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Barcelona, 29 May 2017.- After three completed editions and a fourth underway, the Moebio talent development and entrepreneurialism initiative, with its flagship program Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona), is world renowned. The program has been ranked among the best in the world on prestigious rankings like Tech.EU and Health Startup, which calls it “probably the best health-innovation accelerator in Europe.”

In fact, d·HEALTH Barcelona is one of just four European programs inspired by the Stanford University biodesign methodology, in which fellows experience a full innovation cycle from identifying a business idea to designing and prototyping a viable solution, then scouting for funding to create their own start-up. In the Barcelona master’s program, the ideas come from unmet medical needs the fellows identify during a two-month clinical immersion at the city’s main hospitals, including Hospital Clinic, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Institut Guttmann.

Each year, the fellows detect more than 1,000 needs on average. Of these, roughly 65% are potential business opportunities and 35% possibilities for the hospitals themselves to improve. “Keeping an open mind has helped us question everything. There’s always room for improvement, whether you’re an entrepreneur or work in a large company.” “During the clinical immersion, collaboration with hospital staff was very positive; they saw our research as a chance to improve,” explained Bas Kuilboer and Vanessa Gurie, fellows in the fourth edition of the program, which began in 2017.

d·HEALTH Barcelona complements the Stanford methodology with other innovative approaches focusing on validating business ideas from a customer-oriented standpoint (Lean Start-up) and disruptive training in creative business leadership (Kaos Pilot). The program also delves deeper into other key skills for entrepreneurship, such as design thinking, business management, teamwork and negotiation. These classes are given by more than seventy national and international experts from Silicon Valley, Boston, San Francisco and Barcelona.

In 2016, d·HEALTH became a founding member of EIT Health Innovation Fellowships, an initiative of three biodesign and health-entrepreneurship programs in Europe (along with the University of Galway in Ireland and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden) in order to promote mobility and exchange among fellows through joint activities.


Growing number of entrepreneurs in the ecosystem

The d·HEALTH Barcelona program not only aims to accelerate training for new entrepreneurs in the health arena but also wants to help build a stronger, more competitive ecosystem. Each year the program has an impact on 1,100 people, including healthcare and hospital staff, patients, mentors, faculty, research and technology centers and other key stakeholders in the sector.

Other strengths in the program’s success include creating start-ups and putting these highly qualified professionals in jobs in the sector: 97% of graduates start up their own project or find work just after finishing. In fact, over the past four years there have been 40 new entrepreneurs from the program accelerating new projects in the medical technology arena. The rest have found job opportunities in companies like NEOS Surgery, Mútua de Terrassa, Capital Cell, DKV Seguros, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, among others.

The most notable d·HEALTH success story is usMIMA, which has already launched a non-invasive medical device to combat chronic constipation (MOWOOT). Among other international awards and milestones achieved, the start-up has been selected under the European Horizon 2020 program from among 1,400 companies in 16 countries to receive €1.14 millions. “Having received funding from the European Commission is a great push for MOWOOT. We hope to enter several European markets in 2017 and North America in 2018,” highlights usMIMA CEO Markus Wilhelms.


Admissions process now open for future entrepreneurs

The application period for the fifth edition of d·HEALTH Barcelona, which will begin in January 2018, is now open. The program is geared towards young people with degrees in business, design, engineering or the life sciences who are interested in becoming an entrepreneur in the health sector. The admissions requirements are available online (

d·HEALTH Barcelona is an initiative of Biocat, the organization that coordinates and promotes the healthcare and life sciences sector in Catalonia. The program receives support from Banco Sabadell Foundation and collaboration from Mobile World Capital Barcelona and Danish school KaosPilot. Furthermore, d·HEALTH Barcelona is a member of the Innovation Fellowships program under the European EIT Health initiative, which promotes the fellows’ international mobility and exchanges with other programs.

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