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Shark Tank deal-winner CancerAid to be judged by Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak in this year’s Talent Unleashed awards

Angela Castles /

CancerAid

Raghav Murgali-Ganesh (second from left) with the CancerAid team. Source: Supplied.

Healthtech startup and Shark Tank alumni CancerAid has been named a finalist in this year’s Talent Unleashed awards and will now be judged by global entrepreneurial heavyweights like Richard Branson and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak for a chance to head to Silicon Valley and meet global startup leaders.

CancerAid co-founder Dr. Raghav Murali-Ganesh says being nominated as a Talent Unleashed finalist is a “fantastic validation of our efforts” for the Sydney-based startup, which was founded in 2015.

The CancerAid app helps patients organise their cancer journey and manage their awareness and expectations in an individualised way, while also working with clinicians to deliver tailored information.

The startup has been nominated for the Best Startup: Community or Social Impact award, and Murali-Ganesh says he is thankful for the ability to showcase CancerAid on a global stage in front of a “prestigious judging panel”.

CancerAid operates as a smartphone application allowing cancer patients and their caregivers to improve their health outcomes and patient experience through treatment planning, journals, an online community and peer-reviewed cancer treatment information.

The startup was named as one of the Asia-Pacific finalists for the awards, which are now in their fifth year.

CancerAid’s offerings will be evaluated by a judging panel led by billionaire Richard Branson and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who will be joined by Igniting Change and Comic Relief’s Jane Tewson. Judges will deliberate on the finalists in each category and announce the winners at the Grand Finals in December.

Read more: Steve Wozniak praises Australian startups as APAC tech companies dominate the Talent Unleashed awards

The Talent Unleashed finalists will also receive live feedback and advice from Wozniak and a panel of judges on the night, with the five category winners provided an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley where they will attend a VIP lunch with Wozniak and meet with global leaders in the startup sector.

“Our ideal scenario would be to be the winner of the Talent Unleashed awards; this opportunity to meet global leaders, learn from experienced individuals both at home and abroad [will] raise the profile of the work we are doing,” Murali-Ganesh says.

“Having the exposure allows more users for us on the platform, and thus we gain further feedback to provide a high-quality solution that cancer patients expect, need and deserve,” he says.

“Currently, CancerAid is the number one cancer app in Australia, the US and the UK. We wish to consolidate this, and be able to provide the technology to even more patients.”

This is not the first time CancerAid has gone in front of a big-name judging panel, after appearing in this year’s season of Shark Tank and landing a joint investment deal with sharks Andrew Banks and Glen Richards for $250,000 in in exchange for for a 5% equity stake each.

After the deal entered due diligence,  however, the team pursued a partnership with Banks alone for an undisclosed equity and investment amount, and since then the team has been using their relationship with Banks to expand the business internationally, establishing a presence in Australia, the UK and US.

CancerAid continues to consolidate its presence in the US, Murali-Ganesh says, after recently being selected to participate in the Cedars-Sinai accelerator program, supported by Techstars in Los Angeles. The program allows CancerAid to work with a major hospital system and understand the pain points within the US health system in regards to cancer care, Murali-Ganesh explains.

CancerAid previously closed a $1.25 million Series B funding round in October 2016, which valued the company at $4.25 million just a month after it officially launched.

The startup has kept up its fast-growth trajectory, now boasting “many thousands of active users” across both the US and Australia, Murali-Ganesh says, as its team is “actively looking to recruit” more talented technical and non-technical individuals to join its operations.

“Our goal is to make CancerAid the number one resource for patients when faced with a cancer diagnosis or undergoing therapy to improve their outcomes and satisfaction,” he says.

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Angela Castles

Angela Castles is a former StartupSmart journalist.

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