“We want to motivate the students: once you have developed an idea and have elaborated it, you might as well make it come true!”
– Interview with Laura Bücheler from “Ghost”
Ghost, one of the teams in the AtomLeap High-tech Accelerator, was among the speakers providing insights into healthcare innovation at this year’s MedInnovate Winter Symposium in Munich. The two founders, Isabella Hillmer and Laura Bücheler, are part of the MedInnovate Network. Furthermore, Isabella is writing her master’s thesis at Technical University Munich (TUM). Upon their return, Isabella and Laura answered a few questions regarding their participation in the event, and below are their answers.
What was the core message you wanted to transmit at MedInnovate?
Laura: With Ghost, we want to motivate students to make their projects into a reality even after finishing university. Many students stop innovating after university for financial reasons or reasons related to job security. They start working in big companies instead of sticking to their brilliant ideas. The graduate program at MedInnovate is a great opportunity for the students at the TUM to focus on a project for five months in order to identify unmet clinical needs and create innovative concepts to solve them. Isabella herself was part of the program two years ago. And even though Ghost is not a direct spin-off of her project, we are happy to set a good example that it is in fact possible to successfully bring your ideas to life. We want to encourage students to have no fear and to stick to their ideas and visions. We want to show that if you commit to your project, this is where you could find yourself one year later.
What was the main take-away for Ghost at MedInnovate?
Laura: A symposium, such as MedInnovate, is a good opportunity to meet people to exchange ideas, especially about funding. For us, as young founders, it was a perfect opportunity to network and come into contact with potential investors of whom we haven’t heard before. Since the funding mechanisms are not particular transparent in the healthcare industry, meeting people is key. At MedInnovate, there was a participant who introduced us to an interesting contact from EIT Health. Let’s see what happens. Overall, many interesting people participated at MedInnovate: it’s a big network that includes hospitals, medical technology companies, universities, and entrepreneurs. At the event, we learned a lot about robotic surgery and made good contacts that are willing to support us in testing our product and help us figure out how our technology can be best suited to their needs.
What was the most interesting person you’ve met?
Laura: We met a lot of interesting people, including Isabel Schellinger, who is one of the “Forbes 30 under 30”. It is motivating to meet young leaders, and she is definitely a great role model.
About the organizers
The MedInnovate Winter Symposium is a venue that promotes healthcare innovation. It took place on January 25th at the Nickl academy in Munich and it marks the end of the MedInnovate Graduate Program. This edition of the symposium was sponsored by the Konica Minolta Laboratory Europe. The symposium takes place twice a year to showcase innovative solutions in healthcare based on needs-driven innovation cycles, and is supported by Konica Minolta and the Nickl Academy.
The MedInnovate Graduate Program is a five-month course offered by MedInnovate, and hosted by TUM as a collaboration between the Chair for Computer-Aided Medical Procedures and the Chair for Industrial Design. The MedInnovate Graduate Program is a public non-profit organization supported by TUM and UnternehmerTUM that aims to establish a European hub for medical innovation and entrepreneurship in medical technology. Through fellowship programs and strong support, the overall goal is to develop the future leaders in healthcare innovation.