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“Grants4Apps Accelerator” 2016 takes off


Four new digital health startups from South Korea, Ghana, Hungary and Germany participate in the 2016 season for Bayer’s “Grants4Apps Accelerator”

Through November they develop their businesses further supported by 50k Euro funding, free co-working space, and free coaching

In its third year, the “Grants4Apps Accelerator” is once again evolving, regarding the numbers of applications, geographical reach as well as guests at the kick-off event.

It was hardly possible to find standing room in the packed venue around 6:30 p.m. on August 22, shortly before the “Grants4Apps Accelerator” 2016 officially opened. More than 600 guests from around the world gathered at the headquarter of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals division in the heart of Berlin, among them members of the technology and digital startup scene, local politicians responsible for innovation and technology politics in Berlin, journalists and Bayer employees.

The number of guests wasn’t the only figure the “G4A” mentoring initiative increased this year: more than 400 digital health startups from 66 countries applied, twice as many as last year. Spoilt for choice, Bayer experts from different specialties assessed all submissions thoroughly.

400+ applications, four winners

Oasis Websoft from Ghana, xbird from Germany, Turbine from Hungary and Vital Smith from South Korea made it to the final round (scroll down for details). In the “Grants4Apps Accelerator” 2016 they are now in for 100 days of making their business fit for the market, including the use of free co-working space on the Bayer campus, 50,000 Euro in funding and free support from seasoned Bayer mentors and experienced startup coaches.

“There’s a wealth of exciting digital health ideas in the startup scene,” says Jesus del Valle who leads the Grants4Apps initiative. “Some of those concepts could benefit patients, doctors, and consumers to an extent that may transform health care over the next decade. The “Grants4Apps Accelerator” gives innovators a chance to learn and fine-tune everything it takes to successfully market their ideas – from sharpening their value proposition to finding investors.”

Bayer also benefits from the close interaction with the small, flexible companies, who bring their innovation mind-set and collaborative working culture into the big, global life-science company.

The “Grants4Apps Accelerator” 2016 will culminate in “Demo Day” on November 24. Then the four entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to potential investors and supporters, before Bayer, its partners and guests close the 2016 Grants4Apps season with another digital health networking party in Berlin.

Impressions from the G4A 2016 kick-off event:

  •  Grants4Apps Accelerator:  600+ guests came to the kick-off event at Bayer in Berlin
    Packed venue: More than 600 guests attended the kick-off event at the Bayer Pharmaceuticals division’s headquarters in Berlin - to listen, network, celebrate – and tweet about it under #G4A hashtag.
  • Kemal Malik, Bayer’s Head of Innovation, at the Grants4Apps Accelerator 2016 kickoff event
    “Tonight you are at the largest digital health event in Europe” – Kemal Malik, Bayer’s Head of Innovation on stage at the “Grants4Apps Accelerator” kick-off 2016.
  • Bayer also offers Grants4Apps coworking facilities in Moscow, Shanghai, and Barcelona.
    Grants4Apps goes global: Aside from the Grants4Apps Accelerator in Berlin, Bayer offers Grants4Apps coworking facilities in Moscow, Shanghai, and Barcelona. In the photo, a participant at the “Grants4Apps Accelerator” kick-off event was quick enough to have the right answer to a quiz question – and earned the first Grants4Apps Moscow T-shirt.
  • Pitch session at the Grants4Apps Accelerator 2016 kickoff: Henrik Matthies from Mimi Hearing Technologies
    14 guest start-ups and initiatives pitched their concepts, from delaying the effects of Alzheimer’s with Virtual Reality to a minilab for home analyses. In the photo, Henrik Matthies from Mimi Hearing Technologies presents the startup’s concept of personalizing sound for the listener’s individual hearing capabilities. Also among the pitches: the Bayer Open Innovation Portal and Grants4Tech.
  • Celebrating the Grants4Apps Accelerator kick-off 2016 with people from startups, the industry, politics, and the media
    Listening, networking, having fun: people from startups, the industry, politics, and the media celebrated the kick-off as promised till 4:44 a.m. at least – and tweeted about it.

Oasis Websoft

Home: Accra, Ghana
Members: 11
Oasis Websoft

Oasis Websoft wants to bring health care to patients’ doorsteps. Bisa – meaning “ask” in the Ghanaian Twi language – is a mobile application that allows smartphone users to directly and anonymously interact with medical practitioners, including options for video calls. The application also helps in prevention by providing information on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of common diseases and how to control spread of diseases during outbreaks.

There is a high need for solutions to connect the remote areas of developing countries to health care resources. Our platform gives doctors the ability to reach more patients through a secure and confidential backend solution.

Raindolf Owusu, CEO Oasis Websoft


Home: Budapest, Hungary
Members: 8

Turbine aims to virtually design effective combination therapies with artificial intelligence (AI). Turbine's patent-pending artificial intelligence simulates perturbations in a network faster than any other algorithm on the market. To get statistically significant results, Turbine runs thousands of simulations per compound at lightning-fast speed.

Combination therapies may be the best weapon against cancer, but their current design is costly and haphazard. We want to predict how any type of cancer responds to treatment by combining the latest research with AI to reliably simulate complex interventions.

Szabolcs Nagy, Chief Operating Officer, Turbine

Vital Smith

Home: Seoul, South Korea
Members: 5
Vital Smith

Vital Smith is working on a new type of ovulation tester. It combines a consumable film for saliva with an attachable device for the smartphone, enabling an image analysis of crystals in the sample. The test, called B bless, is the first step for the startup: the overarching goal of the team is to become a medical device company.

The test aims to create a more frequent, accurate, low-cost, easy-to-use test approach based on an individual’s simple saliva sample via a mobile device. This innovation would allow increased convenience and accuracy while costs are lower compared to currently available ovulation tests.

James Seok, CEO Vital Smith


Home: Berlin, Germany
Members: 8

xbird is a medical AI company dedicated to saving lives by disrupting the way we think about early detection of symptoms. They are developing machine learning algorithms that analyze sensor data from smartphones and wearables to predict and prevent symptoms before they evolve into critical health risks. The solution is already in place for diabetes patients and can be applied to a wider range of diseases and therapeutic areas.

Our algorithm detects micro-movements through the sensors built into smartphones and wearables and translates them into daily activities that have an impact on your condition. By taking into account these digital biomarkers, it is possible to put symptoms into context and predict their occurrence before it is too late.

Sebastian Sujka, CEO, xbird

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