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European Health Catapult aims to shape the future of healthcare in Europe by boosting the development of top-notch European health start-ups. The best in three categories - digital health, medtech and biotech - are competing to become the best in Europe in their respective fields. But why are we so excited about it? Keep on reading to know more about our journey as finalists at the Health Catapult competition!
For us, the journey started in April when we submitted our application for the Health Catapult competition. The application process was not too complicated but we definitely recommend preparing exstensively for it as the quality of the applications must be very high considering the quality of the teams we met throughout the journey. A short waiting game was expected after submitting the application. We were notified that the highest ranked during the evaluation would be invited to participate in a face-to-face pitch competition taking place in Stockholm in May.
Then we got the big news - we were selected for the regional semi-finals which was already a huge win for us. I thoroughly prepared for the pitching event in Stockholm and personally thought that it must have been the best pitch I had ever given. The jury members even took notice! Triumf Health and Alex Therapeutics were the winners who proceeded to the EU-wide semi-finals. Both startups are in the field of behavioral therapeutics and it is absolutely awesome that this field is so highly valued (and that's exactly how it should be!).
The quality of the events has been wonderful throughout the journey from the Scandinavian semifinals to training sessions to the semi-finals that took place in London at the beginning of October 2019. In order to properly prepare for the semi-finals, we had a pitch training session in Stockholm that was highly beneficial for us and hopefully for all other participating teams as well. I significantly improved our pitch script and our pitch deck and gained a lot of knowledge on public speaking in general. I felt that I was ready for the EU-wide semi-finals.
I was well prepared until I got to London and started receiving intensive feedback from very high quality mentors. Then I realized that I was not ready at all! I pretty much changed more than half of the pitch based on the feedback from the mentors. They very strongly pointed out that the pitch that was going to be delivered to the jury members needed to be an investor pitch and that the focus needed to be on the business case. I had very long evenings of rehearsing and improving the pitch until it was time to present it in front of a jury that consisted mainly of venture capitalists. I felt like I did great with the pitch and I was able to respond to the remaining questions that the jury members had. But was it enough? The quality of the teams was so incredibly high this year and most teams had progressed way further than us but I still had high hopes. Finally, all the hard work paid off - we got to the finals.
We are honored to be in the finals together with very strong teams from all across the continent. We are among the top 7 digital health startups in Europe, how wonderful is that? It would have been great to see more women in the finals but I will do my very best to represent female founders in the digital health field!
Wish us luck in Paris!
But that's not all! We were part of another programme (organized by Startup Lighthouse) in parallel and while I was in London, Kaari accepted yet another award in Madrid. Read from her blog post about how it felt for her to receive the award for the top 20 startup in Europe across all industries!