Meet the Founder: DNAiTech

Since COVID there has been a massive increase in interest in new technologies for point-of-care disease detection. Detecting diseases on the spot, where the problem arises, is highly advantageous for managing a potential outbreak and promoting the best possible outcome. 

This need is everywhere but is particularly relevant for agritech and biomedicine in remote locations. 

For biomedicine, there is huge inequality in access to diagnostic testing for disease across developing countries. The cost of testing, the time required to return test results from laboratories are often prohibitive. New approaches are necessary to make robust molecular testing more readily available. 

DNAiTech is working hard to bridge this particular gap. 

Meet Dr. Murray Broom, founder and CEO of DNAiTech, one of the startups participating in our Sprout Accelerator Autumn24 Cohort. 

Murray's voice rises in passion as he discusses the inequality across diagnostic tests for disease. He firmly believes there must be fast, affordable access to diagnostics, regardless of circumstances. 

With this in mind, DNAiTech's mission is to provide effective on-the-spot disease detection. Murray and his creative team have developed a unique, paper-based system that provides a fast diagnosis, ultimately saving lives and preventing economic loss. 

The beauty of their products is that they can be used wherever a problem arises. This availability is particularly critical in remote locations where lengthy diagnostic tests are unrealistic or internet access is unavailable. 

For example, the team can see a huge potential for this disruptive technology for farmers testing disease in bee hives or farm animals in New Zealand's most remote locations. One of the most exciting benefits is the fact that farmers could have a diagnosis within an hour as opposed to days. 

Or, in another example, in Senegal, there are 100,000 children who could be diagnosed and treated for measles. Currently, simply obtaining a diagnosis could take two to three weeks - a length of time that could save a life if the right medicine were available. With DNAITech’s technology, so many children could be saved. 

Currently the technology is working as proof of concept. In the next phase of the journey the commercial hardware, the diagnostic chip technology and a production facility will be established. 

Tatiana Ceban is a co-founder of DNAiTech and the creative mind behind digital material, web design, and team building. Dr. Calum Morris is a research and development scientist with expertise in molecular and synthetic biology. Drazen Jaksic is our engineer. 

Founder Dr. Murray Broom, a biochemist and molecular biologist, is leading the way. He has a long history of working in disease detection. In the 1990s, he developed advanced YAC technology for AgResearch and the US Department of Agriculture. This is his third venture. His proven track record of innovation and problem-solving makes him excited for the opportunity DNAiTech can provide those who need it most. 

The team is excited to work with Sprout Accelerator to sharpen their focus and refine their pitching skills. As Murray observes, "You fall in love with your technology and view it from a technological perspective. It will be good to step in the customer's shoes and receive clarity on our next steps, especially in the agritech space." 

DNAiTech defines its ethos as "mauri ora te whenua, mauri ora te tāngata, for the wellbeing of the land and the wellbeing of people."

"Yes, we need to be very successful financially AND to make some meaningful contribution to wellbeing, for the land and people that is our aspiration."

About Sprout: Sprout Agritech LP is an early-stage investor specialising in transformational technologies that impact how life on Earth is nourished and sustained. Through their Sprout Accelerator, they have helped grow more than 110 early-stage ventures within the agri and food industries, which have collectively gone on to raise over $60m in capital.