Aortyx, a start-up created through a collaboration between IQS and Hospital Clinic Barcelona, is developing a medical device for non-invasive treatment of the most deadly aorta diseases: aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm.
Jordi Martorell: I decided to go into research so I could contribute new solutions for patients with vascular conditions. (Almost) the only way for this research to become a real solution is to become an entrepreneur and do it yourself. If you want to make your dreams come true, they have to stop being dreams and you have to give it everything you’ve got.
Noemí Balà: Since I was very little, I knew I wanted to do something that would help me find solutions for people with diseases. Research is key to this process, but it is a slow path and often very complicated in terms of funding. Even though entrepreneurship isn’t easy, it is a more personal challenge. You have to put in a lot of hard work, but it’s also very gratifying.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you need lots of other companies who bring you the goods or services that you don’t have access to initially. There’s a cloud of suppliers of these goods and services in our ecosystem, and sometimes it isn’t easy to differentiate between the ones that can help and the ones that can’t. For most of the things we’ve needed, we’ve given the same project (manufacturing a prototype, for example) to two companies and compared the results. Although ‘experimenting’ has been expensive, it has allowed us to choose the suppliers we now trust and move forward more confidently.
Triple whatever you think something will cost. In Catalonia, we tend to underestimate what things cost and try to do them with the bare minimum. If I’ve learned anything from the American entrepreneurial ecosystem, it’s that it’s very expensive to move things forward. If you run out of money because you settled for a round of funding that was too small, you’ll die along the way.
Our next milestone is to reach design freeze on our first product. We’re nearly there!