E-Lab Digital Health Entrepreneurs: Discovering Entrepreneurship in the Medical Field
It is urgent to create digital solutions that address the needs of older people. 20% of the European population is over 65, and this number will only increase in the coming years. The E-Lab summer school, “Digital Health Entrepreneurs”, is dedicated to looking at entrepreneurial, technological solutions for the elderly. It is a program for students of the doctoral master’s program at the University of Aachen and funded by the European consortium EIT Health. The students worked together on different projects and we had the pleasure of welcoming a dozen of them for two days to discover Cap Digital and the most innovative places and start-ups in Paris.
Day 1: From Station F to Agoranov: incubators give the stage to the Parisian and world tech scene
After having hosted the students in the premises of Cap Digital, with a zero-waste lunch, the team took off to Station F, the largest start-up campus in the world.
Station F hosts 1000 start-ups within thirty incubation programs in a total of 34,000m2. The visit was led by Eartha Madiba Din, who runs the iPEPS (which stands for “l’Incubateur et Pépinière d’Entreprises Paris-Salpêtrière”), the incubator of the Brain and Spine Institute. This is the first innovation accelerator dedicated to brain diseases in France, and has supported about thirty start-ups since its creation in 2012.
After a short coffee break at La Felicità, it was at Agoranov that the students continued their journey. It is one of the oldest French public incubators created 19 years ago and has accompanied the first steps of some French Unicorns like Doctolib, the leader of online medical appointments and member of Cap Digital.
The students attended a presentation of the incubator as well as the pitches of 3 incubated start-ups: Ganymed Robotics, which develops robotic assistants for operating theatres, Naox, EEG earphone to measure the level of attention of the wearer, and Vittascience, which develops innovative kits to promote scientific educational projects.
Day 2: La Paillasse, Kap Code & Wandercraft: immersion in the healthtech nation
The second day took place at La Paillasse, an interdisciplinary research laboratory, open to the public.
After a tour of the building, the students were able to attend the presentation of three innovative projects hosted and accompanied by La Paillasse:
Echopen, an open source stethoscope project, Meiso, a sensory isolation flotation centre and I Wheel Share, a chatbot to facilitate the movement of people with disabilities.
The morning ended with a presentation of the new profession of bio-printing by Mathilde Maillard, PhD student at INSA.
After lunch, the students visited the premises of two French healthtech gems and members of Cap Digital: Kap Code and Wandercraft.
At Kap Code, Adel Mebarki, Deputy General Manager, presented their social network analysis tools to study patient feedback on drugs as well as Connectin’H, the first connected case for treating asthma.
At Wandercraft, Jean-Louis Constanza, co-founder, looked back at the history of the company and presented examples of their exoskeletons, intended to allow those who can no longer walk, to walk again.
At the end of the two intense days, the students were able to have a complete and concrete panorama of successful entrepreneurial experiences in health, something to give them a leg up to starting their own businesses.