Meet the team
Hansa Shree, Co-founder (BSc Biological Sciences with a Year in Industry 2021)
Kaavya Sridhar, Co-founder (Meng Biomedical Engineering 2021)
Get in touch
By Hansa Shree
Inadequate infrastructure hampers the use of existing expensive rapid diagnostic devices (RDTs) in India. Instead, diagnoses are made using lab tests which take time or symptoms which are often confused. TRICKNTREAT is democratising healthcare by making lab-like accuracy and RDT-like speed accessible across urban and rural demographics. Our device can be customised by the user to detect any infectious disease, and automate collection of disease incidence reports. We’re tricking pathogens and treating disease in >2.5 million patients in India alone.
My experience with liposomes and disease resulted in an idea to leverage liposomes in HIV treatment. Brainstorming rapidly evolved it into a platform technology for detection without using liposomes, and the idea continued to pivot into its present form. The team met at various startup and tech events and bonded by living in the same student accommodation.
The Enterprise Lab has been extremely helpful – from bespoke business coaching and pitch training to connecting us with potential interns, VCs and advisers. Being semi-finalists in WE Innovate 2017 and early applicants to VCC 2017 gave us access to inspiring speakers and practical advice. Additionally, it’s a great space for our team to brainstorm and socialise with others in the entrepreneurial community.
As of August 2018, we are developing a prototype in the Advanced Hackspace to demonstrate proof of concept. Over the coming year, we’ll build a device that can detect and differentiate two diseases, such as malaria and chikungunya, with high speed and accuracy. The prototyping will be accelerated by a team expansion; we’re looking to transition our high-performing and keen interns into permanent roles. We’ll also research into the government policies of relevant markets and the needs of personnel to provide direction and support to the prototyping.
Our biggest achievements to date have been:
- Being an awardee of the £500 Hackspace Project Booster Grant from over 30 undergraduate and postgraduate applicants gave us a spending budget and boosted our confidence
- Being in the top 20 teams in WE Innovate gave us bespoke training and greater visibility
- Having successfully executed a Summer Intern Programme which allowed Imperial students looking to enhance their CV and fill free time to upskill, and enabled us to accelerate our design. Each intern completed a 4-week project with measurable milestones.
Some of the challenges we’ve faced so far have been:
- Different team members were committed to different extents, which resulted in us loosing the opportunity to take part in FoNS-MAD 2017 because we were unable to formulate a proposal in time. This set our technical progress back by at least six months.
- A single protein solution can cost 40 per cent of the £500 funding awarded to us by the Hackspace. Forming a collaboration with an Imperial research lab to kindly gift some biologics took months because researchers are busy, and we had to wait for the lab schedule to open up.
- Being based in London, getting in touch with healthcare personnel on the ground in India is not always easy.
To any students thinking of starting a business, don’t overthink it – if you’re interested, and feel you could make time, just do it! And spare no effort in finding the opportunities, rather than waiting for them to be advertised in your face.