Ten startups participated in the first edition of Rockstart’s Digital Health accelerator programme in Nijmegen, developing their products over a period of six months. Last Thursday they pitched during a demo day.
Rockstart Digital Health
The 2015 edition of Rockstart Digital Health marks the first ever digital health accelerator programme in The Netherlands. After announcing the programme in May 2015, over 200 startups applied and the ten most promising startups were selected to participate. They started their accelerator programme at the Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen in July 2015.
Last Thursday, March 10, was the demo day. Ten startups pitched in front of an audience to attract additional funding. Combined they are looking for 3.9 million euro.
The ten startups
A look at the ten pitching startups that day:
Bruxlab was founded by dentist Michiel Alessie.
8 percent of all people suffers from nocturnal teeth grinding (also called bruxism). Over time, this causes severe damage to the teeth, resulting in thousands of euros of dental work to be done. Bruxism is also a possible indicator for sleep apnea, a potentially deadly disorder. Bruxlab developed an app called ‘DoIGrind’, which makes it possible to diagnose bruxism within minutes.
Bruxlab has two patents pending in the EU and the USA and is now looking for an additional 700.000 euro to go to market and further develop their product.
Cognilab wants to change the way scientists do psychological experiments, by providing them with a SaaS solution to collect data much faster than before. Eventually this should increase our knowledge of the human brain. Cognilab HAD one serious competitor, US-based startup Social Sci. Founder Jose Barrios enthusiastically told how Cognilab took over their main competitor’s biggest client, resulting in Social Sci pulling the plug.
Cognilab is looking for 900.000 euro, of which 100.000 euro was already committed just before demo day. With the money they want to develop digital therapeutics.
Dinst wants to take care of the problem of overworked informal caregivers in The Netherlands. They do this by providing patients with a database of selected and screened gardeners, therapists, hairdressers, and many more professionals.
Up until now Dinst created one thousand matches between professionals and patients. Dinst is looking for 350.000 euro, which will be used to further grow in The Netherlands and in Europe.
Fuelling developed an app for companies that encourages employees to exercise. With gamification tricks like rewards, engagement of employees should be much higher compared to traditional company sporting programmes. Since the start, Fuelling partnered up with 380 companies and developed iOS and Android apps. They are now looking for 200.000 euro.
The European Union has over 80 million runners, a number which is increasing. The number of running injuries is also increasing, with fifty percent of runners suffering injuries every year. Fysio24 states that most runners suffer from reoccurring injuries, so they don’t go to a physiotherapist, but search online for help. For these people, Fysio24 developed an app which provides runners with information, exercises and instructions made by professionals. One of the founders, Janno Barlage, is a physiotherapist himself, so let’s hope he knows when an injury is too serious to treat with self-help. Fysio24 is looking for 500.000 euro for product development and worldwide expansion.
Med Angel developed a device that monitors the temperature of medicines and sends an alert to the patient’s phone when it gets critical. By doing this, Med Angel wants to ease the life of patients suffering from diabetes, inflammatory joints and other chronic conditions.
Just before demo day, Med Angel introduced the Med Angel Pro, a device for GPS. Now they are looking for 500.000 euro to be able to expand to Europe and the USA.
MOUNT’s all-female quartet of founders states that of all information that people get from doctors, 80 percent is instantly forgotten and 20 percent is remembered incorrectly. This results in recurring visits and misunderstanding. Using the decision aid developed by MOUNT, interaction between patients and doctors should improve.
MOUNT partnered with the Amsterdam Medical Centre and the Radboud University Nijmegen. They are now looking for an additional 150.000 euro, of which 50.000 is already accounted for.
Picto Connection developed a cloud-based tool that enables people with speaking disorders to communicate with pictures. Depending on the abilities of the patient, this communication can be either very basic or extremely complex. It’s like a point-it book, but much more advanced.
Picto Connection already partnered up with institutions in The Netherlands and Spain and is now looking for 200.000 euro to be able to expand to the rest of Europe and to Latin America.
Teamscope enables doctors in rural areas to collect medical data and to collaborate with their colleagues. Yes, it’s a social network for doctors, but it also works offline and is much cheaper than existing solutions. Teamscope partnered up with universities in the USA and in Chile and now has fifty paying users. They are looking for 150.000 euro to facilitate further growth.
More than 47 million people in the world are suffering from dementia. Tinybots developed social robot Tessa to help people with dementia regain control over their own lives. Tessa speaks, picks up the phone, suggest activities and plays music.
Tinybots brought a pretty creepy prototype of Tessa to the stage, which had the appearance of a Halloween pumpkin with glowing orange eyes, dressed up in a burlap outfit. Tessa will be available in others designs as well.
Tinybots is looking for 250.000 euro to further develop this robot.
A patient with a problem. That’s how a majority of the pitches started. Of course the pitching startup offered the solution for the problem, be it the ability to speak, or the diagnoses of bruxism. Solutions that are very much needed and will hopefully result in a working, marketable product.
Med Angel’s pitch started exactly like this, but with a twist. The main difference of Med Angel is that its founder is the one with the problem here. He suffers from Type-I diabetes and found a solution to his problem of storing insulin at the right temperature at all times. Having the one who needs the product pitching right there on stage made the talk very effective.
Rockstart secured funding for a least another two editions. Interested startups can apply for the 2016 edition in April. Rockstart is also running its Amsterdam-based Smart Energy and Web & Mobile accelerator programmes this year.
Photo credit: Tinybots