value proposition.
We benefited a lot from the pitching sessions, virtual meet-ups and mentoring opportunities. Although it can sometimes feel overwhelming or even stressful, we were pleasantly surprised that the process really helped us understand what messages work and how best to pitch it in a very short time. Most importantly, we walked away with a compelling pitching deck and better confidence to handle investor questions.
3. Support was extended beyond our win at SLINGSHOT 2021
As the Grand Winner, we were thrust into the limelight and given loads of support from the entire team at ESG, which still continues today. SLINGSHOT has truly opened up many invaluable doors for us.
Q: Since SLINGSHOT 2021, how has QuantumCyte expanded internationally?
A: We have kick-started our presence in Singapore with the installation of our first line outside the United States (US) in the Department of Anatomical Pathology at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), as part of our strategic research collaboration with them.
Our partnership with SGH has since translated into clinical trials for colon and lung cancer using our platform to develop tests that will be subsequently made available to patients suffering from non-diagnosable cancer tissue biopsies. We expect the work with SGH to directly benefit patients in Singapore by the end of 2022, and hope to expand it to other countries in the region thereafter.
Beyond the clinical market, we are actively looking to establish strategic partnerships with the region’s leading commercial and public research institutions. To add to that, we are now working with one of the world’s top 3 hospitals based in the US where we combine AI-integrated digital pathology algorithms with tissue dissection. This allows us to be able to analyse all patient tissue samples.
The QuantumCyte team. Image courtesy of QuantumCyte
Q: Moving forward, what can we look forward to from QuantumCyte in the next two to five years?
A: Ultimately, our vision is to modernise pathology & bring about truly equal treatment opportunity for all cancer patients.
We see ourselves playing a pivotal role in opening up new frontiers, accelerating research and discoveries of cancer treatment options through personalised medicines. This truly brings us closer towards making cancer a less life-threatening disease for cancer patients globally.
Q: After your experience at SLINGSHOT 2021, do you have any words of encouragement you would like to share with startups who are thinking about participating in SLINGSHOT 2022?
A: “Hold the Vision and Trust the Process.”
This is especially important as participating startups will be challenged every day for what they believe in, their value propositions, and how they go about developing their business as a startup.
However, when you continue to hold onto that vision, you will soon attract like-minded visionaries who also share your beliefs, and this in turn spurs on other like-minded individuals to join you in your growth journey.
This article was brought to you by SLINGSHOT 2022. Don’t miss your chance to expand your startup horizons and earn countless investment opportunities, just like QuantumCyte.
Applications for this year’s cohort is from 25 Apr–24 Jul 2022. Click here to visit the challenge page to learn more and apply.