Munich Startup: What motivated you to found a company?
Veronika Schweighart: My co-founders, Dragan and Sascha, and I met at the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) in Munich, where we worked together on various projects. All of us had already founded startups and, unfortunately, had also had negative experiences with inefficient medical treatment in our families, some of which led to serious consequences. This is what motivated us to fundamentally improve the healthcare system and put the main focus on patients. After intensive discussions with various physicians, we realized that tremendous potential lies in clinical studies, both in research and in the industry. From the very beginning, we had many leading German university hospitals involved directly in product development. Just one opportunity that this opened up for us was getting a fantastic and renowned physician on board with us from Charité in Berlin as our medical advisor, who continues to support us to this day.
“Build, Measure, Learn”
Munich Startup: What do you now wish you had known before founding your first company?
Veronika Schweighart: That the concepts that many successful founders refer back to, such as the much touted “Build, Measure, Learn” by Eric Ries, are something you should indeed implement.
Munich Startup: How have you funded your company so far?
Veronika Schweighart: In addition to various startup grants (EXIST, EIT Health), we have had several renowned business angels on board as investors from the start. With them, we completed our one million euro pre-seed round in 2019. In early 2022, we completed a seed round with the VC firm Nauta Capital that totaled five million euros.
Munich Startup: When and where do you have the best ideas?
Veronika Schweighart: When listening to podcasts, exercising and having inspiring conversations with people in my network.
Munich Startup: What are your three favorite work tools?
Veronika Schweighart: Google Keep (notes), Notion (wikis) and Hubspot (CRM).
Munich Startup: What is your top tip for pitching?
Veronika Schweighart: Make it your goal during each pitch for at least one message to stick with the people you’re pitching to. This allows you to make a lasting impression of yourself as a person or of your company.
“There is more capital in the market than ever before”
Munich Startup: Do you think now is a good time to start a company? Why?
Veronika Schweighart: Definitely! There is more capital in the market than ever before and entrepreneurship has never received such strong recognition in society. If you resolutely implement the early brainstorming process step by step, safeguard yourself from potential risks and the worst case scenario while remaining flexible, you don’t have much to lose. On the contrary: Even if everything goes wrong, you still will have learned something from it, will have gained interesting new insights and will take that experience with you to your next job.
Munich Startup: What technology or industry would you bank on when founding your next startup?
Veronika Schweighart: I would continue with digitization in the healthcare sector. There is still a huge amount of work to be done to improve people’s health and quality of life over the long term. In my opinion, it all depends on the effective combination of different technologies, such as AI, big data and blockchain.
Rents are too high in Munich
Munich Startup: What do you think could still use some improvement in Munich as a startup location?
Veronika Schweighart: Just off the top of my head, I would say the high rents. Unfortunately, they are an ever-growing impediment for attracting employees. The option of remote work might help alleviate this problem somewhat in the future, but many people still value being close to a physical workplace in order to have direct and personal contact with their colleagues.
Munich Startup: What founder would you like to meet in person some day? And what would you ask them?
Veronika Schweighart: I would like to meet up with the many successful founders in the CDTM network more often to talk about topics like marketing, sales, HR and leadership. It unfortunately happens far too rarely due to a lack of time, even though it always provides such powerful incentives.