14 start-up teams SHIP their innovative healthcare solutions

On 9 August 2016, the German EIT Health GmbH organized the first Accelerator SHIP – Ship for Health Innovation Pitches in Heidelberg. The aim of the event was to select the German winners (1 winner per category – Biotech, MedTech or Digital Health) for the international EIT Health Business Plan Competition 2016 in Barcelona.

Around 60 participants from the healthcare, entrepreneurship and private equity field joined the event. Participating Partners from the German EIT Health ecosystem included for example BIO Clustermanagement NRW GmbH (BIO.NRW), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University, Max-Planck-Institute for Biology of Ageing, Medical Valley e.V., Merck, RWTH Aachen and UCB.

“A great opportunity for start-ups to showcase their business ideas for better healthcare solutions”

As a moderator and keynote speaker, Prof. Tobias Gantner, Founder and CEO of Healthcare Futurists, highlighted that patient-centric innovation is key in today’s fast-changing healthcare environment.

Dr. Armin Pscherer, CEO of the German EIT Health GmbH, presented options for start-ups and SMEs to get involved in EIT Health. He was very pleased with the event: ”This first German EIT Health SHIP (Ship for Health Innovation Pitches) was a great opportunity for start-ups to showcase their business ideas for better healthcare solutions. EIT Health can effectively support these young organisations in realizing their potential to place their innovative healthcare solutions faster onto the market.” One option is for example the private equity platform www.startups4.eu that was implemented by EIT Health and BIO.NRW this year.

14 start-up teams presented their business ideas either in enthusiastic 3-minute live pitches or with a video pitch. The pitch format was both pioneering and inspiring: the event took place on a ship, the “Königin Silvia”, cruising on the river Neckar around Heidelberg and surroundings during the day. Topics of the projects included for example chronic disease treatments, breast cancer diagnosis, digitally-assisted training in surgery, wound healing, transparency in doctor-patient communication, reinstalling brain functionality, modular telemedical support programs, speech-based online therapy, personalized liver protection and others.

The winners in the different categories were selected by renowned jury members with healthcare and private equity backgrounds. MammaScreen, a solution to detect breast cancer at an early stage with a blood test, won the prize in the category “Biotech”. iSurgeon, a tool for digitally-assisted training in surgery, was the winning team in the category “Digital Health”. This team had already won the “Best Business Case” Award and the Audience Award at the “Life Science meets IT” Hackathon in Heidelberg in May 2016. Coldplasmatech, a solution for wound healing with cold plasma, won the prize in the category “MedTech” with a video pitch. The three winning teams will be invited to the international EIT Health Business Plan Competition 2016 at the EIT Health Summit on 23-24 November 2016 in Barcelona. All 14 start-up teams received vouchers for pitch video productions, pitch trainings and business coaching workshops.

Innovation in healthcare has many inspiring facets and lives from the entrepreneurial enthusiasm of young start-up teams

After the pitches, business coaches from different healthcare fields provided feedback to the teams so that they could improve their performance and business concepts for the future.

Altogether, the event showed that innovation in healthcare has many inspiring facets and lives from the entrepreneurial enthusiasm of young start-up teams who want to change and improve healthcare together. EIT Health promotes entrepreneurship and innovates in healthy living and active ageing, with the aim to improve quality of life and healthcare across Europe.

Impressions of the event

For more information about EIT Health: www.eithealth.eu

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