The side effects of chemotherapy, from hair loss to nerve damage and an impact on fertility, can cause discomfort and set the stage for social isolation. Luminate Medical aims to create a pipeline of device products that avoid or counter some of the collateral damage caused by chemotherapy.
A close friend undergoing treatment for cancer says she doesn’t like to go to the grocery store. Although she artfully camouflages her chemo-ravaged bald scalp with colorful scarves, she says, “People feel like they can have a conversation with me about my cancer when I’m just trying to forget about it.”
The founders of Luminate Medical (Galway, Ireland) have a solution for this particular problem; a novel device designed to protect chemotherapy patients against hair loss. And while it’s often the case that innovative medtech start-ups face the daunting challenge of educating investors and the market on the importance of the problem they’re solving, that hasn’t been the case for Luminate, which gathered up a large and diverse group of investors for its $5 million seed round in May 2022, including the Irish investment firm Elkstone Capital Partners, SciFounders (San Francisco, CA), Faber Ventures (Lisbon, Portugal), and a group of distinguished (among medical and tech companies) angel investors. “Everyone gets it,” says Aaron Hannon, co-founder and CEO.