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The six selected projects from the 5th edition of the Biocat CRAASH Barcelona acceleration program have enjoyed Barcelona Week, a three-day event in which experts discussed key issues that will allow them to successfully bring their solution to market. These included important issues such as patient involvement in the creation of a new medical device, obtaining public funding for healthcare projects and startups, the role of insurance companies as buyers of healthcare solutions, fundraising, social impact investment, evaluating technologies to enter the healthcare system, project management and discovering the real needs of their buyers through interviews.

During her speech, Annabel De Maria, vice-president of patient engagement at Alira Health, explained that startups must include the patient voice from the beginning. "Patients can help you understand what their real journey is. That's how you can use their knowledge to meet their needs and challenges," she said. 



Elena Torrente, deputy director of digital health development at DKV, spoke about technology adoption in the private sector. "In the private sector, technology adoption is done through insurers, private hospitals, product provider companies or companies from other sectors.” And she added, "insurers are betting on interoperability so that technology adoption can benefit the patient.”

Another speaker was Daniel Oliver, CEO of Capital Cell, who talked about how startups can raise capital. "A startup should always start looking for a lead investor because it is very difficult to negotiate an investment in parallel with many people and because no one wants to be the first to take a risk," he said.

Other speakers included Laura Sampietro, deputy director of Innovation and head of innovation assessment at Hospital Clínic, Marc Perpiñán, funding analyst at UpBizor, Laia Pascual, investment associate at Ship2B Ventures, Iolanda Marchueta, project leader at Almirall and AstraZeneca, and Jordina Arcal, co-founder of Kin and HealthApp.


Laura Sampietro and Laia Pascual during their intervention at the Barcelona Week of CRAASH Barcelona.

In addition, the teams also received training during Barcelona Week focused on Pitch Training by Katharine D'Amico, communication strategy and pitch deck management at ESADE Business School and CEO of Swala Investments, and the weekly team session with CIMIT and the program's mentors.

Next steps to go to market

Participants are learning how to improve their pitches to investors and are making connections with other European startups through a collaboration with the German accelerator MedTech Bootcamp. The same accelerator provided CRAASH Barcelona teams with training in risk management, reimbursement procedures for digital therapeutics in Germany, user experience (UX) and brand design.

Moreover, Dutch university TU Delft will offer a workshop in November that will give the teams the chance to develop the patient journey for their projects.

During the third phase in December, the selected teams will do a virtual immersion in Boston to discover one of the world’s strongest life sciences and healthcare ecosystems.

This edition of CRAASH Barcelona is geared towards startups and projects that are developing medical devices, digital health and diagnostics with a technological readiness level (TRL) of 3-5, with teams made up of research personnel and entrepreneurs living in or with ties to the BioRegion of Catalonia. 

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