The first edition of the Bayer Bootcamp was an event that sought to validate relationships with Latin American startups and develop solutions to challenges in the health sector. Bayer Mexico’s objective was to find those disruptive technology-based startups that offer innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pharmaceutical and Digital Health industry in Mexico.
During four weeks, Bayer and experts worked with the selected startups to implement partnerships and/or proofs of concept. The program included weekly sessions of 3 to 4 hours, where interaction was encouraged to generate innovative solutions. The call for proposals took place between April 19 and 30, 2021, and the Bootcamp took place between May 11 and June 3.
More specifically, with this program Bayer sought the following:
- Conduct scouting: Establish business relationships with Startups.
- Accelerate industry collaboration and create an ecosystem around Digital Health
- Foster innovation in the pharmaceutical sector by sharing best practices, tools and methodologies.
The startups had several reasons to participate, among them because they would have access to:
- Specialized mentoring with the Bayer team and experts.
- Possibility to carry out proofs of concept with Bayer Mexico.
- Possibility of generating commercial alliances or supply relationships with Bayer.
The four weeks that comprised this Bootcamp were destined for different stages of the program:
- Week 1: Kickoff / Innovation Table: Digital Health.
- Week 2: Regulatory and/or corporate mentoring.
- Week 3: Innovation Table: Customer Centric.
- Week 4: Creative Networking.
- Closing Pitches.
Throughout all the sessions, what stood out the most was the focus on direct work between the startups and Bayer staff. Throughout the Bootcamp, specialists, directors and managers from Bayer Mexico shared their knowledge through talks and workshops, and offered mentoring and specialized consultancy on topics such as research, regulation, patents, etc.
The kickoff session concluded with a networking event between the startups and Bayer personnel. The participants highlighted as valuable the opportunity to not only interact directly with Bayer people and discuss concrete problems. They also appreciated the feedback they received on the strengths and weaknesses of their business models, and the opportunities for a possible partnership.
In these interactions, and as Demo Day approached, the startups were able to ask questions to resolve doubts about feasibility, scope and processes in order to refine their proposals and the pitches they would present. According to our satisfaction surveys, the program met participants’ expectations and helped them gain new knowledge and insights. Testimonies from the startups indicated that the Bootcamp was a great space to generate meaningful connections:
“The biggest learning we took away is that there are a lot of opportunities in the market and that there is a great possibility for large companies like Bayer to collaborate with small companies like us.” – Tuto Asad, CEO of Vitau
“Thanks to the Bayer Bootcamp we were able to establish a network of contacts from both Mexico and Latin America and thus generate business opportunities in the digital health industry(…)We were able to ally with some companies like Llamando al Doctor and Buscamed, who are now part of our ecosystem. With Llamando al Doctor we established an alliance for the generation of electronic prescriptions and with Buscamed we connected with their e-commerce to receive prescriptions from the network of doctors we currently have connected.” – Bruno Valera, CEO of Medikit
“It met and exceeded all our expectations, we are sure we will continue to work together and have a long-term relationship.” – Jaime Chiarella, CEO of Riqra
“The networking has served us to create new relationships with the other companies in the same ecosystem and to be able to have a notion of how big and what areas occupy the ecosystem we are in.” – Esteban Viezcas, CEO of Buscamed
On the Demo Day, the final session of the Bootcamp, the startups presented the proposals they had worked on in the last weeks according to the conversations and opportunities they found together with Bayer. Each startup presented a video with a maximum duration of four minutes with their collaboration proposal. These were the ideas that the participants proposed:
- Bitgenia proposed a program that through genetic testing would identify cancer patients who could benefit from treatments offered by Bayer.
- Nubix offered cloud-based PACs and digital results delivery service, with the ability to reduce environmental impact by eliminating acetate printing and with the possibility of being installed in laboratories and hospitals of any capacity.
- WeeCompany offered to communicate with Bayer through the physician network for the positioning of Bayer products in a digital and specialized way, as well as support in decision making based on data obtained from diagnostics and patient data.
- Medikit proposed to digitize prescribing by combining its technology with Bayer’s presence in the regional drug sales network to drive electronic drug dispensing and increase digital coverage of services.
- Doc – doc offered Bayer to use its technology for prescription monitoring by physician, prescription market share by category, patient and physician demographics, educational content delivery through a blog, educational streaming to physicians and effective sales from prescriptions.
- Riqra proposed deploying the platform for the chosen distributor to publish its product catalog and for independent pharmacies to self-manage from their cell phones.
- Cardiotrack proposed a strategic alliance to promote timely detection and control of cardiovascular risk.
- Nuevo Método proposed generating a model in which its community can have access to preferential discounts on Bayer products, thus encouraging recurrent consumption of contraceptives by a larger number of patients.
- BuscaMed proposed adding a section within the marketplace dedicated to Bayer products and in turn a superior positioning of its products when users search by substance.
- Delee proposed to develop a laboratory test with the sensitivity to identify NTRK gene sequences from the isolation and analysis of circulating tumor cells using Delee Corp. technology.
- Prosperia offered Bayer an alliance for mass screening of diabetes and visual complications with AI to prevent irreversible blindness in Mexico through risk estimation by digital channels, screening in primary care, diagnosis in specialized care, and treatment and follow-up.
- Vitau proposed a supply alliance to facilitate access and adherence to treatment for patients through a care model that will generate more sales and better information on the patient-treatment relationship.
G4A joins this second edition of the call as part of a global acceleration program. G4A is Bayer’s digital health investment and partnerships team dedicated to scaling companies that seek to create impact and change the healthcare experience. Through the G4A Partnership Program, Bayer built digital health partnerships with more than 150 companies, resulting in more than 30 direct collaborations, developing and promoting health technology projects around the world. Some of the startups in its portfolio are Elly, BioLum, KinAptic, Turbine, and MediKeep.
As a result of the first edition of the bootcamp, 18 POCs were generated to solve Bayer’s pain points in different business areas, keeping in mind the ultimate goal which is to provide “Digital Health for All.” Some of the partnerships that were built are:
- Together with Medikit, Bayer is digitizing loyalty programs based on patient needs through a customer-centric approach to eliminate as much friction during the customer journey as possible.
- Bayer is partnering with Cardiotrack in exploratory phases to provide comprehensive healthcare offering to help improve diagnostics and reduce hospital costs.
- Bayer is also in exploratory phases with CardioKol to implement a new technology to assist the first level of hospital care.
In this second edition of the Bayer Bootcamp, we seek to replicate the excellent results of the first edition and continue to position ourselves as leaders in the Digital Health ecosystem in Latin America. In addition, in this edition the program expands to Mexico, Colombia, the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean region, with the objective of continuing to strengthen the digital health ecosystem and solve the challenges that Latin America shares. If your startup is in Latin America and seeks to solve challenges in the countries mentioned above, register from June 20 to July 3 for the second edition of the Bayer Bootcamp at http://hth.bayer.mx and get the opportunity to collaborate and grow with Bayer Mexico.
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)