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USE IT OR LOSE IT: NEW SOURCES OF VENTURE CAPITAL NEEDED IN AUSTRIA

10 April 2014

The Medtech-Scene was happy: Six billion Euros under VC funds in one room for the first time ever. Reason enough for five Austrian Medtech companies to travel to the IN3 Medical Device 360 conference organised by Advantage Austria Dublin.  

“We had meetings with a string of top class VCs from the USA and Europe”, said Ludwig Gold from Miracor Medical. “We are looking for €€8-€10 million to complete our C round of funding."

Professor Werner Mohl developed a new form of heart therapy over many years at the University Hospital in Vienna. It was designed to heal patients after heart attack and improve their life expectancy. In 2008 this therapy was used to found Miracor Medical Systems and to market the “PICSO”.

Miracor ticks all the boxes for the VCs – a talented management team, patented IP, a clear path for reimbursement and excellent clinical data. Yet due to a lack of VC at home, Miracor and other Austrian companies are forced to go abroad for money.

Four other Austrian companies took part in the mission to Dublin from 8-10 April: Anagnostics, Click for Knowledge, Human Technology Styria and Zydacron Telecare.

Regina Hodits, Parnter bei Wellington in Munich, praises AWS for investing in one of its VC funds but she feels that in Austria more could be done: “The state could provide more incentives for the private sector to invest in innovative companies”. Hodits points to the French model: “In France companies are actively encouraged to invest in VC or else the government takes the money in tax. It’s a “use it or lose it approach”.

Thomas Lutz and Jama Nateqi listen to Regina Hodits, Wellington Partners at the Advantage Austria Dublin event.

Thomas Lutz and Jama Nateqi listen to Regina Hodits, Wellington Partners at the Advantage Austria Dublin event. 



Thom Rasche of Earlybird Venture Capital agrees. “Over 40% of VC funds in Europe come originally from public money. That’s too much. We need to channel more private money in Europe into venture capital.” 

Joey Mason of Dublin-based Delta Partners knows the Austrian landscape quite well, adding "I suggest that the Austrian Government does something to encourage private investors and institutions to risk some capital. State-funding is great, but not sufficient".

During the workshop the thee VCs outlined what areas they invest in and how they evaluate life science companies. Joey Mason summed it up with humour: "When you're looking for venture funds, you need to appeal to greed over fear". 

The Austrian Commercial Counsellor in Dublin, Wilhelm Nest says "We organised this mission to Dublin to give Austrian medtech companies more exposure to international venture capital. We started with a special workshop to bring the five Austrian companies together with three of Europe’s leading VC experts for medical technology: Regina Hodits of Wellington Partners, Thom Rasche of Earlybird and Joey Mason of Delta. After that, the companies presented their offerings to the plenary of the IN3 Conference. This was a gathering of the sector’s leading decision makers, including over 30 VCs from the US and Europe ranging from Abingworth to Ysios”.

Particpants
Miracor Medical Systems
Address: Gumpendorfer Strasse 139, 1060 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 236 65 76 12
Mobile : +43 664 511 92 90
Ludwig Gold, CEO
Dr. Roger Kessels, Clinical Director
A paradigm shift in interventional cardiology to improve microcirculation and cardio protection in STEMI patients, with large upside potential for heart failure and cardiac surgery patients.

Zydacron Telecare GmbH
Address : St. Peter Gürtel 4, 8042 Graz, Austria
Email: a.huebler@zydacron.com
Phone: +43 316 403 890
Reinhard Diethardt, CEO
Karl Bluemlinger, CTO
Telemonitoring solution providing integrated peer to peer audio-video communication and remote transmission of important vital signs. Client side: setup-box /standard PC or Windows 8.1 tablet. Android App under development for vital sign measurement on smartphones.

Click for Knowledge GmbH
Address: Jakob-Haringer-Strasse 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Email: office@clickforknowledge.com
Phone (M):+43 662 458 206
Dr. Jama Natequi, Director
Thomas Lutz, Director
Symptoma is a search engine for diseases. Physicians enter symptoms and receive list of matching causes, sorted by probability according to patient age, sex and region. Symptoma helps physicians to make the right diagnosis for their patients.

Anagnostics Bioanalysis GmbH
Address: Westbahnstrasse 55, 4300 St. Valentin, Austria
Email: c.reschreiter@anagnostics.com
Phone (M): +43 676 350 2931
Christoph Reschreiter, CEO
Anagnostics aims to establish the proprietary hybcell technology as accepted standard for multiplexed clinical diagnostics in sepsis diagnostics, drugs of abuse screening and companion diagnostics.

Human Technology Styria
Address: Reininghausstraße 13, 8020 Graz, Austria
Email: gernot.eder@human.technology.at
Phone: + 43-316-587016-14
Gernot Eder, Business Development Manager
human.technology.styria is a membership organisation based in Styria, Austria with more than 80 companies, institutions and scientific bodies working the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Gernot presented on behalf of two of his clients:
4a Medicom
Platform-technology integrating lancing device, lancet and test strips into one single safety device to measure blood parameters in one step. GlucoPEARL – push to know!

Roombiotic
ROOMBIOTIC GmbH develops surface decontamination technologies based on volatile antimicrobial substances of biogenic origin. Detailed microbiological analyses allow for customized residue-free decontamination of complex surfaces and microstructures.

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