A synapse of BioTechnologists, engineers and entrepreneurs

ABOUT US

Synapse is leading accelerator of In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) technologies, empowering founders building with biomedical sciences, mechatronics, software, digital health, and industrial technologies. The Synapse acceleration Program combines hands-on co-development with our experienced product development team, mentors, venture capital investment building IVD products and services startups. Since 2018, Synapse has invested in over 25 startups on IVD technology and services across its locations in Tehran.

Synapse is a community of

with a global network of suppliers, manufacturers, experts and investors focused on In vitro Diagnostics technologies such as high throughput professional instruments to home test & biosensors. 

Founding in IVD industry

Building a diagnostic devices and services requires complex combinations of Clinicians, Biotechnology, Electronics, Mechanics, Materials, Software (that connects it all together) as well manufacturing and supply chains. It’s not standard startup game and it requires founders that are ready to get their hands wet and dirty, and go far beyond what can be accomplished alone at a small lab or computer. We know with the right combination of experience, tools, partners and community into early stage teams, they can move at unbelievable speed and scale. we have continuously evolved our approach, infrastructure and team to help startups go faster and further

Program Overview

Design and build faster, together

Synapse Acceleration program combines early stage investment, 4-12 months of collaboration building IVD startups. Founders join us across our locations in Iran to collaborate with our in-house team of Biotechnologists, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs. Startups get access to full equipped labs and co-working space, dedicated mentorship, investors, manufacturers and global supply chains to thrive as an early stage In Vitro Diagnostic startup.


Building a medical and biotechnology startup is hard. It requires complex combinations of medical biotechnology, electronics, mechanisms, materials, manufacturing and supply chains (and software that connects it all together). It’s not standard startup playbook and it requires founders that are ready to get their hands wet and dirty, and go far beyond what can be accomplished alone at your own lab and computer.


This is why we engage beyond investment. We know with the right combination of experience, tools, partners and community into early stage teams, they can move at unbelievable speed and scale. With over 10 Synapse startups completing the program since 2018, we have continuously evolved our approach, infrastructure and team to help startups go faster and further.

 

Startups apply with concept vision, customer understanding or initial prototypes. All Synapse teams spend 4-18 months at our locations in Tehran, where they collaborate with our in-house team of biomedical scientists, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs. We also give them access to the in-house experts, investors, manufacturers and supply chains needed to succeed.

 

As startups reach critical milestones, Synapse supports fundraising strategy and corporate partnerships. We are actively investing over 2 million USD per year into our portfolio.

 

The most valuable and unique aspect of the Synapse program is engagement with a well-known entrepreneur in IVD industry. Many have been successful, many have learned hard lessons, and everyone is eager to help teams succeed. The community has grown to include a group of mentors, experts and partners, giving early stage startups the global reach and resources.

Program Details

We break the 4-12 months into 3 phases that help us get to know startups and rapidly scale our engagement. This starts with a deep dive, and quickly ramps to hands-on engagement at our office.

phase 0 (1-30 days)

Onboarding, Design plan, Road mapping, Risk assessment             

phase 1 (2-12 months)

Rapid prototyping, Iterative product development

phase 2 (+12 months)

Next round of funding & manufacturing

There are several ways startups can enter the Synapse program. Most come through direct applications on our website, but some come through referrals. After we take a look at an application (in a week), we often invite the teams to a face to face meeting and evaluation, or find an additional founding team member before we will agree to invest.

ONBOARDING

Synapse teams start with an initial capital investment, introduction the community and deep dive into the project. Over 1-30 days, we dig into the depths of your technology and business and plan initial collaboration. A key part of this is beginning to define design inputs and outputs to better understand customers, markets and technology roadmaps. The risk management approach will continue throughout the program to help make decisions and move at maximum speed and confidence.

Design plan and strategy

We help teams understand the fundamentals of their technology and product, and what key milestones they will need to hit

Market fit

We help founders understand how to test their early-stage products and fit to their healthcare and public customers.

Mentorship

Our diverse network of mentors and advisors have experience launching IVD products. With experience from industries like medical laboratories and manufacturing

Rapid prototyping and iterative product development

Teams transition into Phase 1 with clear design plan, milestones for product and business development. Teams directly collaborate with our diverse staff of biomedical experts, engineers and designers. Phase 1 emphasizes speed of prototyping, iteration and testing as well as building up networks for suppliers, experts and manufacturers moving towards production.

Supply chain

Our team of supply chain specialists help teams find raw material and parts for rapid prototyping.

Rapid prototypes and pilots

Our teams go through multiple product versions, testing on biological raw materials and test design to the stage where it can be piloted and tested in the field laboratory.

Mechatronic, software and biology experts

Our team of Mechatronic and software engineers knows how to de-risk complex electro-mechanical challenges  

Industrial & Market fit design

Our team of industrial designers work to communicate the form and function of your product through design, shape to be safe and user friendly

Regulatory

with 22 years of experience in IVD directives and regulation, Synapse helps to meet the regulatory requirements and documentations properly.

Manufacturing

We help teams realize the complexity of manufacturing, and use our resources to help make right decisions like where to manufacture and assemble products

Fundraising and Market penetration

Founders prime for scaling through manufacturing, business development and venture capital fundraising. We closely collaborate with every team as they build out their investment strategy and support with our network of the top investors and corporates.

Venture capital fundraising

we continue to invest up to $1M USD into our growing startups. We also leverage our network of medical device and IVD investors to help fund teams. 

Team scaling

Startups need full-bodied and agile teams to navigate an uncertain world and move quickly. We leverage our network to help teams find talent

Sales channel and pipeline development

Selling a self-test or professional medical devices or service is much more challenging than selling a product or services to the public. We recommend teams on how to build strong sales pipelines

Manufacturing & distribution

We help teams understand how to plan for their manufacturing runs and how to cope future manufacturing, marketing, completion and customer complaint

The Team and Resources:

The team and tools to build: bridging the gap with experiences and infrastructure

The combination of so many technologies and skills can often be too broad for a small team of founders with a finite amount of money. We’ve built our team and networks to help teams get a breadth of advanced skillsets, access to resources and global ecosystems so they don’t have to waste precious time or money getting them. Even more important is the experience of our team, bringing decades of learning and launching products to help teams go as fast as possible.

We are a Synapse of biomedical sciences, medical laboratory experts, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs brought together to support early stage startups working on medical diagnostics hard tech. We have pulled together the people, resources and investment capital with the goal of enabling the next generation of IVD startups.

We’ve brought together experienced engineers, designers and entrepreneurs to be on our full time staff. Many of us have started our own businesses or been part of high growth startups. We know what it takes and also empathy for the hard work every one of our founders puts in.

The Synapse team works hands-on with startups and working members of their product development and business teams. We aim to not just give advice but do the work to meaningful move forward every startup. Our teams will work deeply with teams electrical engineering, mechanical design, industrial design, design for manufacturing, branding, communication assets, business model development and go-to-market strategy. We know every startup is different so we inject the right amount of effort into each team depending on what they need the most to move forward.

Spaces and Tools: Our facilities, are combined over 50,000 square feet of space designed for development of complex IVD products. We’ve built out advanced mechatronic workshops (ProtoLab), large QC areas, bio-chem lab (Wet Lab), Bio-Safety level lab, Animal Lab, shared office (Dry Lab) and community spaces, All in One. Our inventory of tools and advance equipment is comprehensive, not available, we have expanded our global and local networks to outsource. Our spaces are also strategically located in the best ecosystems in the world for hard tech so teams spend just as much time out of the office working with partners.

Market knowledge and networks

Synapse has invested in over 25 startups working across almost every industry which has lead to a unique mixture of knowledge both within our team and even more so in the community of founders. Synapse startups have access and contribute to a shared repository of information, toolkits, lectures and qualified partners.

Apply now, Start next week

There are several ways startups can enter the Synapse. Most come through direct applications on our website, but some come through invitation and referrals

what do I need to apply?

We work with a wide range of founders and technologies at all stages of development but there are a few critical items we look for in every application :

– Proof of concept or Actively building prototypes
– Committed members of  team (importance of team and not sole founders)
– Deep customer understanding (more than just market reports)

Submit via application portal

Startups apply via the portal here.


We ask for an initial amount of information for us to best understand your team, technology and market. The assets that we value most is your story, team and prototypes and what you’d like to do next with them. We review every application within 1 week of submission.

Interviews and diligence

After our initial review, we will email a select number of startups to begin interviewing with the Synapse team remotely. This will include interviews from various members of the Synapse board into the details of a startup’s business model, market and technology.  We will also work with our network of experts across technology fields and industries to best understand startups.  

Our team works hard to maintain transparency and clarity throughout the interview and diligence process.

investment and kickoff

At the end of the interview and diligence process, we will send an offer and investment terms to those accepted into the program. Synapse invests in around 30 new startups and products every year with an average of 2-3 every month. Upon paperwork, we get teams started in onboarding into the program.

Post Program

Long lasting partnership

Synapse is first and foremost investors in your startup. Synapse is partner with startups for the long term and willing to see them succeed and grow far beyond the initial engagement. Our goal for the program is to help get teams moving at the fastest possible speed but also give them the tools, networks and community to continue growing for years to come.

follow-on investment up to $1M USD

We invest 75% of our capital after our first investment and actively participating in in companies as they raise their Seed, Series A, B, etc… up through Pre-IPO rounds. The Synapse leadership team also remains active with companies throughout their growth journey and bring our experience as teams reach different milestones. We occasionally take board seats on the teams we’ve invested in, or remain as advisors and shareholders.

global network and events

Synapse alumni bring some of the most valued experience back to the Synapse community. Whether it’s celebrating success or learning from the challenges of building a hard tech business. Alumni are encouraged to remain active in the community as always welcome to Synapse events. We are also always looking for new connections to make and bring different parts of our network together.

access to space and resources

After the program, startups can utilize our facilities for meetings, testing, or establishing a longer term office space. For alumni, we offer desks, offices and spaces for monthly rent with access to the same ecosystem, tools and community.

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Synapse is birthplace of the great IVD companies and technologies of tomorrow

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