CCNY startup joins Merck Accelerator in Kenya

Co-founders of Veripad, a startup launched at the Zahn Innovation Center by three City College of New York graduates, relocated to Nairobi, Kenya as part of the prestigious Merck KGaA Accelerator Program.  The three-month program in Africa offers extensive funding, mentorship and technical support for budding entrepreneurs in healthcare.

“Winning the Zahn Social Impact Prize gave us a sense of validation that our product was viable and that our dream of reducing mortalities from counterfeit medication was within reach,” said Y-Lan Nguyen, co-founder and CAO of Veripad. 

Bishoy Ghobryal (CEO) and Da Wi Shin (COO) co-founded Veripad as part of their senior design project in biomedical engineering at the Macaulay Honors College at CCNY and later added Nguyen to the team. They collaborated for two years with a researcher at Notre Dame University to develop the software behind the Paper Analytical Device (PAD), a paper test card that interprets medication as real or fake.

"The founders of Veripad have all the elements of a successful startup team—passionate, skilled, savvy and innovative. They’re the latest company launched by the Zahn Center that, from just the beginnings of an idea, have quickly developed into a viable, high growth business,” said Lindsay Siegel, executive director of the Zahn Innovation Center.

While in Nairobi, the Veripad team is focused on researching the local market and testing their product, while also attending workshops to improve their business plan, customer acquisition, marketing and sales. They aim to launch to the Kenya market by January 2017.

About the Zahn Innovation Center
The Zahn Innovation Center, a program of the City College Fund, is at the heart of entrepreneurship at the City College of New York. It inspires a diverse community of changemakers to develop transformative ventures.

About The City College Fund
The City College Fund is a tax-exempt 501c(3) non-profit fundraising organization, established in 1946 to support The City College of New York in its mission to provide access and excellence in higher education, particularly to students who might not otherwise be able to afford to go to college. Gifts to The City College Fund directly benefit City College's extraordinary students, renowned faculty, innovative programs and schools.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science; Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; School of Education; Grove School of Engineering; Sophie Davis Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine; and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.