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Will Germany become a pioneer in medical innovations? How can digitalisation assist modern doctors in their daily work? And what does the investment scene look like in the fitness and health sector? These are just a few of the questions discussed at the Fireside Chat of the entrepreneurship community Startup Grind and Burda Principal Investments (BPI) on 12 November. The topic of the event “Future of Health and Wellbeing” drew over 70 interested participants to the Burda Bar in Munich.
The road to success
Thomas Kulcsar, Investment Manager at BPI in London, FitTech Summit founder Natalia Karbasova (Head of Burda Bootcamp), Stephan Hauner, Co-Founder of Mindshine, and trauma surgeon and health consultant Dominik Pförringer discussed digital trends in health and fitness, and arising investment opportunities. The panel was moderated by Sabine Flechet from Startup Grind’s Munich chapter. Startup Grind connects entrepreneurs from over 125 countries and organizes monthly events that give founders and investors the opportunity to talk about their business and their road to success in a laid-back atmosphere.
In her welcoming note, Benita Krahforst, Principal at BPI, referred to Burda’s broad positioning in the health and fitness sector: Burda operates online platforms such as Jameda and Netdoktor, publishes magazines like My life and line extensions by Bunte and Focus, hosts the annual FitTech Summit, and promotes charitable initiatives such as the Felix Burda Foundation. This favorable environment, combined with the current innovation dynamics in the health and well-being market, drives BPI’s interest in the sector.
Promising investment opportunities
BPI Investment Manager Thomas Kulcsar explained the high relevance of FitTech and Healthtech start-ups: According to him, the health sector in particular will see a big wave of digitalisation with enormous market potential. Dominik Pförringer added that prevention is the best form of medicine and referred to digital solutions that can be used particularly well in the area of precaution, such as the app of co-panelist Stephan Hauner. With his app Mindshine, he offers a digital personal trainer for the mind and believes that – in addition to online services – offline events are also important to the success of a start-up.
For Natalia Karbasova, founder of the FitTech Summit, community is key when it comes to innovations in the fitness sector. She also emphasized the importance of group-wide knowledge sharing. As an example, she cited the cooperation between BPI and FitTech Summit in the run-up to the last FitTech-Conference. The speakers agreed that the most important factor for the success of a start-up is an interdisciplinary team with complementary skill sets.
Networking, networking, networking
After the panel discussion and a very lively Q&A session, panelists and participants mingled over drinks and finger food, and exchanged ideas until late into the evening.