Health tech innovators pitch business ideas to expert panel at BIO-Europe Spring®

April 19, 2017 Kymberly Drake


The buzz steadily grew as the Health Tech Competition got underway on the last day of BIO-Europe Spring® March 22 in Barcelona. As delegates filed into the competition room, the energy was palpable.

What new trends would this preselected group of competitors bring to the global health tech stage? Which seed company would be awarded first prize for its innovation?

Moderator Xavier Olba of Biocat, the organization that coordinates and promotes the healthcare and life sciences sector in Catalonia,  introduced the expert panel of judges who would determine the final outcome:

  • Ignasi Costas, Partner, Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Head of International Relations, RCD
  • Jorge Juan Fernández, Head of Academics, Moebio
  • Frederic Llordachs, Co-Founder, Partner and Global Business Development Manager, Doctoralia Internet SL
  • Montserrat Vendrell, General Partner, Alta Life Sciences

People who know about the health tech industry most likely understand that the location of this competition made perfect sense. Barcelona is home to the Spanish Federation of Healthcare Technology Companies (FENIN), a multi-sector federation made up of manufacturing, import and distribution companies and  healthcare technology and product associations that supply the vast majority of Spanish healthcare institutions. The city is also home base for Moebio, a collaboration between Biocat, Stanford University, La Caixa and Barcelona Activa focused on developing health entrepreneurs in Barcelona.

In addition, Barcelona has been the scene for million-funding rounds in digital health companies such as Galgo Medical and ClinicPoint, in addition to interesting mergers and acquisitions operations such as the DocPlanner fusion with Catalan Doctoralia.

Worldwide, digital health companies earned revenues of USD 16 million during 2015 and 2016. This financial success has boosted the sector to 40 digital health companies, and 200 medical technology companies, of which 94 develop innovative medical devices.

Additional startup accelerators MWC, G4A, and Health U are fueling the international fire for innovation in eHealth, medical devices, wearables and other healthcare applied technologies.

Representatives and companies participating in the Health Tech Startup Competition included:

  1. Ray G. Butler, CEO/Software R&D Manager, Butler Scientifics -  Product5: AutoDiscovery is an intelligent automated exploratory data analysis software that helps unveiling complex relationships hidden in the data files of your scientific experiments and clinical studies.
  2. Laszlo Bax, Co-Founder and CEO, Braingaze - Braingaze, founded in 2013, develops next-generation Mind Tracking Solutions that predict and identify personal behavior for clinical and commercial applications.
  3. Miquel A Bru, Co-Founder, Made of Genes - One genome. Endless possibilities. The first marketplace of applications based on your genome. A new dimension in personalization.
  4. Francesc Martinez, Marketing Manager, Airmony By TBIOM - Airmony is an innovative medical device which helps you improve your sleep. It’s a portable and autonomous CPAP, which impulses air to provide assisted ventilation to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS).
  5. Dr. Markus Wilhelms, CEO, MOWOOT - The non-drug, non-invasive and no side effects solution for chronic constipation.
  6. Ignasi Heras, CEO, Transplant Biomedicals - Transplant Biomedicals is a European company based in Barcelona aimed at developing novel medical strategies to improve organ, tissue and cellular preservation to overall enhance patients’ wellness.
  7. ​​Xavier Raurich Fabregas, COO, MJN Neuroserveis ​​- We are a science research and engineering team developing high-technology innovative devices to predict epileptic seizures.
  8. Jordina Arcal, Co-Founder, HealthApp - HealthApp was founded to improve medical assistance and the patient recovery process. By developing gamified apps, HealthApp engages patients in therapy and connects with healthcare professionals. HealthApp provides real time data and analysis to adjust treatment, actions and decisions for better care.
  9. Xavier Guillem, CEO, Adan Medical Innovation - Digital Epinephrine Management: The concept was born from daily clinical interactions between physicians and patients, based on their discomfort with current management of epinephrine auto-injectors, and with a continued effort has become a reality.
  10. Josep M. Escuer/Nuria Noguera, Managing Director/R&D+i Director, Qrem - We offer the first lab-in-a-box device to perform a natural cure for osteoarthritis (OA) reducing 75% of the pain for more than 1 year.

“The HealthTech Startup Competition brought together life science executives and digital health and medical technology innovators from all over the world, with the majority of startup companies representing the BioRegion of Catalonia,” said Dr. Albert Barberà, CEO of Biocat. “This life science segment has the opportunity for tremendous growth. I am sure the participants in the competition were deeply impressed with the BIO-Europe Spring attendees and enjoyed accessing such an international conference and coming face-to-face with delegates from all over the world.”

Transplant Biomedicals, Mowoot and Braingaze won first, second and third, respectively, in the competition. Transplant Biomedicals won EUR 5,000, four hours of mentoring from Alta Life Sciences and 10 hours of legal advice from RCD.

The Health Tech Competition was sponsored by Biocat, Catalonia Trade and Investment, Alta Life Sciences, and Rousaud Costas Duran (RCD) SLP.

Click here for more blog coverage of the activities held during BIO-Europe Spring.


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