Winnoz Technology, Inc.

Business Today: Winnoz catches attention of IBM, Johnson & Johnson for reducing cancer risk test from 15 hours to 1 hour

Dr. Joses Xiong regrets starting a business every day – but if he hadn’t started one, he says he would’ve regretted it even more. Minutes after meeting with investors from Singapore and Malaysia, Joses is full of energy despite his bloodshot eyes. 

Xiong’s father passed away from cancer, which drove him to study cancer-detection technology from a young age. While researching biomedicine as a postdoctorate at Tel Aviv University, Xiong decided to return to Taiwan to support his mother, who is suffering from a mental disorder. It was there that Xiong founded Winnoz and began to develop hardware products for cancer and disease risk detection, and later incorporated an IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) platform as part of his goal to expand preventive medicine.

Using Winnoz’s device Haiim, fingertip blood collection can be completed in one minute, and another device eGGi can perform nucleic acid amplification testing and upload genetic data to Winnoz’s platform within an hour. Previous methods required at least 15 hours to collect and test a blood sample, reducing testing time by over 90%.

The integrated hardware and software solutions provided by Haiim and eGGi have won Winnoz numerous awards, including recognition and grants from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Taiwan Excellence Awards. Winnoz also garnered attention from IBM Watson, and was subsequently invited to particpate in the CES exhibition.

As a relatively new startup company, Winnoz’s seed and angel rounds saw investment from Israel,British Virgin Islands Golden Pearl Capital, Jijia Electronics, angel investors, and others. Approximately two million US dollars (60 million Taiwan dollars) were raised, which may seem low for western startups but is a commendable amount in Taiwan. 

Since starting the company, Xiong has done everything from shaping business models, fundraising, and establishing a team culture. Beyond his incredible discipline, Xiong credits his success to his studies in Israel, when he describes feeling “free as a bird.” During his time, Xiong reflected clearly about the purpose and value of his needs and began to take action, and braved the tumultuous early years of a business.

Investment in the biomedical field differs from others because returns cannot be seen immediately in a few years. As companies develop, results may not appear for five or more years. Due to cultural differences, Taiwanese venture capital only invests in mature companies to ensure profits. Xiong recalls his meetings with Taiwanese venture capital representatives, during which he gave more than 10 briefings a week before turning to foreign investors for funding. The first investment in Winnoz was a US $500,000 input from Israeli investors, and the company has continued to look abroad for capital.

When Xiong participated in CES and visited Silicon Valley companies, he recalls being asked, “Do you have 50 million US dollars to burn?” This interaction made Xiong realize how important funding was to his company’s survival, and sparked future changes for Winnoz.

The ensuing shift in business model from hardware to services began when Xiong realized that mass production of hardware had its limits. With low cost of health insurance and limited materials, economies of scale were not practical, and Xiong made the necessary adjustments. Currently, a major electronics company with thousands of employees has begun deploying Winnoz’s platform, and orders from Southeast Asia and India have begun to flood in as well. The blueprint for business from all around the world has already taken shape in Xiong’s mind.

Despite running a business and caring for his family, reporters can hear back from Xiong at 6:00 AM. He insists on walking his own path, and takes pride in the team he has built around him. Among their employees, there are seven PhDs, colleagues from Peru, and students from the UK on one-year internships. Zhang Shuxin, who is in charge of Winnoz’s general affairs, shares with a smile that all colleagues speak in English every morning to make the British interns feel at home.

Having survived the critical first four years as a startup, Xiong feels more comfortable now than when he first started. His most urgent task now is to incorporate Winnoz in the global market and continue to advance their technology.


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