Can science become entrepreneurial – Get Started in Health Innovation

A new era in healthcare is upon us. Revolutionary research and modern technologies are ready to reshape treatment outcomes and experiences. More importantly, they can help prevent or alleviate symptoms and the onset of diseases. Although you can already imagine the technologies I’m referring to, let’s list them:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – enhances diagnostics, personalized medicine, and drug discovery. According to a 2020 McKinsey & Company report, artificial intelligence and big data analytics could create up to $100 billion in annual value for the healthcare industry.
  2. Telemedicine – during the COVID-19 pandemic, the boundaries of remote healthcare have shifted. The telemedicine market is expected to reach $431.8 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 25.9% from 2021 to 2030, according to Allied Market Research.
  3. Wearable Technology – The market for wearable medical devices is predicted to reach $30.1 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.2% from 2021 to 2026, according to Markets and Markets. These devices enable continuous health monitoring, particularly crucial for chronic patients, personalized treatment approaches, and early disease or deterioration diagnosis.
  4. Precision Medicine – personalized treatment based on individual genetic profiles is becoming a reality. The global precision medicine market is expected to reach $278.6 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 11.0% from 2021 to 2028, according to a report by Grand View Research.
  5. 3D Printing – technology is transforming prosthetics, implants, and even organ transplantation. The globally augmented 3D-printed healthcare market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20.10% from 2021 to 2030, reaching $5.8 billion by 2030, according to Allied Market Research.

These technological advancements are propelling the healthcare industry into a new era of innovation, leading to improved patient outcomes and more efficient healthcare systems.

To harness the potential of this moment, the Center for Research, Development, and Technology Transfer of the University of Zagreb (EIT Health HUB Croatia) and the innovation agency Lean Startup Croatia have joined forces to launch the Get Started in Health Innovation program. This specialized 6-month startup pre-acceleration journey is designed for healthcare professionals, scientists, students, and entrepreneurs aiming to create innovative solutions for the healthcare sector. The program is crafted to empower healthcare innovators with a unique combination of interdisciplinary education, strong support from industry partners, and an international network – collectively working towards revolutionizing the healthcare sector and shaping the future of medicine.

Bridging Science and Business: Lessons from “HTH 2023: Pitch & Partner”

At the recently held, traditionally strongest Health Tech conference in the region – Health Tech Hub Styria in Graz, “HTH 2023: Pitch & Partner”  keynote speaker Nadine S. Sommerfeld, chemist and co-founder, and former CEO of P4 Therapeutics, shared her experiences bridging the gap between the academic community and industry.

She highlighted the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of scientists as entrepreneurs through a SWOT analysis. She concluded that while scientists possess passion, resilience, expertise, and curiosity, they often lack business experience, leadership skills, and effective communication.

Inspired by her SWOT approach, I reflected on how scientists can realize their potential with Get Started in Health Innovation, a program tailored to the unique strengths and challenges of scientists as entrepreneurs. So let’s dive in:

Strengths: Ignite your passion for science and transform it into innovative solutions for healthcare. With our support and resources, you’ll overcome the hurdles of building a startup and emerge even stronger. Engage with our network of industry experts and explore the world of innovation through collaboration, mentorship, and exposure to cutting-edge research.

Opportunities: Sharpen your analytical skills for crafting sustainable business strategies and making data-driven decisions. Devise and execute your ideas and products with our support. Enjoy the freedom of creative exploration under the guidance of experienced mentors and master the art of risk assessment and management to propel your startup forward.

Weaknesses: Embark on the entrepreneurial journey with confidence, thanks to acquired knowledge in business initiation and mentorship. Learn to balance your attention to detail with the agility required in the startup world. Become an effective leader for your team. Discover the power of teamwork for success in your venture and refine your communication and presentation skills.

Threats: Find support in our community and among peers while dealing with the emotional challenges of entrepreneurship. Be open, learn from others, and adapt to new perspectives. An environment that encourages feedback acceptance and learning from successful entrepreneurs and mentors will provide the necessary progression.

Get Started In Health Innovation: Where scientists become entrepreneurs

Our Get Started in Health Innovation program addresses these challenges and transforms scientists into successful entrepreneurs. Here’s what you can expect from the program:

  1. Knowledge: The program offers a structured process and knowledge for shaping business opportunities and entering the market, as well as the knowledge and experience needed for research and development.
  2. Access to Funding: Participants receive expert support in preparing for funding, opportunities to pitch to investors and partners on demo day, and access to funding and support from the EIT Health community.
  3. Specialized Support: The program provides training for startups, specialized mentorship from healthcare entrepreneurs, scientists, and physicians, peer experience exchange, and access to laboratory resources.
  4. Networking: Participants can network with local and international partners in the startup healthcare ecosystem, healthcare industry companies, and the international EIT Health community, as well as gain access to multidisciplinary talents and potential team members.

Join us; you’ll be in good company! You can watch a video about last year’s program and participant impressions here.

If you are a healthcare professional, scientist, student, or an early-stage startup team looking to positively impact the healthcare industry, we invite you to apply for the Get Started in Health Innovation program. Together, we can turn your passion and expertise into tangible solutions that revolutionize healthcare.

If you want to learn more about the program and get answers to your questions, sign up for the Q&A session, which will take place online on April 6, 2023, at 11 a.m.

Apply now and join us on this exciting journey of innovation, success, and growth!

Filip Stipančić

Partner @ Lean Startup Croatia

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