This year’s EIT Health Catapult competition crowned Ebenbuild, Leuko and SolasCure as champions at the EIT Health Summit. The Catapult competition looks to boost the development of European health start-ups by exposing them to world-class experts and investors.
Now in its seventh year, the Catapult competition has already supported 231 start-ups with over 400 actively involved investors and 2500 healthcare professionals committed to the programme’s success. Catapult is part of the vast portfolio of programmes EIT Health runs to raise a new generation of companies into a position where they can deliver solutions that can improve the lives of patients and citizens in Europe.
The competition brings new levels of exposure and opportunity for contenders, with two winners from the 2020 competition recently celebrating major acquisitions. In 2021, runner-up in the biotech category, PhagoMed, was acquired by BioNTech and the third-place finalist in digital health, Patchai, was acquired by US-based Alira Health.
Representing the best in European healthcare innovation across biotech, medtech and digital health, nine finalists competed on stage during the final in hopes of securing our funding while the runners-up pitched their business concepts in front of an audience of experts and investors.
From the medtech bracket, Spanish start-up Leuko came out on top. Chief Data Scientist and Co-Founder, Aurélien Bourquard, outlined Leuko’s ground-breaking technology, “PointCheck”. As the world’s very first device that can monitor white blood cells daily from home and without a single drop of blood, Leuko strives to empower patients and improve lives by providing them with immediate access to non-invasive blood testing.
With its pioneering vision to use AI software to generate unprecedented data of patients’ lungs and provide tailored therapy to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), German start-up Ebenbuild won the digital health category with a pitch by CEO, Kei Müller.
In the biotech pool, English start-up SolasCure’s innovative solution to treating chronic wounds caught the judges’ attention, earning it the coveted first place title. Chief of Staff, Celia Harrison, explained how the company’s hydrogel, “Aurase”, promises to revolutionise wound care by harnessing the advantages of maggot therapy, without the disadvantages.
Luminate Medical was chosen as the winner of the ‘Alex Casta Audience Award’, an audience-selected accolade. Using a portable technology called “Lily”, the Irish medtech start-up looks to prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss. As part of the award, Luminate Medical will have its logo displayed on the Nasdaq Tower in New York’s Times Square.
Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation, EIT Health, commented: “This year’s Catapult competition celebrated the incredible innovations of some of Europe’s most cutting-edge start-ups and we are extremely proud to recognise a cohort of nine distinguished finalists. The robust business concepts, creativity, and tenacity of these start-ups gives us hope that the future of healthcare innovation in Europe is indeed bright. After their impressive pitches at 2022 finals in Stockholm – the first time this has been held in person since 2019 finals in Paris – the EIT Health community looks forward to championing these start-ups as they continue to revolutionise our healthcare systems.”
The EIT Health Summit, where the Catapult finalists competed, took place at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, on May 24th and 25th. The event explored how we can build a framework for transformation, bringing together world-class experts to discuss the most critical topics within European healthcare.
The pandemic highlighted the need for innovative thinking and new ways of working, both in terms of the immediate challenges presented by COVID-19, and to ensure the future sustainability and resilience of healthcare services. The Summit delivered a rich and diverse programme of talks, creating a vision designed to drive real change.