The Health Tech Hub of Copenhagen launches a new award ‘The Hermit’ for better adoption of innovation within the Danish Health Tech sector. We spoke with Martin Vesterby - Health Tech Adoption Partner from Health Tech Hub Copenh

Written by Kalpita Bhosale

Sep 2, 2021 / 8 min. read

The Hermit: A provoking impactful award

The Health Tech Hub of Copenhagen launches a new award ‘The Hermit’ for better adoption of innovation within the Danish Health Tech sector. We spoke with Martin Vesterby - Health Tech Adoption Partner from Health Tech Hub Copenhagen - who kindly explained to us the barriers as well as a creative solution. He - along with his colleague Valentin Bejan - Co-founder & CInO, Health Tech Hub Copenhagen - came up with ‘The Hermit’ award.

In Denmark, many projects are created and financed but do not achieve the desired scale-up heights. Several projects are undertaken with the validated need of proper research, unbiased data and a fitting solution. But, the implementation is not on par with global scale-up requirements.

“We are creating too much with very little international impact.”

— Martin Vesterby

Board member, Health Tech Hub Copenhagen

Therefore, the creation of The Hermit - an award that highlights the crucial partnership that are needed for Health Tech adoption - which would result in better chances for international scaling.

“When we talk about tech in the Danish Health Tech sector there is a reluctance to incorporate technology. In Denmark, we have the tendency to have exciting ideas as projects and aggressively invest in these projects. But, there is a lapse in adopting these ideas and implementing them into the larger scale of things within the sector. We have stacked innovations, many with proof of concept, but face a challenge of being incorporated into practice."

Valentin Bejan gave birth to the concept of giving such projects more impetus and focus. While Martin Vesterby gave it a creative twist and fleshed out the award to not only make it a celebration but also an eye-opening initiative for the sector, investors and startups to be inspired.

“The idea is to shine the light on projects that are not only in business but are out there being implemented in the healthcare sector, and are creating both value for the healthcare sector and the patients.”

Martin Vesterby coined the award name - The Hermit, as a metaphor. The idea stemmed from his observations of the Health Tech startup ecosystem that keeps fighting to find a place for ideas to be embraced and protected - by a hospital or municipality, early on - but, do not experience growth.

“The best part about the metaphor is that the first place that takes them in, has to be aware that they will become too small at one point in time. The project they adopt will look for another place that is bigger. A bigger hospital, municipality, country or NGO for their next endeavour - because that is the whole idea of scaling. So, we want to find partnerships where there is an aggressive startup matched with a place where they can start small.”

Martin Vesterby further emphasizes that there is a need to find these catalysts in the healthcare sector that are actually willing to invest in companies early on and also to support them in collecting the data. Therefore, proving that there is relevant clinical value and no adverse effects of their technology. He emphasizes, these kinds of places are rare and we need more of those.

“We want outside investors to look at us and think that Denmark is not only a land of projects and promises, it is also a land of implementation and impact.”

But, why an award?

“An award is easy to scout for exceptional work because people are curious and like to get attention for their work. It is easier for them to highlight their value proposition and use this award as a way to share with the outside world. It lends them credibility and an initial push for consideration.”

The award will be announced at The HealthTech Summit 2021, held on September 30th, in the presence of very important people and significant stakeholders in this area such as hospitals, regulators and big investment firms. The Hermit provides them with elements of value and helps initiate conversation among the relevant audience for scale-up.

“When I get up on stage to present this award, I will spend time talking about the losses faced during the tedious process of startups making an idea and scaling it based on a profitable business model. I will explain and discuss why this is difficult because if we spend over a billion kroner to support innovation in Denmark and we create only very few companies then perhaps we need to spend our resources otherwise.”

The name and all information regarding The Hermit are in English which is indicative that eventually, it will look outside of Denmark and carry the new legacy of the award across the globe.

Learn more about the Hermit here.

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