Given the large pool of projects supported by the HealthtechTAB, our teams possess diverse scientific backgrounds and areas of expertise, in addition to working in different environments. Together, they form a very diverse and complementary group.
Their experience in the scope of the HealthtechTAB and their personal opinion is documented below. Please check-out their testimonies to see the support we offer and how we can help you boost your project too.
Maria de la Fuente FreireSpain
I have been enrolled in the HealthTechTAB (former NanomedTAB) since 2017, when I first submitted an application presenting an early-stage development and an idea of translating it into a medical product. Since the very first meeting, I had the opportunity to interact with mentors that have been very receptive, as well as challenging.
During all this time, we have had three meetings and several additional contacts. After each meeting, the TAB has sent a compiled report with a deep analysis of the stage of the project and several recommendations.
So far, I can ensure you that the TAB has been really committed to the project. All advices have been really useful. Indeed, we are now on the process of establishing a spin-out company, and I am sure the journey could have been very different if I had decided to make the journey by myself.
I strongly recommend applying for the HealthTechTAB before endeavouring an entrepreneurship project.
We got to know the HeathtechTAB at a congress in Porto, the “Discoveries Forum”, where we participated in their Startup Competition. We finished in 2nd place and were invited to apply to the TAB.
The feedback we received from the mentors was excellent and extremely helpful, and we could feel the mentors were very engaged in helping. The sessions start (and end) on time, and the communication was fluid. The quality of mentors was also very high.
On a business sense, we closed a pilot with a major European hospital for validating our technology in hundreds of patients. We also started working with a leading biotech company in the UK. We won multiple recognitions and awards, as the Altice International Innovation Award, the European Institute of Technology Jumpstarter, The Born from Knowledge Award, among others. As have also been selected and one of the 50 Game Changers in the UK, and two of our co-founders were announced as Forbers 30 Under 30 for 2020, in the Science and Healthcare category.
The insights of the experts helped guide the company in the early stages of business and science roadmap, and some of the proposed experiments helped further validate the technology.
I believe the TAB is a great tool to healthcare startups discover strengths and weaknesses, and also to help them navigate and decide on key inflexion points in their journeys. I would recommend highly to all teams!
Our suggestion: Don’t try to hide your weaknesses from the mentors – rather do the opposite. Expose them, show them to the mentors, so they can help you overcome and turn risks into opportunities.
We came in contact with the HealthtechTAB (TAB) by applying to their first initiative for the acceleration of nanobiomedicine projects, in 2015.
Our first TAB-in session was organized in the framework of the ETPNanomedicine Annual Event (Dublin, October 2015). There we had the opportunity to present our project to selected high-level experts in Pharma Development and Business. After this meeting, we received a written report with very valuable feedback and recommendations. Additionally, since our project got qualified for the in-depth support of the TAB, we had the chance of establishing periodical follow-up meetings to help us with taking the innovation forward in an efficient manner.
We would say that the TAB initiative was the catalyst to definitely realize that we had a project that was worth to valorize and, thus, move ahead in this direction.
After integrating the TAB, we got a 1M USD valorization grant which allowed us to significantly advance our project towards an effective exploitation under the framework of a biotech company, Libera Bio, which is currently in process of being incorporated.
The advice we got from the TAB was for us of extremely high value. We believe this initiative is an essential instrument for helping academics and SMEs with a clear translational vocation.
We highly encourage new teams to make the exercise of presenting their projects to the TAB as a very valuable and inexpensive tool to receive feedback from high-level experts and validate the potential of their ideas for translation.
Su M MetcalfeUnited Kingdom
As CEO of LIFNanoRx, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge UK, one day I had the good fortune of being introduced to Eric Mayes, CEO Endomag also based in Cambridge.
Eric introduced me to ENATRANS and the TAB – leading to our TAB-in session with mentors Prof Dr. Pauline Iden and Florian Kemmerich. That was in Basle 2016. The experience was unique – immediately interactive and highly constructive: the rapid understanding of LIFNanoRx’s science and business case created value beyond all expectations.
To be honest, I hadn’t known what to expect. But Eric’s introduction started a journey none of us had anticipated. The powerful combination of Pauline Iden, senior Vice President BASF and global leader in polymer chemistry – plus Florian Kemmerich, expert in regenerative medicine, growth factors, stem cells, and biologics, was amazing. Imagine – 2 hours one-to-one totally focussed on your project and building its future. That was the unique bit.
Life after TAB 2016? Not only has LIFNanoRx grown, funded by UK government grants for our synthetic “nano” stem cells – but we have also gained Florian Kemmerich as Chairman. No one had expected that! But certainly, there can be no greater testimony to the TAB.
In 2019 I was elected to the Board of ETPN as Vice Chairman Nanomedicine – an opportunity to put something back whilst also gaining new colleagues across Europe: a great privilege.
For new ventures – what more can I say. Stepping further out as a venture – into the TAB – will most probably be the greatest step you will ever make. It was for me.
I came in contact with the HealthtechTAB via an information on Nanomedicine from the ETPN (European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine) and applied in 2015.
The TAB-in sessions were very useful: first, the preparation of the presentation to be given in front of the experts was very useful for me/us to clarify our ideas and the messages we wanted to give; then, the feedback we had from the experts with precise comments and questions was very helpful to work on our project and attempt to find solutions to these questions. By doing so, we clarified our path to the clinical translation of our innovative bioactive medical device.
Since the TAB, I obtained a second ERC Proof-of-Concept project (REGERBONE) on the same topic (bone regeneration using a bioactive medical device). Besides the technical advances, we also pursued all aspects of the pre-clinical translation including the competitor analysis and the market applications. In this field of application (bioactive medical devices), we know that we still have years of development but the path and remaining steps are now much clearer.
The support given by the TAB was highly valuable. We even kept contact with one of the experts, who regularly gave his advice to advance our project.
The TAB is a useful tool to challenge your project and ideas and to get insightful comments and suggestions. Sometimes, it is not easy to change your mind and strategy when you had an initial idea, but it is worth doing it.
I advise anyone interested in developing a new project to be open to opinions by experts of your field but, at the same time, since you will get several different opinions, at some point you/your team will need to choose the way you feel is the best for your project. It is only you who can make this choice, since you are the one who is making your project alive and know it at best. Digest all the external advices and then listen to your inner voice.