The story of Ideabatic began in late 2014 when Kitty Liao participated in the first humanitarian hackathon at CERN on a project to develop a ‘$10 inflatable fridge for field operation purposes’. There, Kitty realised that there is a big problem in the last miles of the vaccine delivery journey in the developing world. Kitty was fascinated by it and became determined to solve that problem. She continued working on this problem part-time after the hackathon. In 2015, she pitched her ideas of SMILE (smart last-mile vaccine cooling system) to the WHO staff in Geneva and they offered her field testing upon the completion of the product. Later in May 2016, Kitty won Imperial Innovations' IP competition to patent SMILE.
In early 2016, Kitty decided to work on the project full time when she became a Hacker-in-Residence at Imperial College Advanced Hackspace. She set up Ideabatic inspired by the thermodynamic term ‘adiabatic’. Her vision is to help people with innovation in hardware-focused engineering and to encourage scientists and engineers to work on global problems. She delivered a prototype within two months of working on this full-time. The SMILE system is designed intuitively to address the current last-mile cold chain issues so that no training is required to operate it in the field.
Inspired by Kitty’s vision, Ideabatic has expanded to a team of like-minded individuals from diverse background ranging from low temperature physics, design, electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, finance and medicine. Ideabatic is also supported by an advisory board of different expertise from Imperial College London, University of Cambridge and NGOs.
Apart from winning the recent IGHI student challenges competition, Ideabatic has won numerous awards and recognition. Ideabatic was selected to be one of the top 300 start-ups among 1600+ applications in the MassChallenge UK accelerator, which is one of the world’s largest accelerators for high impact start-ups. There, Ideabatic won the ViiV Healthcare Start-up Award with £25,000 equity-free cash prize. The prize awards of these competitions along with that from the IGHI Student Challenges Competition contribute towards patenting and the development of the prototypes of SMILE.
The team is now working on the third prototype and building a consortium with the academia, industries and NGOs to optimise SMILE and accelerate its launch. Ideabatic is welcoming talented individuals and collaborators who share the same passion to join the journey to spread SMILE across the world. We are looking for donation and grant funding for a first field trial.
Please do get in touch. Together, we will reach every child however difficult the journey is.