The initiative was introduced by the Technology Networking Unit of the Barceló Fundación and is supported by CEMA. Incubando Salud is made up of a team of professionals convinced that there are a great number of ideas out there which, due to ignorance or the lack of the right tools and channels, cannot reach a stage of development where they can have an impact on society. Faced with this need, Incubando Salud is aiming to build a strategic alliance to give impetus to these ideas, providing capital for and guiding scientific knowledge to bring it from the laboratory to the real world. Incubando Salud proposes the creation of a space of interdisciplinary exchange where scientists, professors, university students and professionals in the Healthcare sector can interact with figures from the business world and take advantage of their knowledge, experience and tools, encouraging and facilitating the creation and development of successful, sustainable business initiatives.
EHealth Reporter Latin America: What motivated the creation of Incubando Salud?
Axel Barceló: We are seeking to work a change in the mentality of healthcare professionals. We want them to consider and realize the possibility of their ideas becoming projects and that these projects can be developed, not by third parties, but the professionals themselves. We are inviting them to think “I could be the one to do that” and, generally, healthcare sector professionals aren't accustomed to that.
EHRLA: Why suggest it then?
AB: Because we are sure that this is the perfect sector for innovation. This is why we are taking on the challenge of providing something we believe is currently missing: a link between investors seeking out good new projects to make them commercially viable, and professionals, students and researchers who are able to detect determined problems and come up with the solutions. We want these ideas to become reality, because we believe that they are the people who best know the needs of the sector.
EHRLA: How does it work?
AB: Incubando Salud provides a space for interdisciplinary exchange in which scientists, professors, university students and professionals in the Healthcare sector can interact with members of the business world to take advantage of knowledge, experience and tools that can promote and facilitate the creation and development of successful, sustainable business initiatives.
EHRLA: How did you choose the ten projects selected as winners in the first competition, which was held last year?
AB: We received 107 project entries from Argentina, Brazil and Spain and selected ten for the pre-incubation stage. The choice was made by a panel of experts who analyzed each entry one by one. The choice was made according to their social impact, level of innovation, market, technical and financial viability and the skills of the entrepreneur or entrepreneurs. The chosen projects are linked to different areas: Care, Product Development, Pharmacology, Hospital Hygiene, Medical Information Technology, Medical Instrumentation, Medicines, Nutrition, Orthopedics and Software. We were very impressed by the level of innovation of all the projects and they are all now in the pre-incubation stage.
EHRLA: Will Incubando Salud finance the projects?
AB: No, financing is subject to the decision of the investors who make up our Healthcare Club. Incubando Salud will provide all the coaching and consultancy for the technical and administrative sides so that the selected projects can develop a solid and attractive business plan for investors. I also want to emphasize that our coaches do not receive fees; they are motivated by the desire to encourage healthcare professionals to acquire the technical skills to put their ideas into practice and the abilities necessary to successfully operate in the business world.
AB: We hope to receive applicants from throughout the region, and for this format, which is already in its second year, to expand to other countries because we believe that entrepreneurship should be encouraged in healthcare professionals to build a virtuous circle that includes opportunities for professional development, innovation and development solutions that satisfy both local and national healthcare demands. All those who have a project which might be able to provide a real solution to healthcare problems in the community are invited to enter their ideas.