Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Matthias Berger, Azuma: At Azuma, we believe we all deserve sustainable healthcare. One building block for this is that digital health focuses on its core competencies— the best diagnoses, the best therapies, the best medical processes. To achieve this goal, we develop ‘sustainable tech for digital health’: We offer and operate cloud modules and cloud functionalities that are explicitly adapted to the requirements of the digital health ecosystem. Specifically, our first product ‘Azuma Doa’ solves the following problems:
- We simplify access to digital health solutions for all users.
- We enable digital health providers to focus on medical problems. At the same time, we reduce the costs of developing and operating their solutions.
- In many cases, we increase the security of the solutions through current technologies and concepts.
Azuma: Impact for the healthcare industry
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Matthias Berger: Yes, there are providers who develop generic cloud modules and functionality. But especially in healthcare, the context is very complex. Thus, it makes a lot of sense to make specific adjustments that we have not yet seen on the market. With our first product ‘Azuma Doa’, users can take their created account with them. This allows a doctor to access all applications via a central login. In addition, we map the complex access rights of hospitals and medical practices. This facilitates the development of digital health solutions.
We also explicitly aim to make it easier to link all participants. In addition to patients and practitioners, an ideal ecosystem also connects research, development and the providers of drugs and therapies—and their services.
Munich Startup: What’s your founding story?
Matthias Berger: Our founding story is a team story. We have already worked together in different constellations at our previous employer on the implementation of digital innovations and cloud platform and software. Everyone has at some time been boss of the other. We wanted to contribute our experience to another industry with more personal responsibility and more impact. It was also through the impression of the pandemic that we came across the health sector. The concrete ideas were created through a joint ideation process and prototype development. What unites us is that we have a very similar idea of what drives us: We simply want to develop good software and thus change—and improve—entrenched structures!
Biggest challenge: the right sales strategy
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Matthias Berger: The biggest challenge right now is finding the right sales strategy. Our expertise lies in how to develop state-of-the-art software. We are currently learning how to sell it in the complex B2B environment in the healthcare sector. Especially in this sector, there is a reservation about the cloud, which in our view is unfounded. This mindset is difficult to break. Also because many people lack the technical know-how and understanding of the technologies. What we do therefore takes a lot of explaining. Finding the right path has kept us busy so far and will continue to do so.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Matthias Berger: Our aim is to have established our first product ‘Azuma Doa’ as part of the digital health ecosystem in Germany in one year. In concrete terms, this means having the first satisfied customers and users on the product. In five years, ideally, we will be an integral element and have helped to bring together the patchwork of digital health into a sustainably functioning ecosystem.
Fun, motivation and perseverance
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Matthias Berger: Even before we founded our own startup, we had many and different points of contact with the startup scene in Munich. And let’s put it this way: It didn’t deter us. There are many creative minds here who want to make a difference and have good ideas. The founders are usually open-minded and receptive and want to learn from each other. This is very positive. There are an incredible number of programs and points of contact, also at the universities.
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Matthias Berger: If you want to advance digitization in the healthcare sector, you can’t avoid staying power. “You need a lot of patience” has become a kind of mantra for us. But that’s perfectly ok. We have a lot of fun, enough motivation and enough endurance training. We believe that our products can bring real and positive impact to the important healthcare sector.