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“Adapt to the New Normal” – A talk with H+ Digital Health Innovation Programme

Two de:hubs working for a common cause: With the H+ Digital Health Innovation Programme, Insurtech Hub Munich and dmac – Medical Valley Digital Health Application Center in Erlangen / Nuremberg want to help digital health startups successfully develop their businesses. What the program can do exactly is what we wanted to find out from Markus Walter, Communications Manager of ITHM.

Munich Startup: Please introduce yourselves.

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Markus Walter, ITHM: The H+ Digital Health Innovation Programme is a premiere: With Insurtech Hub Munich (ITHM) and dmac – Medical Valley Digital Health Application Center in Erlangen / Nuremberg, the teams of two large innovation hubs have come together to collaborate (both are de:hubs). During the approximately four months of the program, startups basically get the “best of Bavaria,” and we’re not just talking about pretzels and sausage…

No, seriously: H+ participants benefit both from the expertise and network of dmac in the healthcare sector and also from the experience of ITHM, which has already supported many entrepreneurs with their proofs of concept in the insurance industry. And it’s all equity free!

Strong startups as reliable partners for companies and investors

The structure of the program is based on the successful ITHM Innovation Program: On the one hand, we offer a challenging curriculum, mentoring and business development from the team and countless experts. On the other hand, we network the startups with decision makers in the insurance and healthcare industries and – quite importantly – with our network of investors. Our primary objective is “de-risking” to give everyone involved long-term prospects: After all, strong startups are also reliable partners for companies and investors.

In light of the current situation, the program is set up to offer participation that is fully digital. Whenever possible, there will also be on-site events in Munich and the Medical Valley region. We also offer founders office space at our home base, WERK1 near the East Station. Obviously COVID-19 involves restrictions and uncertainties – however, in the Insurtech Innovation Program that we just recently completed, we had to go fully remote right in the middle of the program in March, and it not only worked well, but ultimately made it easier for international stakeholders to participate.

Munich Startup: “To be successful, a startup needs to…”

Markus Walter, ITHM: … be extremely open-minded to new things and willing to question itself and its business model. That way it can react quickly and appropriately to current conditions or customer interests. The “new normal” that we all now need to adjust to has made agility and a willingness to pivot more important than ever before.

Munich Startup: Why would a good startup even need a partner to back them?

Markus Walter, ITHM: We are firm believers in founders’ personalities – the person behind the idea is more important than the idea itself. And as people, we are not only constantly learning, but also live on our contact with others, in other words: our network. As hubs, we open doors for startups that would have otherwise remained closed or that they simply didn’t know existed. Our mentors, partners and team provide food for thought, pass on knowledge and perhaps also bring up uncomfortable truths – and that makes us the ideal sparring partner for founders.

Munich Startup: What’s the biggest mistake a startup can make?

Markus Walter, ITHM: Anyone who thinks they’ve found the theory of everything and due to fear or arrogance fails to rigorously test it, get feedback, thoroughly explore the market or isn’t prepared to change their idea when necessary or get others on board with them will often fall flat on their face.

“Adapt to the new normal”

Munich Startup: The trend of the year is…!

Markus Walter, ITHM: “Adapt to the new normal.” And please don’t forget the trends from recent years – such as fighting climate change!

Munich Startup: Last but not least: Whom should startups contact if they would like to meet with you?

Markus Walter, ITHM: Anyone in our teams is happy to talk with founders (because we really take “learning from each other” and “sharing is caring” seriously). The most direct route for startups, however, is through Corine Ackermann, Startup Relations Lead at ITHM.