Pitching your company and products in a 60-second elevator ride at the International Commerce Centre, the most iconic skyscraper in Hong Kong, is not the usual way to undertake promotion, but that’s just what AuramerBio CEO, Shalen Kumar, did last month.

ESR invested in AuramerBio late last year as part of a drive to remain at the forefront of technology and first became interested in aptamer technology when collaborating with Victoria University on methods for methamphetamine detection in saliva, for potential use as a road-side test. 

The Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC), which Shalen took part in, is a fun-filled international event organised by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation.  AuramerBio was one of 100 companies selected from 591 applicants, to pitch their ideas in a 60-second elevator ride.


Shalen’s idea, a handheld device for rapid and quantitative detection of drugs of abuse in saliva, caught the attention of the judges and he was named as one of the 10 finalists.

Shalen and the other finalists performed their three-minute pitch in front of an audience of 1000 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, incubators, accelerators, tech disruptors, and other industry players.

Representatives from the Hong Kong office of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, including Kenny Lau, were there to support Shalen and the other Kiwi competitors. Although Shalen did not win the big prize, the competition has connected AuramerBio to a number of venture capitalists as well as a wider network of fellow entrepreneurs. Photo shows Shalen during the ten minute presentation.

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