Quest for change launches Quest for health incubator for healthcare start-ups

Quest for change launches Quest for health incubator for healthcare start-ups

Quest for change, a network of five incubators of excellence (Innovact, Quai Alpha, Rimbaud’Tech, SEMIA and The Pool) accredited by the Grand Est region, announced this Thursday, December 1st the launch of Quest for health, an incubator dedicated to health start-ups. The incubator benefits from the support of numerous institutional partners in France, Switzerland, Germany and Boston in the USA, as well as from the innovation ecosystem of the Grand Est region, including BioValley France and SATT Conectus, partners of the DeepEst Consortium.

In 2018, the IncubationBySemia network gave way to QUEST FOR CHANGE in order to give all the network’s incubators a global identity. The team, composed of former entrepreneurs, has accompanied healthcare projects whose number has increased from 5 to 60 during these four years. The creation of an incubator dedicated to this sector seemed obvious, and Quest for health was born.

While 2/3 of the start-ups supported by Quest for Health are from the Grand-Est region, 20% come from other regions of France and 13% from other countries, including spin-offs from Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and the Technion (Israel). Increasing its national and international visibility will enable it to attract more projects, investors and partners with high potential.

Jean Rottner, President of the Grand Est region, states:

“Quest for health is the first health incubator in France and it’s in the Grand Est region! This incubator is not only part of its territory, but also with 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 driving forces behind our policies, in conjunction with industry, the environment and digital technology. Within the framework of the Business Act 2 and Grand Est Transformation, we support all initiatives that build bridges between different worlds and professions. Quest for health is directly in line with the great stories we want to support!”

Comprehensive support based on three pillars: financing, international visibility and training

The Quest for health incubator offers a tailor-made support service to medtech, biotech and e-health start-ups, in their creation or seed phase, with the objective of taking them to their first turnover or a higher level of financing.

The team has a strong experience in financial structuring and triggering regional, national or international funding schemes that are specific to deeptech/health start-ups. In addition, Quest for health offers support for national competitions (such as the i-Lab) and access to innovative financing mechanisms, such as the WiClub Santé, a unique financing tool in Europe created in partnership with the participative financing platform Wiseed.

Quest for health relies on operational and quality training, and this year has set up a university training course, in partnership with the University of Strasbourg, to reinforce the knowledge of entrepreneurs and key people within health start-ups.

The incubator also provides an international outlook, thanks to its German (Life Science Accelerator, Badencampus) and Swiss (University of Basel) partners. It also works in conjunction with the gas pedal program initiated by the Eurometropole of Strasbourg and Innouvo, a partner located in Boston (United States), a city that has been twinned with Strasbourg for 60 years.

To enable start-ups to better understand the particularities of these markets and to deploy more quickly on the international scene, but also to be visible to investors and major accounts, while interacting with young companies from the same sector at the trinational level, Quest for health has set up since 2020 the annual event “Trinational HealthTech Days” which has already enabled the organization of more than 300 meetings between investors / major accounts and start-ups.

Guillaume Vetter-Genoud, Director of Quest for health, states:

“Our goal is to accompany 100 healthcare start-ups to their market by 2025, to support innovation in the industry, serving patients and healthcare professionals. Our ambition, which is collective, is to make the Grand Est and Upper Rhine a key location in Europe for the development of healthcare start-ups.

The next steps

The incubator will soon move to Nextmed, the medical technology campus of Strasbourg located within the civil hospital, close to renowned medical institutes (IRCAD, IHU Strasbourg, GEPROMED…) which will allow start-ups to easily access the health ecosystem present on the site.

It also plans to set up various tools to accelerate the development of incubated start-ups, including

  • New innovative financing tools;
  • A scientific and entrepreneurial board that will bring together international opinion leaders from scientific and academic research, the clinical world and industry;
  • A proprietary tri-national platform to connect investors, large corporations and start-ups, a model that has already been tested at Quest for Change;
  • The launch in 2024 of a Master’s degree in deeptech and healthcare entrepreneurship in collaboration with the University of Strasbourg, to strengthen the management teams.

Translated from Quest for change lance l’incubateur Quest for health dédié aux start-ups du secteur de la santé