The three most popular domains of early-stage healthcare innovations in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe
On the basis of their experience with participants of EIT Jumpstarter programme, experts running the programme are seeing trends in the types of healthtech business ideas that are most often developed by the youngest talents and start-ups from emerging European regions.
The EIT Jumpstarter programme
After an intensive Spring period with six business-planning bootcamps, the EIT Jumpstarter programme has reached its second phase, where the best teams from the healthcare, agri-food and raw materials sectors will receive further training and mentoring in order to validate their concepts, and receive knowledge on how to jumpstart their ventures. The programme has been developed by three collaborating organisations - EIT Food, EIT Health and EIT RawMaterials. In 2019, the EIT Jumpstarter programme was awarded and named as the Best European Association Training Initiative, thus it can be treated as the litmus paper of trends and tendencies among young innovators.
Based on the teams that have been selected, we can make some observations about the top healthtech ideas that are evolving in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.
- Digital solutions on the radar: Half of the teams selected are developing digital solutions designed to revolutionise the healthcare systems of Europe or improve the quality of life of its citizens. Solutions tackle real-time monitoring of hospital wards’ occupancy, improved efficiency of clinics – and better diagnosis of patients using Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example with automated heart ultrasound analysis.
- Biotechnology as a game-changer: Some 28 percent of the teams are working on biotech innovations, such as light-therapy-based treatment to cure lung cancer, or advanced therapy to cure multiple sclerosis. These innovations can take several years before reaching the market, as they need to pass clinical trials, but they can be real game-changers in the healthcare domain.
- Healthtech for innovative treatments: 22 percent of the teams are providing medical technology solutions addressing early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis, treatment of psoriasis, ambylopia (lazy eye) or innovative treatment for phobia.
Who participates and how are they selected?
Young innovators who participate in the EIT Jumpstarter programme combine their knowledge and expertise with a creative approach and the latest technologies – using AI, Big Data, smart devices and sensors in order to bring better health to the citizens of Europe. However, as these innovators are medical doctors, scientists and/or PhD students, they often lack the necessary and fundamental skills in business planning and pitching. EIT Jumpstarter offers them the necessary support to work on those crucial first steps towards bringing their innovations onto the market.
The workshop helped us a lot to create a solid structure for our presentations in the future, but the opinions we heard are way more valuable.
EIT Jumpstarter participant
Teams are selected to the programme based on the innovativeness of their ideas, with the help of EIT Jumpstarter trainers and mentors, they build their business models around their projects, validate the models with potential customers, obtain immediate feedback and receive continuous support throughout their journey. This year, EIT Jumpstarter has, so far, trained 90 teams from the healthcare, agri-food and raw materials sectors which were combined in two-days business planning bootcamps. According to a survey that was conducted after the training, 72 percent of groups has not received any previous business education, and so valued this opportunity.
Their EIT Jumpstarter journeys will continue in September, and after screening and selection, the best start-up teams will attend local trainings in nine locations across Central-Eastern and Southern Europe, where they will obtain support to validate their business concepts and prepare for their Final Pitches in November.
The Bootcamp has made me consider key aspects of the product and in turn make several 'reality checks' that are critical in increasing the likelihood of this idea becoming successful.
EIT Jumpstarter participants