Quest for change, a network of five incubators of excellence (Innovact, Quai Alpha, Rimbaud’Tech, SEMIA and The Pool) labeled by region, located in six territories of Grand Est, has just announced the creation of Quest for health, the Grand Est incubator dedicated to start-ups in the healthcare field. It benefits from the backing and support of numerous institutional partners in France, Switzerland, Germany and Boston (United States), as well as the innovation ecosystem of the Grand Est region, with BioValley France in first place. and SATT Conectus, DeepEst Consortium partners.
The launch of Quest for health is the result of a dynamic initiated in 2018 by the network incubators that form Quest for change. With the support of former businessmen, which is in the incubator network’s DNA, the number of supported health projects increased from 5 to 60 in just four years. With so much growth and preponderance of healthcare start-ups currently supported, it seemed fitting for Quest for change to add a particular dimension to the sector through the creation of Quest for health. By being more visible nationally and internationally, the incubator intends to attract more high potential projects, investors and partners. Today, about a third of the startups supported by Quest for health are exogenous: 20% come from other regions of France and 13% from other countries, including spin-offs from Harvard Medical School, Stanford and Technion University (Israel).
“Quest for health is the first health incubator in France and it’s happening in Grand Est! This incubator fits not only in its territory, but also in its German and Swiss neighbors. For me, the development of the health sector is a strong strategic axis for tomorrow and I have made it one of the drivers of our policies, in connection with industries, the environment and digital technology. As part of Business Act 2 and Grand Est Transformation, we support all initiatives that build bridges between worlds, between professions. The pursuit of health fits directly into the beautiful stories we want to follow! », declares Jean Rottner, President of the Grand Est Region.
Comprehensive support in three areas: funding, international visibility and training
Addressing the three sectors of health, biotechnology, medtech and e-health, Quest for health offers tailor-made support for business projects coming out of laboratories (public or private) and also welcomes start-ups that already have a first fundraising , with the aim of leading them to their first billing or to a larger fundraising.
The team has strong experience in financial structuring and triggering specific regional, national or international funding mechanisms for deeptech/health start-ups. In addition, Quest for health offers support to leading national competitions (such as i-Lab) and access to innovative financial mechanisms, such as WiClub Santé, a unique funding tool in Europe created in partnership with the Wiseed crowdfunding.
Quest for health is based on operational and quality training, highlighting the implementation this year of certified university training, in partnership with the University of Strasbourg, to reinforce the knowledge of entrepreneurs and key people in health start-ups.
It also offers an international perspective, thanks to its German (Life Science Accelerator, Badencampus) and Swiss (University of Basel) partners. The structure also works together with the accelerator program initiated by the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg and by Innouvo, a partner located in Boston (United States), a twin city with Strasbourg for 60 years. To allow start-ups to better understand the particularities of these markets and to deploy more quickly internationally, but also to be visible to investors and large accounts, while interacting with young companies in the same sector at a trinational level, Quest for Health set up the annual event “Trinational HealthTech Days” since 2020, which has already allowed the organization of more than 300 meetings between investors/key accounts and start-ups.
“Our goal is to support 100 healthcare start-ups in their market by 2025 to support industry innovation, serving patients and healthcare professionals. Our ambition, which is collective, is to make Grand Est and the Haut-Rhin an essential place in Europe for the development of health start-ups”, says Guillaume Vetter-Genoud, director of Quest for health.
the next steps
The incubator will soon be installed within Nextmed, Strasbourg’s medical technologies campus, located within the grounds of the civil hospital, close to prestigious medical institutes (IRCAD, IHU Strasbourg, GEPROMED,etc.). The real estate offer of 30,000 m2 will allow start-ups easy access to a health ecosystem present in the same location.
In the coming months, Quest for health also plans to implement some tools to continue to accelerate the development of the incubated startups and, in particular:
– New innovative financing tools,
– A scientific and business council that will bring together international opinion leaders from scientific and academic research, the clinical world and industry,
– A trinational proprietary platform to connect investors, key accounts and start-ups, whose model has already been tested at Quest for change,
– The launch in 2024 of a Master in deeptech and entrepreneurship in health in collaboration with the University of Strasbourg, to strengthen management teams.
Source and visual: Quest for health