The European Health Catapult

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The European Health Catapult


The European Health Catapult is a training and competition platform, jointly organized by EIT Health ( and Health Axis Europe (, that includes several opportunities to present your company in front of experts and international investors.

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The Biotech Semifinal in Heidelberg

On October 4-6, BioRN, together with EIT Health, organized the Biotech Semifinal of the European Health Catapult. The Biotech semifinal consisted of two training days on October 4/5 at the Hotel Villa Toscana in Leimen|Heidelberg and one competition day on October 6 at the Studio Villa Bosch in Heidelberg.

13 innovative start-up teams from all over Europe (9 countries) were participating: Affichem, Elthera AG, EVEXyS, LifeTag, Lumobiotics, Microbrain Biotech, Nanoligent, NoMicro, Peptomyc, SpyBiotech, SUN Bioscience, Prelife, Vitroscan.

The aim of the training days was to mentor and prepare the start-up teams in the topics of e.g. Drug Development and Regulatory Affairs, Business Plan Development, Financing, Marketing and Market Access, Negotiation and Intellectual Property (IP). 9 Experienced coaches and mentors/experts of different expertise coming from the healthcare industry or investment sector were passionate to advise the startups in intense one on one sessions during the two training days. The spirit during the semifinal was very supportive. The vivid exchange with peers and mentors generated an atmosphere of entrepreneurial spirit and support.

In addition, the start-ups were intensively prepared for their 5-min pitch presentation in front of the jury on October 6th. A professional pitch trainer was working intensively with the entrepreneurs on their presentation skills and pitch decks.

During the competition day on October 6 at the Studio Villa Bosch in Heidelberg, the 13 start-ups presented their innovative technologies and businesses in enthusiastic 5-minute live pitches. Renowned jury members with healthcare and biotech technology backgrounds, selected the 7 best Biotech start-ups in the European Health Catapult competition that will enter the next stage, the final during the EIT Health Summit in London on 4-5 December.

Around 60 participants including healthcare professionals and investors from the Venture Capital, Crowdinvestment, Business Angels and Family Office were participating in the event. In one on one meetings interested investors, leading healthcare professionals could meet up with the startups to discuss potential collaboration, investment or partnerships.

The selected 7 Finalists are (alphabetical order):

  • Affichem: Development of Dendrogenins for the prevention/treatment of deafness.
  • Elthera AG: Development of an antibody against the cancer treatment target L1CAM
  • LifeTag: Diagnostic solutions to detect chronic metabolic diseases.
  • Lumobiotics: Photoswitchable anticancer & antimicrobial peptide drugs.
  • Peptomyc: Myc inhibitor protein with cell penetrating properties for cancer treatment
  • SpyBiotech: Bacterial superglue technology to generate vaccines more quickly
  • SUN Bioscience: organoid culture platform for personalized treatment (cystic fibrosis)

The 7 finalists have now the chance to win prizes of: First prize 20.000 Euro, Second prize 15.000 Euro and third prize 10.000 Euro in the Biotech Category.

But the other semifinalists that haven’t won a ticket for the final in London are not leaving with empty hands. As a partner of the EIT Health Accelerator, Amazon Web Services provides all winners of regional EHC selection events (= EHC semi-finalists) with $100,000 in AWS Promotional Credit for 1 year (or $10,000 for 2 years) to get and test the right infrastructure needed for scaling and growing any size business. More information can be found at at [Portfolio Plus]“. In addition, the alumni network of EIT Health will support all semi-finalists on their development path to success.

Another highlight of the event on October 6 was the keynote given by Sierk Poetting, the CFO of BioNTech, who was providing an overview of the Company´s strategy and its recent big successes. His advice to the young entrepreneurs was to believe in and be motivated by their science and technology, the rest will come along.

The European Health Catapult competition will run again in the next year and we are looking forward to meeting the next round of innovative pioneers. Please get in touch if you are interested to apply.

Regional Pre-Selection German/Swiss Startups

On 11 July 2017, EIT Health Germany together with BioRN organized the second edition of the SHIP – Ship for Health Innovation Pitches in Heidelberg. The aim of the event was to select the best healthcare start-ups in the categories “MedTech, BioTech and DigitalHealth” for the European Health Catapult competition. Around 80 participants from the healthcare, entrepreneurship and private equity field joined the event.

In enthusiastic 4-minute live pitches, 19 start-up teams were competing against each other in different categories:

  • BioTech: Ad-O-Lytics, Elthera AG, Lumobiotics, StimOS GmBH, SUN Bioscience
  • MedTech: FerroSens, IBR Ingenieurbüro Rehm, Mecuris GmbH, Reactive Robotics GmbH, Smaterials Technology GmbH, SpinDiag GmbH, UroQuant
  • DigitalHealth: Climedo, Corevas GmbH & Co. KG, LARALAB, pro4senses GmbH, Profession FIT BGF GmbH, Silicon Surfer, Viomedo.

Topics included for example cancer therapies, stem cell cultures for precision medicine, new diagnostic solutions, solutions in prosthetic and orthopedic care, pathogens, emergency communication, corporate and personal health management, a platform for clinical trials, just to name a few.

Selected the winners in the three categories. SUN Bioscience, a solution to move organoids from basic research to drug discovery, won the prize in the category “BioTech”. Mecuris GmbH, a digital and 3D print tailoring platform of prosthetics and orthotics, was the winning team in the category “MedTech”. Viomedo, a digital platform that harmonizes trial data and matches patients with the right trial, won the prize in the category “DigitalHealth”. The winning teams and runner-up teams will be invited to the international Semifinals (category-specific bootcamps) that will be held in Brussels (DigitalHealth), Barcelona (MedTech) and Heidelberg (BioTech). The 21 best start-ups from the international Bootcamp competition will be invited to the EIT Health Summit on 4-5 December 2017 in London.

Read press release here

The international Semifinals:

The teams will attend category specific training camps (semifinals) and will then, at the third and final day pitch their startup in front of an audience of international investors.

The dates for the pitch events are:

For digital health startups (semifinal 1):                 27 September in Brussels, Belgium

For biotech startups (semifinal 2):                           6 October in Heidelberg, Germany

For medtech startups (semifinal 3):                        11 October in Barcelona, Spain

Investors are invited to join the competition day at the final day of the semifinal. Please contact Birgit Rogell ( if you are an investor and interested to meet the startups. We organized a B2M meeting platform for the competition days of the 3 semifinals.

The Biotech Semifinal:

BioRN is looking forward to organize the Biotech Semifinal in Heidelberg from the 4th to the 6th of October. The semifinalists are:

Vitroscan; Affichem; Microbrain Biotech; SUN Bioscience; Elthera; Lifetag Diagnostics; NoMicro Technologies; Quantbio Ltd; EVEXyS; Peptomyc; Nanoligent; Spy Biotech