Let's Innovate Healthcare Together!

Healthcare Innovators wanted!

Vision Health Pioneers will support 40 early-stage entrepreneurs. 
 We are looking for mixed teams of up to 4  members to work on one amazing healthtech idea that is applicable for the German market.

Submission for Batch #1 closed on January 31!
Stay tuned for Batch #2!



Who can apply?

Vision Health Pioneers is an incubator for early-stage healthcare innovators. We are funded by the European Social Fund and the Senate of Berlin, therefore teams must meet these criteria to apply:

1. You have to be a team of two to four members.

2. All team members must be registered as residents of Berlin for at least the time of the program.

3. Your idea/prototype has not been launched yet, and can be implemented in the German healthcare sector.

4. You have not or are not receiving any other public or private subsidies/grants, such as EXIST or Berliner Startup Stipendium. Prize-money from private and public competitions - regardless of the amount - is accepted.

5. You have not received any significant equity investments that influence your full control over the company. Also, note that those investments may only cover personnel and material costs; meaning the founders must not pay themselves a salary (income-expense overview).

6. At least one of the team members has knowledge in the field of healthcare (as a physician, nurse, therapist, etc.) and/or the team has the support of relevant medical professionals/experts that take an active role in the company strategy. 

7. Ideally, all team members carry individual university degrees or gained relevant working experience in fields such as Design Thinking, and/or have other relevant certificates. If one of the team members has no degree, please reach out to us to clarify if they can get funded.

8. Your startup can already be incorporated, but this is not a must-have. If your company has already been incorporated in Berlin, the date of the business registration (Gewerbeanmeldung) should not be older than 3 months on the day of receipt of your completed application on f6s.com. This must be proven by the trade license (Eintrag in das Handelsregister). Note that you will need to incorporate a company in Berlin if you participate in the program. You may incorporate your company anytime throughout the 9-month program with us.

What kind of teams are we looking for?

We exclusively support teams with an innovative startup idea in the healthcare, life sciences or medical sector. 
We look for teams that showcase a diverse personal and business background and are able to deal with technical, financial, medical and other questions within the team. 
Teams should be able to show at least the beginnings of a prototype (such as a sketch or drawing) to explain their product idea. 

What kind of ideas do we support?

We are looking for technical, digital and new solutions in the healthcare sector that can be implemented into the German healthcare system. We do not have a specific area we focus on within the life science and healthcare space - all early stage ideas and prototypes are welcome!

How can you apply?

We use F6S.com for our application process. You will need to create your profile and team page here first. To apply, then fill out our application form.
The application requires you to provide information on each team member, including: name, age, nationality and residency; year of graduation, school, degree and subject; and last position held. This information is for internal use only. If you are not comfortable in sharing this data, please leave them blank. Please be aware though, we will need this personal data at a later stage in order to deliver any funding to you.

(Just a heads up: We ask for a pitch deck and a short team video - so get your best smile on. You can save a draft application as you go and finish it step by step.)

How does the selection process work?

We will accept applications (via F6S) for the first cohort till 23:59 (midnight) on 31January 2020.
Our jury of healthcare and startup experts will review each application individually. They may follow-up to you with feedback or questions to better understand your idea and team. If you get short-listed, we will invite you for a meeting or call to get to know you and your team. 
Save the date: The jury decision will be announced on 10 February 2020.

How will the collaboration between Vision Health Pioneers and you work legally?

Before starting the program, a working contract (like a "Werksvertrag") will be provided by us for each team member to sign. This contract confirms all data provided in your application, lists your legal status, and also provides a guarantee for the funding and its payment.

What are the benefits of the program?

Stipend: We will provide a stipend of €2,000 € per person per month for the full 9 months - a total of up to €72,000 € for a team of 4 experts. Please note: We do not take any equity in your idea or company for this.
Co-working space: You will share a co-working space in the heart of Berlin with other participants of the program and our experts.
Training: We provide extensive training on all topics related to founding a company and getting your idea ready for your market.
Access to partners: During the 9-month program, you will gain access to our partners, their prototyping facilities, and their technology. Last but not least, we will also get you in touch with potential investors and business partners.

What are the expected results of the program?

Besides a flashy certificate, we will give you everything you need to start your company and build a strong product. So ideally at the end of the 9-month program, you will be investment-ready or be able to start Proof-of-Concept (PoC) projects with our partners or other healthcare organisations. If we see that your idea can't be validated, we will help you to pivot for greater results.

What financial support is provided? Do we take equity?

We provide up to €72,000 funding per team, and most importantly, we do not take any equity in exchange.
We offer every team member €2,000 per month, which is a total of €72,000 per 4-person team.
Please note: Our program is a full-time-program. You may be able to keep punctual projects as long as they do not affect your participation and results in the program. You need to inform us about your side hustles when applying.

Can you combine this program with other sources of funding?

Unfortunately, we can not accept applications for our program if you have already received any other public or private subsidies/grants, such as EXIST or Berliner Startup Stipendium, or any significant equity investments that prejudice your full control on the company. Also, please note that the program accepts equity investments that only cover personnel and material costs; meaning the founders must not pay themselves a salary (income-expense overview). Good news: Prize money from private and public competitions, regardless of the amount, is accepted.

What happens if I receive funding during the program?

We will celebrate and be happy for you! 

But note that equity investments should not prejudice your full control of the company to get accepted.

Which partners support the program?

More than 15 healthcare organisations and business networks support us pro bono, including: 
- Clinics and medical institutions such as Sana Kliniken, Charité, Beelitz Kliniken
- Pharma and healthcare companies such as Sanofi, Sandoz
- Research experts and technology providers such as Fraunhofer MEVIS, Fraunhofer Venture, DFKI,
- Startup and innovation hubs such as Flying Health, DesignIT, Hacking Health, Signals Open Studio
- Business partners such as TaylorWessing, Berlin Partner. 

For our incubator teams, they will provide access to users, mentoring, coaching and technology.

Can you still apply if you are not a Berlin resident?

Yes, you can apply. However, you will need to register as a resident of Berlin as soon as we accept you into the program. This also includes your startup - the entity will also need to be incorporated in Berlin.

Can you apply if you are currently working full-time?

Yes, you can apply, but you must focus on the program full-time once it starts.
In order to make your idea ready for the market, you and your team will go through an extensive and elaborate program which requires a full-time commitment. We provide every team member with €2,000 per month to cover your living costs.
We will also provide a co-working space for you to work from for free.

You are a solo entrepreneur? Can you apply?

To start the program we only accept teams with a minimum of two people. If you are solo, we can help you find a partner to get you on board. If this is you - then let us know about your application via email as soon as possible. We cannot promise anything but we will try to assist - maybe you get lucky!

You have founded your startup already - either in Germany or abroad. Can you still apply or are you too mature for our incubator?

We only support early-stage ideas for the German market. Your company can be incorporated in Berlin but the date of your business registration (Gewerbeanmeldung) should not be older than 3 months at the date of receipt of your completed application on f6s.com. 

If you are an international startup that wants to launch a product new in Germany, we will consider you early-stage as well. Feel free to get in touch if you want to learn more about this topic!

What kind of coworking can you expect?

We offer free coworking space for all participating team members. The incubator is located in the heart of Berlin, in close vicinity to the most important healthcare organizations such as Charité or the Federal Ministry of Health. We have space for 20 entrepreneurs. Most of the workshops, coaching & mentoring sessions and community events will take place at the space. Do you have a family or other responsibilities to take care of from time to time? No problem, we encourage diverse teams with different, personal needs to align their schedules according to the program. Therefore, you are not required to work from our space every day, but we strongly recommend that you make use of the site.

What time commitment do you need?

We want to give you both, the opportunity of being part of a supportive community AND individual time for your startup development.
Vision Health Pioneers is a full-time program mixing group training on a weekly basis, on-demand mentoring sessions following your own needs, and individual time for teamwork at the coworking space. 
The icing on the cake: Community events like meetups with inspiring stories from entrepreneurs, breakfasts, visits and more, are also part of the package! 

Our tech partners (such as Fraunhofer), are providing the tech and software. How does it work?

If you are missing technology to develop your idea further, our tech partners can provide support.
Fraunhofer, for instance, will scout existing technology across its various institutes for you. In order to use the technology, you will need to arrange an agreement with the selected institute and spin the technology off after the program. If you are interested, please mention it in your application so that we can look into available technology as soon as possible. If you want to develop your own tech, feel free to do so as well. Fraunhofer is just an option.

You have no team and the idea is too raw? 

No problem! Get time to work on your idea and find a team: Vision Health Pioneers will run two cohorts, each with a 9-month duration - and you can apply for either:

Cohort 1:
Application ends January 31, 2020
Jury decision and internal announcement of participating teams: February 10, 2020
Contract finalization and external announcement of participating teams: February 21, 2020
Program dates: March 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020

Cohort 2:
Application starts September 1st, 2020
Program dates: December 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021

I am not a European citizen - can I still join the program? 

Yes - we are open to international teams. If you are a non-European citizen, you will - like all the others - need to become a resident of Berlin. This implies that you most probably will need a visa. 

Visa requirements may vary according to your country of residence, so make sure you inform yourself and start your visa application process early!!!

For more information on visa procurement, contact your embassy and feel free to reach out to our teams.

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