Did you miss the National Startup Competition 2018 Award Show? No problem, relive Tommy Ahlers’ keynote and learn more about the overall winner, VulCur MedTech, right here:
By Keyvan Bamdej
Last Friday, June 22nd 2018, Venture Cup Denmark hosted yet another National Startup Competition Award Show together with its long-time event-sponsor, IDA, at their headquarters, Kalvebod Brygge, Copenhagen.
While Minister of Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers, was happy to be back among friends and thanked Venture Cup for inviting him to do a speech, the HealthTech category and overall winner, VulCur MedTech, ran away with the spotlight.
If you missed the show, we have good news for you.
- We did a follow-up interview with CEO and inventor of VulCur MedTech, Janus Beierholm, who has a background as a biochemist from Copenhagen University. You can read more about him and his startup further down in the article.
- See Tommy Ahlers keynote.
Press “play” and watch the speech here:
Main quotes from the Minister of Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers:
1: »I don’t want to say anything bad about the startups that I have seen on the TV-show ‘Dragons Den’, but there is a tendency with that focus and that type of entrepreneurship that it doesn’t fully celebrate the in-depth knowledge and science, which a lot of Danish startups have been build on.«
2: »My most important message today is that there is no contradiction in going to the university to get smarter and then going for a startup career. We all know the myth about the dropout entrepreneur, who has a high-risk nature of not doing like everyone else and not going to the same exams like everyone else. ‘A no-no that’s not for me’ type of person who says ‘I’m an entrepreneur. No rules apply to me. I don’t read books. I just go out and do stuff. And then one day in my garage I invent a brilliant thing and I become a billionaire’. A bit like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. That’s the myth a lot of people choose to believe about entrepreneurship. And we have to kill it, because it is simply not true. Fact is, that it actually pays of to build your startup on in-depth knowledge.«
3: »My ambition as a minister is to further than to just talk about entrepreneurship. It is about making the Danish education system more flexible, so it fosters the interchange between study and real business life.«
4: »I want to make it much more clear for you guys to understand what kind of support you can get from the government in terms of advice and financial support, so we are working on the so-called Danish Business Support System (Danish: Erhvervsfremmesystemet), to make it more simple. It will be much better. I promise.«
Read the short interview with Janus Beierholm here:
VC: Congratulations! You won! How do you feel?
JB: Thank you. I’m very happy. And surprised.
VC: You won not only the healthtech category, but the whole competition. Were you expecting that?
JB: I have to admit that we were quite confident that we could win the healthtech category, but surely not the entire thing. So it is very satisfying, actually. You could say that it is a stamp of approval. And it was indeed very cool to see the Minister of Higher Education and Science, Tommy Ahlers, at the event.
VC: Have you been out celebrating the victory?
JB: We celebrated the same night, Friday June 22, and didn’t do much on the Saturday, but Sunday we were back to business as usual, working.
VC: Now, can you please tell us and the readers a bit about your company?
JB: VulCur MedTech is a medical device development company focusing on wound healing, using a novel combination of existing technologies. It is our long-term goal that our method will become one of the leading treatments for chronic wounds.
A chronic wound is defined as a wound that does not heal within three months. These wounds cause patients severe emotional and physical stress and are a significant financial burden on patients and the healthcare system.
VC: Oh, very cool. How did the idea came about?
JB: Well, my back then 3-year old daughter, she is now 5, was playing on the floor in front of the fireplace with a white and a red bicycle light. When she switched the white light on with her small hands, you could see the bones and veins go through her hand. The red one, on the contrary, you couldn’t see anything. I found it quite interesting that different kind of lights go through the skin in different ways. So I started asking myself, what if you have two white bicycle lights? Then I pointed two lights at her hand and saw the bone structure much more clearly. That meant, the two light beams crossing in there are sending double the amount of light back. So, my initial guess was that it’s interacting twice as much. Cool, so this means we should be able to do this more precisely, if we use lasers.
VC: Where is your office located today?
JB: We are normally situated at SUND Hub at Copenhagen University, but as we are a part of the Go Growth accelerator for four months, we are a lot of the time at the Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship (CSE).
VC: You have received funding from SDI and InnoBooster and now a 120.000 total prize from Venture Cup. How will you be spending the money?
JB: A part of it will be used for a EU grant through Eurostar’s. Some of the 100.000 DKK is for components for the first prototype. Hopefully we can buy the parts in July and build it in august 2018, then test on human biopsies a short time after.
VC: Lastly, what are your goals you would like to achieve in the near future?
JB: Apart from more funding, we would really like to get in contact with companies like Metronics, Johnson and Johnson and Siemens, so that we better can understand what they need from us in order for us to get a licensed deal with them.
VC: Good luck with that, and have a great summer!