July 2, 2018    Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube
The 2018 Development XChange is Almost Here!

Saving Lives at Birth is excited to announce the 2018 DevelopmentXChange, which will  take place July 26 in Washington, D.C. The DevelopmentXChange plays a key feature of the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge and  brings  together the most promising   innovators in the field of maternal and neonatal health who are tackling the challenge of reducing maternal and newborn mortality rates globally.

This year's Development XChange focuses on the intersection of science, partnership, ideation and art/performance ( see below to read about BUMP, a mainstage production of the Ensemble Studio Theater/Sloan Project inspired by SL@B innovator Jorge Odón). Building on seven years of bringing top innovators together and creating a community with the potential for true global impact, it is an event not to be missed!
Featuring SL@B grantees  and 10 finalists vying for funding in Round 8, the DevelopmentXChange celebrates  innovation in science, technology, and service delivery  to drive impact and save lives. We invite you to join us in welcoming some of the brightest minds in maternal and newborn health (MNH) to the 2018 DevelopmentXChange July 26. Highlights of the event will include:
  • Networking Reception ---  Meet and network with past and current SL@B grantees, MNH experts, partners and Round 8 finalists.
  • Live Pitch Competition ---   Watch as grantees present  some of the most groundbreaking new developments in the field in front of a live audience including investors and potential partners, and compete for an exciting prize.
  • DevelopmentˣChange Marketplace ---  Gain hands-on access to promising innovations that have the potential to improve global maternal and newborn health in significant ways, now and in the future. Last year's marketplace featured over 400 participants!
  • Opening Plenary ---  Join us for our opening plenary, featuring SL@B innovators and moderated by Dr. Koki Agarwal, Director of the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP). The panel will focus on the experience of scaling innovations in-country and will highlight the successes, challenges, and lessons past SL@B innovators have learned in working toward sustainability with their various projects.
Click here to register for the 2018 Development XChange and learn more about our Round 8 finalists. We look forward to seeing you there!  

Click here to get a glimpse of last year's Development XChange. 
Meet the Round 8 Finalists 
The Saving Lives at Birth partners nominated 10 promising finalists from nearly 500 applications to compete in the final stage of the 2018 Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge. In our eighth round, we welcome you to learn more about these organizations and their innovations.  
Center for Public Health and Development/Mediquip
Pumani® Plus: Creating a Roadmap for Sustainable Expansion in Deployment, Distribution and Demand Creation for Global Health Devices ---  a Detailed Business Case for bubbleCPAP and a Respiratory Care Product Portfolio. 
Dimagi Inc
Scaling Performance Graphs and Machine Learning Techniques to 100,000 Front-line Nutrition Workers across India
Health Information System Program Malawi 
Digital Village Clinic: Scale-up of a Proven Digital Community Health System in Malawi through National Management and Ownership 
INMED Partnerships for Children/INMED Andes 
Bilikit: A Systems-integrated Approach for Diagnosis and Treatment of Neonatal Jaundice 
Kybele-Ghana  Ghana Addressing the Third Delay: Scaling Up an Obstetric Triage System to Reduce Delay and Improve the Quality of Care in High-risk Referral Hospitals in Ghana 
Malaria Research and Training Center, University of Science Techniques and Technologies of Bamako Mali  Saving the Unborn Child from Malaria: Safety and Efficacy of PfSPZ Vaccine for Pregnant Women and Unborn Children 
Ona Kenya Limited/World Health Organization  Kenya  Cuffless Optical BP Measurement Integrated with Antenatal Decision-support and Client Tracking to Improve Health Provider Performance to Detect Hypertension and Improve Pregnancy Outcomes 
Summit Institute of Development  Indonesia   The Golden Generation: Thriving Community Health through Client-centered Precision Care with Coordinated Teams of Frontline Health Workers and Next-generation mHealth 
University of Malawi College of Medicine Malawi  Design for Manufacture and Validation of Disposable Strips for Low-cost, Point-of-Care Bilirubin Measurement to Diagnose Neonatal Jaundice and Monitor Phototherapy in Hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa 
University of Malawi College of Medicine  Malawi  Scaling a Low-cost, Robust, Continuous Temperature Monitor to Reduce Neonatal Death Due to Hypothermia in Sub-Saharan Africa 
Don't Miss BUMP at the Development XChange!! bump
Photo: Courtesy Ensemble Studio Theater/Sloan Project
We are excited to announce that the Development XChange will feature a performance of scenes from BUMP, this year's mainstage production of the Ensemble Studio Theater/Sloan Project, inspired by Jorge Odón, the Argentinian car mechanic and innovator behind the SL@B-supported Odon Device. Following the production, join us for a panel of special guests who will discuss the inspiration behind the play, the role of innovation at the intersection of art & science, and the importance of partnerships to make it all happen.

"If you are pregnant, if you have been pregnant, if you have resulted from a pregnancy, you will probably find it very funny."   ---   The New York Times
Live Pitch Competition  
Innovator Insights
Since inception, the Development XChange has played host to hundreds of the world's top innovators and most forward-thinking minds in MNH. Below, two prior participants --- both of whom will be pitching at this year's Development XChange-share their experiences and insights into the event.
Dr. Edward Bitarakwate 
Country Director, Uganda, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Dr. Edward Bitarakwate and his team at EGPAF Uganda have developed a national plan  to transition to scale  the Pratt Pouch, an easy to tear open package containing a premeasured dose of antiretrovirals (ARVs), which can be stored safely for up to 12 months at any temperature. These pouches help overcome the many barriers to access and adherence of ARVs for at-risk newborns, which can prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission if administered to the baby during labor and for several weeks following delivery.

Q: What has been your experience participating in the DevelopmentXChange?

A: The Development XChange has been a really great opportunity for me. It's the perfect environment for learning from like-minded individuals who are working on projects designed to help further science and technology in the field. The level of encouragement is refreshing ---  everyone is there to support each other's work and assist with transition to scale.  

Q: What are you most looking forward to during this year's event?

A: This year is one where we'll be able to showcase a bit more about our innovation than we have in the past, which is very exciting. I'm also personally looking forward to seeing other teams move forward with their products ---  it's wonderful to see hard work come to maturity through scaling and grants. Seeing how this evolves for both ourselves and others is the piece that brings it all together.

Q: What do you hope to gain from participating in the 2018 Pitch Competition?

A: The pitch competition is a way for us to convey the concept of what we're doing to various different individuals with multiple interests. It's a critical tool in packaging information in a way that's suitable for a specific audience. The skills we learn go beyond the competition itself and relate to how we can pitch in the future to potential donors, stakeholders, pharmaceutical companies and government entities.

Q: What makes the DevelopmentXChange unique?

A: I think it's one of the year's best networking events-well-organized with plenty of resources and attended by people across a very diverse range of fields. It's an opportunity to exchange ideas with other innovators, people from the corporate world and everyone in-between. That's what makes the Development XChange such an exciting event, in my opinion, and why we're excited to be participating again this year.  

Dr. Edward Bitarakwate is the country director of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's office in Uganda. He is a pediatrician and public health specialist by training, and has practiced clinical and community medicine since 1995. Dr. Bitarakwate received his master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.
Dr. Roger Rassool
Co-founder, FRE02 Foundation
FREO2 Foundation Australia creates, tests and deploys new technologies designed to reduce inequalities in global health at scale. The team's FRE02 (Free Reusable Energy Oxygen) line of products produce oxygen without the need for electricity and are proving to be effective in the fight against pneumonia in underdeveloped countries.

Q: What has been your experience participating in the DevelopmentXChange?

A: We've been involved since 2013 with two innovations. Of course there's the element of gaining financial support, but more important is the ability to build up a network and meet a wide range of like-minded people. It's like a family in some ways-people you connect with maybe once a year or two and have so much in common with. For us, the Development XChange has been fantastic, largely because of the people who are involved.

Q: What are you most looking forward to during this year's event?

A: This year, we're going to pitch, but we're very focused on networking and rubbing shoulders. We originally thought our job was to advance a physical device, but as we better understood the problem, we learned about the delivery phase, training requirements, etc. ---  we realized we were taking on service delivery rather than just innovation. What comes from the Dev X event is a belonging to this community and a sort of collaborative approach to problem-solving. There isn't a single person there that if you were to ask for help wouldn't provide it.

Q: What do you hope to gain from participating in the 2018 pitch competition?

A: We're looking forward to the opportunity to form strategic partnerships. It's something we've been building upon in the past and will be focusing on in this event. A university such as ours is an amazing environment for generating ideas, but it's not always ideal for actual development and implementation. We believe that, coupled with the right partners, the work we've been doing can go to market and find true success with proper delivery.

Q: What makes the DevelopmentXChange unique?

A: It's a very interesting experience, because it has this highly competitive element to it, but it isn't "dog eat dog" in any way. People are there to hear and see presentations from others; it's as much a learning experience as it is an opportunity. Just because I work in oxygen doesn't mean I'm not interested in postpartum hemorrhage, as an example. Dev X is the rare event where everyone truly listens to one another ---  you don't just see people on their computers checking email.

Roger Rassool is a senior lecturer in the School of Physics and Director of the Australian Center for Accelerator Science. He has a PhD in Nuclear Physics, which he obtained in collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan. He is passionate about industry engagement and has worked on many projects solving industrial problems using physics.  

Our Pitch Coaches 
To help our innovators get the most out of their experience with the Development XChange pitch competition, we provide each candidate with three hours of coaching and iterative feedback from one of two expert coaches prior to the live event. Our coaches ---  Rachele Haber-Thomson and Permjot Valia ---  tailor their approach to each innovator's strengths and weaknesses while providing useful tips for creating an effective pitch not only for the competition, but for potential partners, investors and stakeholders in the future.   
Rachele Haber-Thomson is a Senior Operations & Finance professional with extensive experience working with early stage companies, preparing entrepreneurs for investor pitches and providing financial and strategic advisory services to growing, purpose driven enterprises. She holds a deep passion for making a positive impact in the world. 
Permjot Valia is Founder & CEO of MentorCamp, Executive Director of MentorConnect and Co-founder of UK-based fund Flight and Partners Ltd. He i s also an angel investor who has worked with over 30 startups across Canada, South Africa, the UK and the US. Valia has been nominated by TechCrunch as "one of the best mentors to startups in Europe" and as "one of the very best pitch trainers in the world".   
" The DevelopmentXChange provided a platform for building professional relationships that have been productive for every member of our team. The opportunity to learn from our peers was unparalleled, and I am especially impressed with the diverse group on both the funding and funded side of the equation. "
---   Beth Kolko, Co-founder and CEO of SL@B Grantee Shift Labs 

People's Choice Award
We need your vote! The 2018 DevelopmentXChange People's Choice Award is now open. Vote for your favorite Round 8 Finalist, and we'll announce the winner at the Innovation Marketplace Reception on July 26th. Don't miss this opportunity to use your voice and help your favorite innovator rise to the top! Please note, you can only vote once.       

Register today to Attend!

The 8th Annual DevelopmentˣChange is hosted by the Saving Lives at Birth partners: USAID,  Government of Norway (Norad), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Over the last 7 years, we have sourced and supported 115 distinct innovations and seen many of our recipients receive global recognition and accolades for the impact they have achieved.

Spread the word! Be sure to follow Saving Lives at Birth on Twitter for updates about the event.  
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2018 Xcelerator Recap 
Photos: Accelerating SL@B Partners
In the build up to the upcoming DevelopmentXChange, the 2018 Saving Lives at Birth Xcelerator ---  led by the Accelerating SL@B program team ---  was held in Nairobi, Kenya from May 29-June 1. In attendance were 42 teams, featuring over 80 innovators and representing 14 countries.

The Xcelerator is an interactive 4-day workshop designed to amplify the impact of the SL@B grant program by providing targeted, tailored assistance to its innovations to reach scale and sustainability with evidence of impact. Teams are grouped based on the stages of growth and receive tailored support to meet their top challenges. Key focus areas include articulating value proposition, building strong partnerships, understanding the value chain, identifying and mapping stakeholders, and developing individual action plans.

Thanks to our partners ---    Duke Global Health Innovation Center , VentureWell , Via Global Health , We Scale Impact , Open Capital Advisors  and Villgro ---  the 2018 Xcelerator workshop was a rousing success, with innovator teams exiting the program with a better understanding of their market, value proposition, organizational needs and  prioritized action plans. VentureWell has recently published a report entitled Innovator Insights: Illuminating the Path for Tomorrow's Innovators , which highlights valuable findings and best practices from working with several SL@B innovators around embarking on a journey in global health innovation and entrepreneurship. Download the report here .

Click here to hear from innovators about the 2018 Xcelerator workshop.    
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