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Kiwi startup takes out global award; recognised by Steve Wozniak

22 Aug 2016

New Zealand’s oDocs has been named the global Best Startup, Social Impact at the 2016 Talent Unleashed Awards, which recognise ‘the best and boldest’ in technological entrepreneurship.

oDocs, whose offerings turn iPhones into specialised eye exam tools, was singled out as a global leader in healthcare innovation by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who was one of the judges at the awards.

oDocs was one of five companies to be recognised at this year’s global awards. The company won the Asia Pacific Best Startup, Social Impact award last month, gaining a place in the global finals where it made a final live pitch to a panel including Wozniak.

The win sees oDocs walking away with a trip to Silicon Valley to tour some of the world’s leading technology companies and the chance to gain one-on-one entrepreneurial advice from Wozniak.

oDocs launched in 2014 and gained attention by open sourcing a retinal camera for smartphones, enabling clinicians to easily and affordably diagnose eye issues.

oDocs says its aim it to prevent blindness in countries where eyesight care is lacking.

Asia Pacific companies dominated the awards, with Australia’s Clevertar winning Best Startup, Tech Innovation, and ResApp taking out Best Tech IPO/Venture Capital Raising. Singapore’s Neal Cross, DBS chief information officer, was named Most Disruptive CIO/CTO, rounding out the Asia Pacific wins.

Best Digital SME, Tech Innovation went to the United Kingdom’s TherapyBox.

At the award ceremony in Sydney, Wozniak recognised the finalists focus on giving back to the community.

“Almost every one of these contestants had things that were all for good, for pubic good, for health, helping people get things in their life,” Wozniak said.

Wozniak, who has been involved with the Talent Unleashed Awards for three years now, says he decided to judge the awards because innovation is ‘so key’ in his life, ‘especially young people who are humble and just have an idea, and they have ideas more than they’ve ever had any big wealth or success in their life – their ideas are really good’.

“I love to follow good ideas. Im more interested in interesting people and interesting things, than all the big well-made people with power and wealth,” Wozniak said.

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