Start-up Syncsense awarded Bevica Seed Grants

Start-up Syncsense awarded Bevica Seed Grants

Monday 03 May 21
|
by Nasrin Billie

Contact

Line Nykjær Johansen
Project coordinator
DTU Skylab
+45 25 13 97 22

About Technology Leaving no one Behind

  • Technology Leaving no one Behind is a 3-year partnership initiative between The Bevica Foundation, The Disabled Peoples’ Organizations Denmark (DPOD), DTU Management and DTU Skylab running until December 2022.
  • The project is responsible for developing offers and programs for start-ups working specifically with solutions targeted people with motor disabilities, but also with a broader focus on start-ups and students in general who can benefit from an inclusive mindset.
  • A postdoc from DTU Management is working on research and educational methods, tools, and cases from The Disabled Peoples’ Organizations Denmark disseminated across all of DTU’s study programs in collaboration with a professor funded by The Bevica Foundation.

The Bevica Seed Grant

  • The Bevica Seed Grant is provided by The Bevica Foundation as part of the initiative ‘Technology Leaving no one Behind’ aiming to make accessibility and universal design an integral part of engineering sustainable technological solutions at DTU.
  • All DTU students, PhD’s and postdocs, alumni (within 1 year from graduation) and teams with at least one DTU profile in the founder team can apply through DTU Skylab Funding (by ticking the Bevica Grant box).

DTU Skylab is happy to announce that the start-up Syncsense has been awarded DKK 75.000 from The Bevica Foundation in March 2021 through the DTU Skylab Funding program for their innovative, technology-based solution leaving no one behind. 

The Bevica Seed Grant is awarded to DTU student start-ups working within the field of accessibility and universal design. Syncsense’s mission is to empower vulnerable patients and citizens through evidence-based digital therapeutics to help people live longer and better lives. Their solution MoVR is a digital health product for activation, stimulation, and mobilization of patients and vulnerable citizens using VR-based exergames.

By combining sensor technology and VR, MoVR revitalizes analogue exercise and rehabilitation equipment with engaging virtual nature environments and city scenery. This makes exercising fun and effective for the end-users and the one-click plug and play system makes the device extremely user-friendly for IT-illiterate health care professionals handling the solution. A MoVR kit is equipped with a VR headset, a Bluetooth connected sensor to mount on exercise equipment, a library with sensory stimulating VR-based exergames and an app that streams the VR content to the phone/tablet via Bluetooth.

The inclusive solution 
Accommodating the users’ needs is key to Syncsense’s design and business development strategy. Therefore, the solution is based on extensive ethnographical fieldwork in “living labs” like hospital wards and nursing homes exploring the end users’ and health professionals’ wants, needs and demands.

There are two main benefits from this user-centered development process for the start-up. First, actively involving users and collaboration partners from the beginning ensures a more sustainable product design, as continuous small iterations and user-tests makes the need for major redesigns redundant. This guarantees that the product lives up to the costumers’ demands. Second, there is very little competition in the market for products targeted at elderly and vulnerable citizens, giving the start-up first-mover benefits and a competitive edge.

The team plans to become best in class at developing tailored solutions for these overseen target groups and in the long term expand to new costumer groups, like children and youth, who could potentially benefit from their solution. The grant from The Bevica Foundation will surely help to realize this goal, which they will use to improve the beta-version of their prototype, make it technically robust and market mature, so it can create even greater impact.

The start-up is already seeing a demand for an expansion of their solution to other exercise equipment besides the current bicycle, so the team is investigating what other exercise and rehabilitation practices the solution can support, with the help of physio- and occupational therapists.

The Team
The team consists of three interdisciplinary digital health specialists: CEO and co-founder, Simon Bruntse Andersen, CTO and co-founder Steen Petersen and Project Manager, Sebastian Sejr. The start-up has also established an impressive advisory board, scientific advisors, supporting, funding and R&D partners within the ecosystem.

The idea for the solution originated in 2018 through the teams’ personal and professional experience with elderly and vulnerable citizens deteriorating and losing motivation for physical exercise when institutionalized in nursing homes or hospital wards. Simon had personally experienced losing his grandparents in hospitals and nursing homes and the impact that extreme inactivity had on their quality of life and health. Steen has 10 years of experience as a physiotherapist and first-hand experience with the prevalence of prolonged inactivity for numerous vulnerable citizens without having the right equipment to help. He also happened to be the best programmer in class.

In a VR-lab, during an exchange program in China, the idea for a solution to this widespread problem was cultivated and the team formed in the interdisciplinary master program “Health Informatics”, running between DTU and University of Copenhagen. The team is motivated by creating sustainable social impact with The Sustainable Development Goals 3 (advancing healthy aging) and 12 (sustainable consumption through revitalizing already purchased exercise equipment) as a framework for action, as well as “Leaving no one Behind” as a guiding principle.

Learn more about Syncsense here: https://syncsense.io/
Read more about the Bevica Seed Grants and Skylab Funding here: https://www.skylab.dtu.dk/Programmes/Funding
Read more about the initiative ‘Technology Leaving no one Behind’ here: https://www.skylab.dtu.dk/Programmes/Technology-leaving-no-one-behind

What is Universal Design?

  • According to The UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), “Universal design” means the design of products, environments, programs and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
  • “Universal design” shall not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where this is needed. Read more about Universal Design here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_design

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7 MAY 2021