Dr. Akshaya Shanmugam has always believed that healthcare should be accessible and affordable to everyone and that technology can help deliver that promise. With her strong background in biomedical engineering, she decided to take on a problem facing over 200 million people in the US: addiction. In 2014 she co-founded Lumme Labs with a mission to find solutions for people facing various types of addictions. The company is developing software platforms that use data from commercial wearable devices to track movements seen as triggers for addictive behavior. The goal is to stop the behavior before it starts. Lumme has received accolades and funding from several sources including the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Last year Shanumgam told her story and explained Lumme’s mission and technology platform to a group of judges at BIO’s Start-Up Stadium at the BIO 2018 International Convention. Designed to provide start-up companies an opportunity to engage with the investment community, the Start-Up Stadium allows a select group of companies to present six-minute pitches to judges consisting of investors and other industry leaders who provide feedback and choose a winner. Shanumgam “started with one” pitch and ended up as one of six winners in the contest.
One of the prizes of the Start-Up Stadium contest was being fast-tracked to the MassChallenge accelerator—a program designed to empower emerging companies with the right resources to maximize their impact. Again Lumme competed and earned a spot in the “2019 Mass Challenge Health Tech Cohort”. The win means that the company will have access to unique partnerships and another competition for $200K in cash prizes. Judging on Lumme’s record so far, I would not count them out on this one. The company recently opened its seed round. Among the investors they are targeting are the judges from the Start-Up Stadium.
Lumme’s winning streak continued this year when it entered the BIO 2019 CEO & Investor Conference “Buzz of BIO” contest and won! Shanumgam earned a free company presentation which she delivered during the conference to a new audience.
We talked with Shanumgam about her “It Starts with One” experiences. “The MassChallenge HealthTech program has offered invaluable resources, networking opportunity, and credibility to Lumme,” she noted. “Through the program, we have partnered with GlaxoSmithKline and we have had the pleasure of working with a team within GSK that is passionate, engaged, and has strong domain expertise. The interactions we have had with them, the insights they have shared with us, and the scope of the work during our engagement has already delivered value beyond what we could have imagined. Winning the Start-Up-Stadium at BIO made this happen!”
Shanumgam remarked that for her “BIO has been and continues to be a stage for networking and visibility to start-ups like Lumme.”
BIO 2019 will again host the Start-Up Stadium. Applications will be accepted through April 5. This year’s prizes include:
- The BIO Prize: a one-year membership to BIO for the five winners.
- The Venture Investor Prize: a one-hour private advisory discussion with a venture capital firm (Hemi Ventures) for the five winners.
- The Innovation Prize: The Delaware Innovation Space, a Delaware-based non-profit organization, will provide each winner of the 2019 Startup Stadium program with a “fast-track” into the final selection phase for up to a $75,000 convertible note as part of its First Fund program.
Click here for more details.
*Note: The Delaware Innovation Space is an organization that is independent of BIO, and the First Fund program is a Delaware Innovation Space program independent of BIO.