On 16 June, the Business Accelerations Services team travelled with sixteen SME Instrument funded companies selected to present their visions for the future of healthcare to Roche corporate representatives at the company's Digital Innovation Lab in Basel, Switzerland. Following a jury vote, three of the companies would be selected to take on the main stage at Roche's annual Innovation Summit the next day.
We arrived at the Basel train station, the agreed meeting point, at 7:30 AM. All the SMEs selected for the event were already there. Some of them had flown in the same day and had to take several flights or different trains to make it. Some were in transit through the night and early hours of the morning, but none showed signs of fatigue. On the contrary, there was a prevailing good mood, and you could sense the excitement in the air. After all, in only a couple of hours they would have the opportunity to present their vision for the future of healthcare technologies to one of the biggest pharma companies in the world. And this is no small thing. Some of these companies have invested years and millions of euros developing their products, from research in the lab to business models, distribution and marketing strategies. For most of them, the opportunity to start a partnership or build a robust collaboration with Roche could be just the break they need to scale-up their business.
We talked with Tony Barroco, Global Head of IT Procurement for Roche, that highlighted the quality of the companies by saying "I was really happy with the selection of companies and the way they explained their innovative ideas and presented their products". Alain Bindels, Digital Innovation Lab Director at Roche, added that "We were impressed with the diversity and the maturity of the companies we saw today. Their products can certainly be an added value for Roche".
The companies, selected to take the main stage at the Roche Innovation Summit were CellPly, SidekickHealth and SensDx. All of them delivered engaging presentations on the summit, gathering the attention of an audience of more than 300 Roche staff.