TODOC CO., Ltd (CEO Kyu-Sik Min), a company specializing in cochlear implants, announced that it had won the grand prize at the 2021 Entrepreneurship World Cup (hereinafter EWC).
EWC is one of the world’s largest start-up pitching contests and support programs, with over 300,000 teams applying from over 200 countries since its inception in 2019. To date, it has provided $2 million in prize money and created support programs worth $150 million in total.
TODAC is developing and commercializing cochlear implants, which are medical devices that enable the hearing impaired to hear sounds by applying electrical stimulation to the users’ auditory nerves. Unlike the current cochlear implants, which are hand-made, TODAC produces much cheaper cochlear implants through a manufacturing process for cochlear implant electrodes that can enable mass production. The manufacturing process applies processes used in semiconductor manufacturing, and through this, the goal of the business is to lower the price of cochlear implants so that more hearing-impaired people can hear sound.
Kyu-Sik Min presented the world’s first 32-channel, mass-produced, next-generation cochlear implant prototypes to the judges at the finals, and proposed a business model that will compete with the current market that is valued at over $ 2 billion through its technological and performance superiority, and will open a new market for affordable cochlear implants in developing or lesser developing countries.
CEO Min said, “We could win the grand prize because the economic value and the social value of TODAK’s business direction were evaluated highly.”, and that “Being able to compete with other strong teams alone was an honor, but by winning the grand prize, I gained greater confidence and responsibility”.
Meanwhile, TODAK’s implants are aimed to be released next year in 2022. The implants have passed the international standard reliability tests, which are necessary to be approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, and are currently undergoing the final approval processes.
Translated by: Do-Hyung Kim, English Editor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org