Simprints wins funding from Saving Lives at Birth

Simprints fingerprint scanning technology for newborn prints is one of 15 projects that has securing new funding from Saving Lives at Birth (SL@B) to develop and refine its innovations.

Simprints is a nonprofit tech company out of the University of Cambridge that is building an affordable, secure, rugged, open-source fingerprint system that works in the world’s toughest settings. Its technology creates a unique digital identity based on a fingerprint, allowing healthcare workers in remote areas to access patient records on a mobile device. The scanners connect via Bluetooth with the Simprints identification app and is compatible with Android mobile devices. The company has previously received funding from Innovate UK, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UKAid and USAID.

The SL@B partnership, launched in 2011, includes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the U.K’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). It is a global call for groundbreaking, scalable solutions to end infant and maternal mortality around the time of birth.

Announced at the seventh annual DevelopmentXChange in Washington, DC, SL@B will invest more than $7.3 million in solutions to protect and support mothers and newborns. The 15 award nominees were selected from more than 550 submissions, with roughly half of the applications coming from low-and middle-income countries. Half of the award nominees themselves are previous SL@B grantees who continue to move through the program pipeline. All of the award nominees are now part of a growing community of over 100 innovators supported by the Saving Lives at Birth partnership.

The two-day DevelopmentXChange also included a pitch competition featuring 11 entrepreneurs who had received previous support from SL@B, and are now showing great promise for potential partnership and further investment. This year, the SL@B partnership offered two prizes for the winners of the Pitch Competition – six months of communication support from global firm McCann Global Health, as well as a sponsored trip to the annual Acting on the Call event, to be held in Ethiopia this year.

In May, Simprints and its co-founder Alexandra Grigore, won the grand prize at the Women Startup Challenge Europe.

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