GnomikX, a healthcare startup created by fourth-year students from BITS Pilani, was selected winner of the 2018 edition of Empersario, which is an internationally popular business model competition that is held annually by IIT Kharagpur. Empersario is one of the most popular competitions of its kind and attracts young startups from all over the country - the number of participants this year going over 1500. The finale of the competition took place at Ambuja Neotia, Kolkata on 4th February 2018, and saw the participation of about 15 finalist teams. GnomikX, on being selected as the winners, were awarded a prize of INR 2 lakhs.
Surbhit Johri, a dual-degree student in Biology and Electrical Engineering who is one of the founders of GnomikX, presented their business model to a jury of investors and venture capitalists. He is also a Khorana scholar who was awarded a summer internship at MIT, USA. Ever since GnomikX was founded, their team has constantly worked in close coordination with the Department of Biological Sciences, BITS Pilani and research labs in MIT. Other co-founders are Raja Shukla and Aditya Chauhan, both of whom are dual-degree students in BITS Pilani, and Dr. Attya Omer, a scientist at MIT, USA. Besides winning Empersario and attracting significant amounts of funding from investors, GnomikX is also amongst the very few startups that have made it to the Nexus incubation programme, which is an ongoing collaboration between the U.S. Embassy and IC2 Institute of Technology, Texas to encourage and aid promising startups in India.
GnomikX offers saliva-based genetic testing for prevention and management of lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Over past few decades, India has come to be seriously ailed with these lifestyle disorders, and it has been shown that most lifestyle disorders are hereditary and caused due to the genetic makeup of an individual. This means that if they can be detected at an early stage, they can be prevented or at least delayed by small changes in lifestyle. This is where GnomikX comes into the picture as they aim to provide personalized prevention and management plans based on our analysis of genomic information of an individual.