Since November 2023, I have been introducing startups in the Health Tech of The Week series, which have the potential or are already revolutionizing the medical services market by using new technologies. Today, I want to present Health Venture Lab, an international network of healthcare innovation stakeholders, supported by GE Healthcare. Their activities aim to accelerate medical innovations and support their market entry. I invite you to read the interview with Olivia Blanchard, the Managing Director of the organization.


What were the beginnings of your organization?

Our activities started in 2018 with an ambitious vision: to create the first accelerator program, which we named Reactor, operating under the auspices of EIT Health, without equity participation. We began our activities in the form of an intensive training camp, which at that time met the needs of health-themed startups at an early or mid-stage of development. The beginning of our activities coincided with a period when the urgent need for transformation in the digital health sector became particularly visible. This was later further highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are even more committed to providing innovators with the necessary resources and mentoring support, which are crucial for success in the dynamically changing world of healthcare.

Press Release

Why did you decide to work for HVL?

I am from France, but my career path took me to Central and Eastern Europe, where I explored local innovation ecosystems and startup policy. Meeting the dynamic team at Health Venture Lab, I was immediately drawn to their mission of supporting innovation, especially in the healthcare sector. Moving from the theoretical concepts I had been working with to a real impact on reality made a huge impression on me. The opportunity to take on a leadership role, especially for a young specialist, was an extremely attractive challenge for me. Joining Health Venture Lab was not only an important step in my career but also an opportunity for personal development and a chance to contribute personally to an inspiring team.


What is the biggest achievement of HVL so far?

During our work, we have had many achievements that can be called milestones in our development. However, the essence of our success is building a wide network and creating influential partnerships. Collaborating with leading academic institutions, such as MIT or the István Széchenyi University of Gyor, shows that we have gained trust and recognition in the industry and academic environment. Such cooperation influences our subsequent activities and drives our mission, which is to develop innovation.


Tell us more about your mission

Health Venture Lab is a global hub of innovation, bridging the gap between startups and the healthcare sector. With foundations in Europe, we want to support local entrepreneurs in their ambitions to change and redefine current healthcare paradigms. Our initiatives, from the Young Talent Program to Catalyst Europe, are strategically designed to build a new generation of innovators interested in supporting healthcare. We now place particular emphasis on using AI in sustainable solutions.


How can Polish startups benefit from joining HVL?

Joining Health Venture Lab offers Polish startups access to a robust international network that includes education and financing pathways. Our achievements, including being recognized as one of the top ten European MedTech accelerators by Sifted in 2019, highlight the credibility and quality of our programs. Partnership with industry giants, such as GE Healthcare, further enhances the value of our offer, providing startups with exposure and unique development opportunities.

Press release

At what stage of development should startups join HVL to benefit the most?

We position ourselves as a solution suited for startups at an early or mid-stage of development. Having a solid base and a product at the MVP stage related to Health Tech is the moment when our acceleration program can support such a startup. We facilitate product-market fit and scaling growth.


What do you think are the future directions of health technology and how will the medical services market change?

The future of health technology is an evolution towards more personalized care, using AI to improve diagnosis and administrative efficiency. We expect the medical services market to undergo a transformation towards more patient-oriented care, driven by data analysis and technology.


How do you see the use of AI in the medical industry?

The integration of AI in the medical industry heralds a new era of precision medicine and personalized healthcare. From aiding in diagnosis and treatment planning to streamlining administrative tasks, AI has the potential to enhance every aspect of healthcare delivery. However, realizing this potential requires addressing significant challenges such as data privacy, regulatory compliance, and ethical issues, to ensure responsible and fair implementation of AI technology.


What are the further development plans for HVL?

We plan to further develop our acceleration programs and increase the number of innovators from Central and Eastern Europe. We also aspire to expand our operational capabilities to introduce innovative programs that will accelerate transformations in the healthcare sector.


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