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Paulo Rodrigues
Paulo Rodrigues

Co-founder and CEO of Mint Labs

Paulo holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, where he researched new technologies for cross-sectional brain imaging. In Barcelona, he became an associate researcher at the University of Barcelona, specializing in neuroimaging techniques. Then, he co-founded Mint Labs as CEO/CTO and has worked in this field over 10 years. He was named one of the Spanish Innovators under 35 by the MIT Technology Review in 2014.

Paulo Rodrigues: “We stood up for a bigger presence in the United States; investors in Europe are more reticent to big ideas”

23.02.2017

“It’s like Google Maps for the brain.” This is how Paulo Rodrigues defines his own start-up Mint Labs. This young entrepreneur created cloud-based analysis software that converts neuroimaging into 3D maps of the brain that can be manipulated in real time. The platform, called CloundN, processes these cerebral images captured using various magnetic resonance techniques and helps specialists provide better diagnosis and treatment for patients with brain diseases

Mint Labs, with offices in Barcelona and Boston, was a finalist for the 2015 EmprenedorXXI Awards and was selected as one of the four start-ups to participate in the first edition of Grants4Apps Coworking Barcelona by Bayer. This program gave entrepreneurs access to personalized mentoring and coaching sessions.

 

Why did you want to be an entrepreneur?

I have always been in between academia and industry, but never quite fitting in either place. While doing the PhD, we were building great algorithms to map and visualize the brain, but these were not getting to users and doctors fast enough. The idea came then, and together with Vesna Prchkovska, my co-founder, who had the same frustrations, we created Mint Labs with the goal of accelerating research.

 

What is the most important strategic decision you’ve made so far? 

I would say it was to have a bigger presence in the US. Although what we do is innovative and has great potential, investors in Catalonia (and Europe) are more reticent to big ideas. Things have been slow in that respect around here, but in the US there's a different mindset, and yes, also a bigger pool of investors.

 

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

I think the best mindset is to keep on pushing (but not be inflexible).

 

And now what? What milestones do you want to achieve in the short term? 

The short-term goal is to get more key research centers using our platform. With it we expect to grow our database from 200,000 brain scans to 1 million in less than one year.