When Ms. Angela Udongwo isn’t taking classes in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health or serving as the global health representative in the Rollins Student Government Association, it’s possible she’s immersed in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition promoting her health delivery start-up, InnoHealth Diagnostics Co. To date, Ms. Udongwo has won three major student pitch competitions (InNOLEvation Challenge, Pitch the Summit Competition, and Sling Health’s National Demo Day), the largest of which came with a $10,000 prize.
InnoHealth Diagnostics first took shape in January 2018 during Ms. Udongwo’s undergraduate experience at Florida State University, where she majored in biology and double-minored in chemistry and entrepreneurship. “We had a project in my entrepreneurship class that required us to make a business model. I’m Nigerian and have always wanted to bring some type of business back to Nigeria.”
After looking closely at weaknesses in Nigeria’s health care system, she noticed the top reasons for death were all linked to infectious diseases — particularly tropical diseases. Ms. Udongwo formed a team with a fellow Nigerian student and a biomedical engineering student who had completed his senior project on a diagnostic tool for gonorrhea (which can be applied to various infectious diseases) and hit the ground running. In the time since, InnoHealth has developed from mere idea to legitimate business model, the goal of which is to develop a point-of-care diagnosis of schistosomiasis and other neglected tropical diseases, particularly in Nigeria. Though it’s still in development, the goal is to push InnoHealth Diagnostics operational by 2020.Friday Letter Submission