The EIT Health Headstart Awards is part of EIT Health’s extensive portfolio of support programmes, aimed at supporting innovative companies active in the healthcare sector in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to accelerate their market entry and adoption of new products and services. EIT Health provides cash awards of up to €50,000.00 for each winner as well as access to its vast pan-European network of industrial, research and higher education partners. On the occasion of the Frontiers Health Conference, we invited 14 startups to present their innovative business ideas to a selected jury of experts, including Nana Bit-Avragim, Programme Lead, Innovation and TechTransfer at Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane, John Butler, VP External Innovation & Alliances at Bayer AG, Helene Schönewolf, Co-Founder & CEO RAMPmedical and Juri Bach, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds.
The Berlin adventure for the 14 startups began a day before, when they participated at a pitch training held by Colin Bennett. Our partner Bayer hosted the training at their research lab for startups, Bayer CoLaborator and Colin was kind enough to share his secrets for delivering a winning pitch.
Fast forward to the big day and we were already at the start of the presentations by the first batch of startups: ABATONdigital Clinomic Cliniserve CogniScent EpiQMAx Living Brain and ilvi. ABATONdigital presented their solution for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Cliniserve demonstrated their mobile assistant, that helps nurses structure their work and Clinomic even brought their medical device to the stage. Mona, the smart bedside device for the Intensive Care Unit, uses AI to assist doctors in the best treatment for their patients. Next in line were CogniScent, who are working on assessment of early symptoms for Parkinson’s disease.
Ending malnutrition in healthcare is the vision of Menutech, who develop AI-powered meal planning software, while treating anxiety is something Mindable Health knows about. They presented their therapeutic app based on behavioral therapy. The last one, Ilvi, demonstrated how their „digital” swiss army knife for nursing staff could save time and money for hospitals. The second batch started with Hearable Labs, a Berlin-based startup working on an engineering package for a hearing device, followed by Mentalab, who demonstrated their wearable patch, accompanied by an app for biomedical recordings. EpiQMax showed us the world of epigenetics and described how their kit can measure epigenetic marks in a fast, sensitive and easy manner, while Living Brain convinced us that virtual reality could accelerate cognitive rehabilitation. The session continued with Nagi bioscience, who introduced their Organism-on-Chip technology for rapid toxicology testing of new chemicals, and reFit Systems, who demonstrated their video game platform for individualized therapy. Vicron ended the pitch session with presentation of their decision support system for doctors.
And the winners are…
Following an intense debate, the jury decided to go forward with 9 startups: Clinomic GmbH, Cliniserve, reFit Systems GmbH, Menutech, Living Brain, CogniScent, EpiQMAx, Mindable Health and Vicron. Initially, the second round of the Headstart programme envisioned 7 awards, valued at €50,000 each, however, this year EIT Health Germany made a decision to award one more €50,000 award, as the jury was impressed with the startups’ ideas and decided to split the additional award to two startups Mindable Health and Vicron.
Big congratulations to all the winning teams and an enormous thank you note for the organizing team at Frontiers Health.