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Kiwi company finalist in global Talent Unleashed awards

21 Jun 2016

New Zealand’s oDocs Eye Care will be vying to represent Asia Pacific as well as New Zealand next month, when they take to the stage in the Talent Unleashed’s APAC finals.

The Kiwi company, whose offerings turn iPhone’s into specialised eye exam tools, is a finalist in the Best Start Up – Social Impact award.

The annual tech and entrepreneurial awards aim to celebrate the best and boldest in technological innovation, especially startups, SMEs and ‘challenger’ companies from around the world.

The winners of the APAC awards will go on to compete in the Global Grand Finals in Sydney in August, where Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Wozniak will headline the show.

Wozniak is a member of the international judging panel which selected oDocs as an APAC finalist.

Other judges include Sir Richard Branson, International Volunteer HQ’s Dan Radcliffe, LinkedIn’s Cliff Rosenberg, Igniting Change’s Jane Tewson and Jade Zhang, from Okmno Asia.

oDocs, established in 2014 by Dr Hong Sheng Chiong and Dr Benjamin O’Keeffe, gained attention by open-sourcing a retinal camera for smartphones, enabling clinicians to easily and affordably diagnose eye issues.

The offering garnered more than 3000 clinical users in its first year and continues to grow quickly.

The company says it aims to prevent blindness in regions where better eyesight care is needed, with 80% of visual impairment issues and blindness preventable and 90% occurring in developing or low income areas.

Half of the companies net profit from selling its products is committed to saving the sight of people in developing regions.

oDocs is the sole New Zealand finalist this year.

Last year BE Intent, whose offerings include support and resiliency apps for youth and businesses, took out the Best Digital Business (SME) category. Julia Raue, who at the time was Air New Zealand chief information officer, was also a finalist in the Most Disruptive CIO/CTO category.

Richard Earl, executive chairman and founder of Talent, which runs the awards, says this year’s judging panel was ‘blown away’ by the quality of entries, which he dubs ‘testament to the entrepreneurial flair in the APAC region’.

The global grand prize winner of each category wins a one-on-one with Wozniak, ‘the trip of a life-time’ to a cutting edge technology conference and a bespoke tour of some of Silicon Valley’s leading tech companies.

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