Germany, Innovation, 2018

Teams develop and pitch innovations at {Life Science} meets IT Hackathon

10th July 2019

International interdisciplinary crews have a weekend to prepare ideas in Mannheim event supported by EIT Health

Four winners were chosen at the interdisciplinary {Life Science} meets IT Hackathon, which took place in association with EIT Health and was held during 8-10 June 2018 at MAFINEX Technologiezentrum in Mannheim, Germany. The winning teams developed solutions to give mute people a voice, to better support diabetes patients, to enable patients in the developing world to access the right treatment at the right time and place, and to support doctors in finding the right treatments faster using certified flow charts.

The event was organised by the Mafinex Gründerverbund (Founders Association) e.V., Cubex41 and the Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V. with Heidelberg University, EIT Health and other partners.

Mixed teams with technical, economic, design and medical or scientific backgrounds spent the weekend seeking to address challenges of the Life Science sector.

In total, 45 participants with the support of more than 20 mentors worked on six of the 12 challenges that were posed. They were supported by a Maker Space, which among other things provided 3D printing, a cloud development platform, sensors and VR glasses/Hololenses. The technologies were made possible by various start-ups such as Elaspix, Covexo, Yoptino or Unreadable, as well as by Andreas Erben.

“In view of the increasing digitalisation, European and regional collaboration in the area of innovation is getting more and more important,” said Dr. Katharina Ladewig, Managing Director, EIT Health Germany. “The {Life Science} meets IT Hackathon offers the perfect environment for these endeavors”.

There was a good variety of participants from a regional to international perspective (even including a team from the University of Warsaw). “We managed to form teams of designers, developers and data scientists, economists and medics in this format and could thus promote an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach in an early development stage of products and developed ideas”, said Sonja Wilkens, Managing Director of the Mafinex Gründerverbund eV.

Dr. Raoul Haschke, Managing Director of the Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V. said: ”By including academies and universities as network partners in Mannheim and Heidelberg as well as by exceeding regional borders to Karlsruhe, Darmstadt and Kaiserslautern, many interesting contacts could be built.”

EIT Health lent support, as did other partners, like STARTUP MANNHEIM, the Medical Technology Cluster Mannheim, the VR Bank Rhein-Neckar eG and the Mannheim start-up Rocknutz, that provided healthy snacks for the participants.

“The Roche Diabetes Care Germany GmbH rendered the event possible as a sponsor. The company provided a challenge, a jury member, mentoring for all three days and a suitable ending with the keynote speech of Managing Director Lars Kalfhaus, who explained the importance of start-ups and innovative ideas for the company Roche”, said Katharina Klotzbach, Centre Lead of Cubex41, the engagement of the sponsor.

“We are very pleased to support this Hackathon. We would like to thank the organisers, the mentors and especially the teams who developed impressive solution approaches in a very short time period”, mentions Dr. David Seidel, Roche Diabetes Care Germany GmbH, who accompanied the teams intensively on-site as one of the mentors.

“Start-ups with their innovative ideas and approaches are for us on the one hand an inspiration, but also an incentive to become even better and more agile”, explains Lars Kalfhaus, Managing Director Roche Diabetes Care Germany GmbH, “therefore, we are very pleased that Roche did not only support the Hackathon financially as a sponsor, but also content-wise by providing a challenge, mentoring and participating in the jury. Thus, we could gain many valuable impulses and contacts from this event.”

The following winning teams received awards after the 4-minute pitches:

  • Audience Award: Dr. Flow, a new way to support doctors with changes of the indication guidelines
  • Best Hack: MeCO, support developing countries with an app that should provide the right treatment at the right time and place.
  • Best business solution: Uhura, a team (partly with Polish guests), that worked on a solution to give mute/voiceless people a voice.
  • Most patient-centric solution: Diablexa, who give new quality of life to patients with diabetes by using digital solutions.

Below you can download the press release documents in both English and German.

Click here to learn more about the Hackathon.

For further enquiries contact:

Christine Neumann,


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