Barcelona launches “Pitch in a Pub”

Gianmarco Di Mauro Written by Gianmarco Di Mauro
Published on 20 February 2019
4 min. read

A great success for the first Innovation Forum’s Pitch in a Pub in Barcelona.

Yesterday Enrique Hernández, Founder and CEO of LoopDx, Noemi Balà, CTO and Co-founder of Aortyx, Joan Grasas, Co-founder and CPO of RheoDx, and Maria Poveda, Investment Analyst at Inveready, took part in the first Pitch in a Pub event organized by the Innovation Forum Barcelona and hosted by La Cervesera Artesana. Pitch in a Pub aims to foster discussion between young entrepreneurs, innovators and professionals in the biotech ecosystem in an informal environment accompanied by local brewed beer.

Joan Grasas was the first to take the stage and explain the idea behind his start-up RheoDx. RheoDx develops a portable in-vitro diagnosis device that aims to improve the efficiency of the monitorization of patients with hematological diseases by quickly analyzing characteristics of blood cells in a single drop of blood. He also explained that RheoDx would not only improve quality of life of patients but also reduce the cost of intervention for the health system by guaranteeing a more efficient clinical management of the transfusion.

After the pitch, the audience was interested in knowing more about how the idea behind RheoDx was born and whether the need for such a product has been validated. Joan explained that RheoDx is a patented technology derived from research work from the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica in Barcelona and that the team verified the medical need with specialist hematology doctors and transfusion patients.

Enrique Hernández was the second to pitch his business idea based on an innovative medical device able to quickly detect and identify blood infections by analysing specific biomarkers of the host immune activity. Loop Dx’s mission is to facilitate the diagnostic for patients that are developing sepsis in order to allow an early intervention with a specific antibiotic therapeutic plan. This interesting talk was followed by several questions regarding the advantage of using his device compared to the current standard of care. According to Enrique, his product would allow a faster detection of sepsis compared to the current procedures therefore saving time and money on medical intervention.

The last presenter of the night was Noemi Balà CTO and co-founder of the start-up Aortyx. Noemi explained how together her team came up with a novel solution for a cardiovascular condition called aortix dissection. This pathology is characterized by the separation of the inner layer of the aortic wall causing the blood stream to flow through it. If the blood breaks through the outer layer of the aorta the condition can be fatal. Aortyx proposes an endovascular adhesive patch, biocompatible and designed to mimic the mechanical properties of the aorta while stimulating tissue regeneration of the aortic walls. This solution would overcome the invasivity of current interventions thus allowing a more effective treatment and reducing the risk of secondary treatments.

At the end of the session our guest Maria Poveda gave useful tips on how to make a pitch more attractive for investors.  In particular she stressed the importance of making clear objectives and milestones for the start-up as well as proposing feasible exit strategies that would help investors have an idea of the potential return. 

Finally, all the attendees were given “innovation dollars” and asked to decide in which of the three start-ups they would be keen on investing. The project that received the most support was Aortyx!!

(Photos by Ricky Perez)

Overall the first Pitch in a Pub event in Barcelona was a great opportunity to show how scientific ideas have the potential to turn into successful businesses and stimulate active debate between entrepreneurs, academics and investors on the future of scientific innovation. Considering the success obtained, Pitch in Pub Barcelona will continue as a bi-monthly event to present more innovative ideas. Meanwhile, if you want to know more about the most promising start-ups based in Barcelona, you can register to attend our IMAGINE IF local final.


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