Our Purpose:
Support Medical Innovations

Why do we promote medical innovations?

Because we know that many interesting ideas are born in laboratories and in the day-to-day work of providing patient care that can improve diagnostics and therapy or help patients cope with health problems. At the same time, however, we are also aware that young people interested in starting up in the healthcare sector, who initially want to turn their ideas into products in small startups, find it particularly difficult in the medical sector.
Start-up projects in the life sciences (e.g. Medical Devices, Digital Health, Therapeutics, Diagnostics) are particularly complex, expensive and risky. This is particularly due to the “4Cs” – Commercialisation, Certification, Clinical Studies, Copyright. Medical products must be specially tested and the approval usually requires clinical studies. In addition, it is a long and expensive road before the costs for a new product are for example reimbursed by the health insurance companies. This why we support the motivated, courageous innovators, in overcoming these high obstacles and thus contribute to successful medical innovation.


How do we promote medical innovations?

Together with our subsidiary, Medical Innovation Incubator GmbH, we promote medical innovations in various dimensions. We support academically and economically active individuals and organizations by bringing their ideas and inventions to practical application through qualification, coaching, financing and founding support. For this purpose , we have initiated the necessary qualification programs, lecture series, partner networks, as well as a company builder platform including a financing program to promote new business ideas.


Our unique approach

Our unique concept helps to overcome the high hurdles for start-up projects in the life sciences. In recent years, we have systematically analyzed the differences between innovations in general and medical innovations in particular. The insights gained from this have been translated into the thematic focus areas of the 4Cs (Commercialization, Certification, Clincal Studies, Copyright) and have become the central starting point for all training activities. In this way, the foundation imparts a “Regulatory Thinking®” and thus develops a special but essential way of thinking in the minds of those interested in founding a company. In this way, the complexity to which innovations are exposed on their way into the healthcare market can be managed sustainably, efficiently and independently by the start-up projects. The concept of “Regulatory Thinking®” is the starting point of our actions and runs like a thread through all activities. The added value is also confirmed by the well-known partners who have contributed to the methodology and who now, in particular within the framework of the start-up qualification program 4C Accelerator (see below).

Below you will find an excerpt of our activity’s portfolio. If you would like to learn more about our daily work, please contact us by email.

Our qualification program for MedTech startups: The 4C Accelerator

In order to be able to support MedTech startups as efficiently as possible on their way from the initial idea to successful market entry, we have developed a highly specialized qualification program called “4C Accelerator” together with our subsidiary, the Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH. Accelerators are an established format in startup funding, that we interpret and implement in our own unique way and thus support startups from this complex industry in a targeted manner.

The 4C Accelerator takes place twice a year, is limited to eight participating startups per run and is divided into two parts: In the first part of the program, selected experts impart knowledge specifically relevant to MedTech sector in live sessions and put this into direct practical use with interactive and individual involvement of the participants. In the second part our startup coaches supports the startups in planning and implementing the work packages that result from the first part over a period of one year.

Further information on the 4C Accelerator can be found here.

We are particularly proud that this approach has not only convinced previous participants, but also our sponsors, the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Tourism of Baden-Württemberg, its Startup BW campaign and the B. Braun Foundation.

Our lecture series: How does the novelity enter medicine?

Funded by the non-profit Hertie Foundation, we have designed the panel series “How does the novelity enter into medicine?”, which will highlight the challenges for new ideas in the healthcare industry and discuss improving opportunities for those interested in starting a business. At the end, the most important ground rules for successful market access should have been worked out.

In the first three-hour event on Dec. 3, 2020, the challenges were discussed in keynote speeches by Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut MdL (Minister of Economics, Labor and Tourism of the State of Baden-Württemberg), Dr. Ingmar Hoerr (founder of CureVac AG) and Prof. Ralf Kindervater (Managing Director of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH).

After the presentations, the speakers Prof. Katja Schenke-Layland from the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen (NMI), Dr. Matthias Perleth from the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), Dr. Diedrich Bühler from the National Association of Health Insurance Funds (GKV-SV), Tobias Brode from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) and our foundation chairman Prof. Eberhart Zrenner then debated in a roundtable format.

After a very successful first event in December 2020 with more than 200 participants, the challenges of people interested in founding medical life sciences were discussed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Gottwald (startup founder & board member Ovesco Endoscopy AG), Prof. Thomas Bauernhansl (institute director Fraunhofer IPA as well as IFF of the University of Stuttgart) and Günther Steffen (fund manager at Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn as well as supervisor of biotech and medtec companies) in a second evening on February 4, 2021.

After the presentations, there was again an exciting debate in the proven round table format with Winfried Plötze (Managing Director Baden-Württemberg, BARMER), Prof. Stefan Laufer (Startup Founder, Head of Pharm./Med. Chemie, Tübingen Center for Academic Drug Discovery, Department of Pharmacy & Biochemistry, EKUT), Dr. Timo Schmelzpfenning (authorized signatory and Head of Research & Development, SPORLASTIC GmbH), Prof. Ralf Kindervater (Managing Director, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH) and our foundation chairman Prof. Eberhart Zrenner.