Self-testing startup by Sydney Global EMBA alumni lists on ASX

16 April 2020
GEMBA alumni expand innovative medical device design company
Atomo Diagnostics, a startup created by two University of Sydney Business School alumni, aims to develop a self-testing SARS-CoV-2 kit. The company will float on the Australian Stock Exchange today.
John Keith

Atomo Chairman and GEMBA alum John Keith

Atomo's CEO John Kelly laid the groundwork for the company while participating in the first cohort of the Global Executive MBA at the University of Sydney Business School. 

On finishing the program, John invited fellow GEMBA student John Keith to become a founder director and eventually chair. The two met during the first module in the program, which is themed on leadership. Together they subsequently oversaw impressive growth at Atomo.

The company was founded in 2010 with the aim of improving rapid blood testing.  Since commencing operations, the company has partnered with international companies and opened up key markets for the rapid diagnostic test kits including testing for HIV, pregnancy, and screening for viral infections.

With global and local efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, Atomo is currently exploring opportunities to repurpose its technology for self-testing kits.

John Kelly explained, "Atomo started the listing process to underpin the expansion of our global HIV business and enable us to commercialise other opportunities in the rapid blood test market."

But through the offer period, we saw that we were uniquely positioned to make a major impact within the COVID-19 environment.
John Kelly, Atomo CEO and GEMBA alum

Backed by grant funding including from The Global Health Investment Fund, Atomo lists on the ASX today. It was oversubscribed in raising $30 million from the listing, over and above funding already received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and local backers Land Walker and Allan Moss.

"Atomo's simple vision of improving health outcomes globally was underpinned by a strategy that in its infancy was valuably shaped by what was learned firsthand during our EMBA program, lessons that continue to be highly influential in our thinking," said John Kelly.

He was awarded the Business School's inaugural Excellence in Leadership Scholarship.  

Academic Director of the GEMBA, Professor Clinton Free, said: "The program brings senior executives and leaders from different industries together to learn how to drive positive change.

"Atomo's success illustrates the global mindset and problem-solving skills our graduates develop throughout the program."

The University of Sydney Business School's Global Executive MBA ranked number one in the country by the Australian Financial Review's BOSS Magazine last year.

"Our core mission is to provide a truly transformative educational experience that prepares graduates for the jobs of the future," said Dean of the Business School Professor Greg Whitwell.

"We're delighted to see our alumni making a positive impact in the community. Leadership for good is needed now more than ever during these challenging and complex times."

Related news