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Start-up stories: From science to business

Their first pitch deck didn’t contain a business slide. And there wasn’t any information on market potential. These were things that Dr Isabel Schellinger and Dr Uwe Raaz simply hadn’t thought of. After all, their focus was on their research, on the amazing opportunities made possible thanks to science, and on a medical solution to an aortic disorder in humans that they had developed. This is their passion and their field of expertise. Pitching to investors and founding a start-up were things that they first needed to learn.

Today, the two of them are successfully running their medtech start-up Angiolutions, a HTGF portfolio company that was founded in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. The two doctors conducted research together at Stanford. Building on their research work, they came up with the idea of a novel vascular implant to treat aortic aneurysms. The aorta plays an absolutely vital role, carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It has a diameter of 2.5 to 3.5cm. If the aorta becomes enlarged and then bulges, it can present a major risk. This is known as an aneurysm. If the aorta tears or bursts, it can be life-threatening. A bulging aorta is like a ticking time bomb, with its diameter increasing by around 2.5mm per year. Around 4-8 percent of men around the world suffer from abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Thanks to Angiolutions’s device-based therapy, doctors now for the first time have access to a minimally invasive, low-risk treatment option that prevents small aortic aneurysms from growing in size.

In this episode of our “Start-up stories” series of short videos, Dr Isabel Schellinger and Dr Uwe Raaz tell us about their journey into the world of business and offer some tips on founding a start-up in the field of science. Here’s a little teaser of what they have to say: As is so often the case, the key is to identify a genuine medical need or a genuine customer need. Get support from good partners. And don’t forget to put a business slide in your pitch deck.

A big thank you to Isabel and Uwe for all their insights!

Are you a medtech entrepreneur or looking to found a start-up in this field? Share your experiences and ideas with Principal Anke Caßing. She looks forward to hearing from you.

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