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"I firmly believe that great ideas and eureka moments arise from everyday hard work"

Foto Markus Wilhelms

Markus Wilhelms


CEO of usMIMA and PhD in Microbiology and Biotechnology, Markus was one of the first edition fellows of d·HEALTH Barcelona, the biodesign postgraduate program of Moebio (an initiative of Biocat). He is originally from Germany but he have been living and working across Europe, U.S.A. and South America.

usMIMA, BioEmprenedorXXI Prize winner, is an healthcare start-up born out of the Moebio d·HEALT Barcelona program. They have developed a medical device that automates the abdominal massage to address chronic constipation. The result is a non-pharmacological, non-invasive and no-side-effect solution that will improve the quality of life for many patients. 

Why did you want to be an entrepreneur? 

To be honest, after the budget cuts in university research here in Spain I thought: well, if I earn almost no money with a job that I don´t like 100%, why not becoming an start-up entrepreneur and earn almost no money with something I really care about and believe in?. It was the push out of my comfort zone that I needed! 

What was the most important strategic decision you made so far? 

We are an early stage start-up, so I think the most important and difficult decision so far was to decide to “go all in”: working fulltime on the project without getting paid for over a year and then putting all the money you have left into the development of our first prototype. 

What is the best advice you've been given? 

Pablo Picasso once told "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.". I firmly believe that great ideas and eureka moments arise from everyday hard work. 

And now what? What goals have you set to achieve in the short term? 

For usMIMA the next important step is the obtaining the CE certification for our device and begin the sales. On a more personal level I am always trying to optimize my time management and have the mid-term goal of a healthier work-life balance to prevent burning out after the 24/7 startup phase.

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