8th December 2021
EIT Health-supported start-up, MOWOOT, has launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of two million Euros to expand their global market reach. Investors can support the start-up on two pan-European investment platforms: EIT Health´s own digital venture capital platform, Aescuvest, and Spanish crowdfunding platform Capital Cell.
Patient-first innovation is the driving force behind MOWOOT, which develops medical devices for people with chronic constipation, a common but rarely discussed condition. Founders, Dr. Markus Wilhelms, Dr. Immaculada Herrero, Dr. Angel Calzada and Marc Benet, met through the EIT Health network. They started MOWOOT in 2014 with a mission to solve an unmet clinical need and improve quality of life for patients.
Launching a fundraising campaign with a crowdfunding component was the natural next step in MOWOOT’s evolution. Unlike traditional means of raising investment, crowdfunding puts power into the hands of those invested in the actual solution. This is vital for start-ups like MOWOOT, where the medical conditions they are treating may not be top of mind for traditional investors.
Hans Borger, Managing Partner of 4M Medical GmbH Distributor D-A-CH, Advisor and Investor in MOWOOT, shares, “The subject of constipation, is taboo and therefore very difficult to approach for those affected, doctors and even investors. Start-ups like MOWOOT are changing the conversation, by providing uncomplicated and effective treatment.”
Approximately 17% of adults in Europe experience chronic constipation.1 The prevalence is particularly high (80%) in patients with neurological diseases such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.2
Living with the condition can be psychologically distressing and may lead to potentially life-threatening complications. These include colon cancer and faecal impaction, when hardened stool becomes stuck in the colon and can´t leave the body.2
Current solutions for chronic constipation are pharmacological, such as laxatives, or invasive, such as enemas and surgical procedures. These solutions are not indicated for chronic use due to their side effects and high costs.
The MOWOOT-II Intestinal Transit Management System is a non-pharmacological and non-invasive solution for chronic constipation. It is a wearable device which is inspired in the colon-specific massage techniques of professional therapists in neuro-rehabilitation.
This innovative device substitutes the contractions that are missing in a constipated colon externally. By providing a more natural answer to chronic constipation, MOWOOT´s solution helps sufferers regain their autonomy.
EIT Health has played a pivotal role in helping MOWOOT to enter the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. This included the provision of a €50,000 grant to fund a customer development study with early adopters.
In 2017, we gave MOWOOT access to a world-leading pool of over 400 healthcare industry experts under the EIT Health mentoring and coaching network, after they won an EIT Health Catapult award. Last year, EIT Health helped MOWOOT alleviate the financial shock posed by COVID-19, providing €500,000 in co-investment as part of our Start-up Rescue Instrument Initiative.
Now with the two fundraising platforms and mentoring from our international business experts, we are delighted to help MOWOOT reach new markets in Europe and beyond.
Dr. Markus Wilhelms, CEO & co-founder of MOWOOT, says of the campaign: “We are very proud to launch a funding campaign in collaboration with Aescuvest and Capital Cell. This collaboration reflects the international importance of our project and crowdfunding helps bring such a significant, but often overlooked condition, into the limelight. We hope everyone invested in our journey will use the platforms to help us raise the funds necessary to further expand in Europe and make our solution available for more patients in the near future.”
Basson (2020), Constipation, Medscape, Available at https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/184704-overview#a5 Accessed November 2021.
McClurg et al (2020), Safety and Efficacy of Intermittent Colonic Exoperistalsis Device to Treat Chronic Constipation: A Prospective Multicentric Clinical Trial, NCBI, Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7671882/ Accessed November 2021