Alonge’s nanoscanner wins 100,000 euro tech prize

YOU put an obstacle in some people’s way, they fold and get caged; put the same obstacle in the way of some others, they step on it and vault to higher heights. The story of Adebayo Alonge is one of turning hurdles to stepping boards.

Fifteen years ago, Adebayo nearly had his life snuffed out of him suffering from the effects of a fake drug he had ingested. Today, he is not only a pharmacist; but he has invented a top-of-the-range tech product, a handheld nanoscanner that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to authenticate products (and detect fakes), thus helping countless people avoid the life-threatening experience he once went through.

His tech company (established in 2017, of which he is co-founder and CEO), RxAll, which the website describes as an ‘AI-hyperspectral platform for authenticating drugs’, beat 4,500 other startups from 119 countries to win the grand prize of €100,000 in the deepTech challenge tagged ‘2019 Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge’ awarded by BNParibas.

A global jury of the best deepTech scientists and investors reviewed applications from 4,500 startups, selected the top 500 and organised regional pitch contests to select the top 80 finalists in 12 categories for the finals held in Paris, France, last month (March 2019).

The 12 categories included Aeronautics, Data & AI (artificial intelligence), Digital Health, Energy, Food, Agriculture & Environment, Global Health, among others.

BNP Paribas, on its twitter handle @BNPParibas, says ‘When #deeptech finds its way to a #safer future: Today, half of drugs in Africa are fake drugs. But tomorrow, thanks to @RxAll_Inc  & @adebayoalonge handheld nanoscanners can ensure drug quality in real time! They won BNP Padribas Grand Prize at @hellotmrc: €100K.’

The Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge is a global startup competition designed specifically to address the needs of deepTech entrepreneurs across several different industries and technologies by providing scientists and deepTech entrepreneurs from across the world a platform for their research and projects, providing equity-free prize money as well as other funding opportunities, global visibility and connections with key players in the deepTech innovation network.

Mr Alonge said while receiving his award: “Thank you so much. It’s been a long journey personally for me, from the 15 years when I was surviving from a fake drug to standing today in front of you here and letting you to be in my dream and the dream of my co-founders to make sure that most of people are safe from fake medicines.

“My goal is to use science and the solution we have today to make sure no one has to go through the trauma that I experienced. Therefore, I invite everyone here today to join us in the vision of using deepTech to achieve global social impact.”

On his twitter handle @adebayoalonge, he tweeted: “really emotional victory for me in particular and my team. The love and support for me and my team at RxAll Inc. from all of the innovators at @hellotomorrow was really touching. I appreciate @BNPParibas for supporting deapTech #htsummit #safedrugsworld #Rxscanner.”

Adebayo Alonge acknowledged the science education he received at the King’s College Lagos and at the Pharmacy School of the University of Ibadan as the building blocks for his innovative technology.

He is also an alumnus of the Lagos Business School (LBS) Full-time MBA 11 class, and holds a business degree from the Yale School of Management.