HealthCare Lab: international accelerator for promising HealthTech startups

About the Project

For the second year in a row, CIVITTA Slovakia organized HealthCare Lab – a leading international accelerator for promising HealthTech startups from 16 countries in Central and Southeastern Europe. Its mission is to connect, grow and nurture an international community of innovators, researchers, healthcare providers, and regulators to bring ground-breaking innovations in healthcare to the market faster.

The concept of HealthCare Lab as an international acceleration program was created based on a unique public-private collaboration between Roche, EIT Health and CIVITTA. CIVITTA’s key role was to support the partners in selecting the right set of challenges, prepare and organize the tailored acceleration program for startups, scout and select the most relevant startups and to organize the final Demo Day organization.

About the implementation

HealthCareLab is more than just a traditional corporate accelerator. In this digital innovation program, innovators come together with industry leaders from Roche, the innovation community of EIT Health, and innovations experts from CIVITTA, to solve some of the biggest challenges in the pharmaceutical & healthcare industry. Based on 3 pre-defined challenges, startup teams are invited to co-create and pilot new solutions directly with international experts from Roche.

To achieve the desired impact of the project, an essential step was to define relevant challenges around which Roche and startups could build partnerships and co-create solutions. In collaboration with Roche and EIT Health, CIVITTA helped to choose and define challenges with high impact on healthcare and patients but simultaneously topics with innovation potential and strategic relevance for Roche:

  • Healthcare data management
  • Screening and Early Diagnostics
  • Digital Therapeutics and Disease management

Thanks to its international scope, the program received 202 applications from 31 countries and offered the expertise of more than 30 international mentors and speakers. In the end, 9 startups were selected and have gone through the 3-months long program. The program provided startups with hands-on coaching and mentoring tailored just to their needs on the topics such as program-market fit, investment fundraising, product building & regulation or marketing and business development. The startups really valued gaining feedback from experts, network building activities and the international exposure received. All startups presented their projects during the online Demo Day in front of an audience of more than 1,800 people and an international jury.

“HealthCare Lab was one of the best structured and most comprehensive accelerators in which our company has participated. The experts the program gave us access to help us refine our strategies in several important areas including regulatory, go to market, and fundraising.”

Brian E. Wallace, Chief Medical Officer at Calmsie, participant of HealthCare Lab 2021


HealthCare Lab will generate more corporate-startup pilots in 2023

CIVITTA, Roche and EIT Health are already developing new activities to deliver another successful HealthCareLab in 2023. The program will be more aligned with Roche's global innovation objectives and startup ecosystem activities to foster more corporate-startup partnerships and collaborations on ground-breaking digital innovations that can improve the lives of patients.

If you want to know more about this program, visit our website or contact Martin Vesely, Project Manager, at [email protected].