Lia Diagnostics pregnancy test wins Disrupt Berlin 2017

Startup News

At the very beginning, there were 15 startups. After two days of incredibly fierce competition, there is now a winner.

Startups participating in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. They all presented in front of multiple groups of VCs and tech leaders serving as judges for a chance to win €42,000 and the coveted Disrupt Cup. 

After hours of deliberations, TechCrunch editors pored over the judges’ notes and narrowed the list down to five finalists: Blik, Caspar Health, eTrack Tech, Lia Diagnostics and Wandelbots.

These startups made their way to the finale to demo in front of our final panel of judges, which included: Suranga Chandratillake (Balderton Capital), Tugce Ergul (Angel Labs), Luciana Lixandru (Accel Partners), Matthew Panzarino (TechCrunch) and Mark Schmitz (Lakestar).

The Startup Battlefield winner of TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2017 is 'Lia Diagnostics'. The Lia Diagnostics pregnancy test will be the first-ever flushable test to hit the market, offering a more sustainable, disposable, convenient and private way for women to find out if they’re pregnant or not. Unlike traditional tests, Lia’s tests are made from a special paper that will disperse in water and biodegrade.
The company was founded in 2015 by Bethany Edwards and Anna Simpson, following research Edwards had worked on as part of her Master’s at the University of Pennsylvania. She was interested in innovations in material science – specifically, the idea of temporality and creating products that match up to their lifestyle, she says.

A single-use pregnancy test, for example, is made with non-biodegradable materials, so it ends up in landfills if not recycled. “Single-use diagnostics are only used for a couple of minutes, and they’re all made out of plastic and non-sustainable materials,” explains Edwards.

She wanted to redesign how these products were made and manufactured so the product would biodegrade. The choice to launch with pregnancy tests came about because they hadn’t been updated in decades. 

The Lia test offers an alternative to traditional tests, but works in much the same way. Like other tests, it’s a stick that reacts to urine to determine pregnancy, and it displays results as two lines if pregnant or one line if not, as before. There’s a larger collection area on the test, which makes it easier to use, but the real change is around how the test is made.

Unlike traditional tests, Lia’s tests are made from a special paper that will disperse in water and biodegrade, allowing it to be flushed. That means women won’t have to hide the tests in the trash, take tests in public restrooms, or any of the other things they do in order to have privacy around this often anxiety-producing event – no matter what results they’re hoping for.