The most innovative digital solutions for health and pharma

Laura Diez


For the second time this year, we were able to organise a successful X-Linker and thus connect start-ups and corporates with each other. Under the motto "Digital Health for Pharma", 10 international startups presented their digital solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer Healthcare Hub called it "probably the most important matching event for startups and pharma companies in Europe" - the event was a complete success! 

A glimpse of the final day

The event was hosted by Marco R. Majer and Lisa Tschalenko from 5-HT. "Our goal is to drive digitalisation opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry by connecting start-ups with digital solutions with relevant players," said Lisa, our Digital Health Ecosystem Manager, after the event. 

Innovations are created at intersections

Just one of many highlights was the welcome speech by Daniel Hach, COO of BI X - the digital lab of Boehringer Ingelheim. In his keynote on "External Innovation as a key to digital innovation", he focused on the importance of digital innovation in the field of digital health and gave valuable insights into external innovation and successful collaboration between companies and start-ups: 

"The best innovations are created at the interfaces where we combine our internal capabilities with the strength of external partners." 

Keynote by Daniel Hach, COO of BI X - the digital lab of Boehringer Ingelheim

10 Digital solutions to improve patients' quality of life

After the inspiring words of our speakers, it got serious. Now our ten selected start-ups were in the spotlight. In front of several hundred guests, the founders each presented their innovative solution in a 4-minute pitch. The audience was given an exciting insight into the various innovations from different areas. For example, a digital health coach that improves the quality of life for rheumatism patients or an app that makes it easier for (former) cancer patients to deal with extreme fatigue caused by cancer. But that was not all. Directly after each pitch, a Q&A session with the jury members took place. In this session, the founders were able to delve deeper into the topic and answer specific questions from Malte Fritsche, BITKOM, and Prof. Christoph Oberlinner, BASF.

These ten startups impressed with their innovative digital solutions for the pharmaceutical industry: 

Cogniant Singapore, Singapore
Five Lives London & Paris, UK & France
ki:elements Saarbrücken, Germany
lifespin GmbH Regensburg, Germany
mama health Berlin, Germany
Midaia Heidelberg, Germany
Symba Health Cambridge, UK
Tired of Cancer Utrecht, Netherlands
Virtuleap Lisbon, Portugal
Vistim Labs Salt Lake City, USA

Live audience votes mama health the winner 

Around 200 audience members cast their votes for the best pitched solution: The audience award went to mama health, a platform for peer-to-peer patient interaction that was originally developed as a platform for COVID patients. Patients can use the platform to tell their story, share with others and access the information gathered from the community. "We have made it our mission to help patients live better lives," Mattia Marco Caruson, founder of mama health, emphasised the startup's motivation. "We need to join forces to make a difference and improve the lives of all our patients." We congratulate the two founders and look forward to sending them to the Web Summit in Lisbon in November as a prize! 

Marco R. Majer and Lisa Tschalenko announce the audience winner

Exchange at eye level - startups meet industry giants at the Corporate Speed Dating. 

The 10 pitches of the participating start-ups formed only the first half of the event. This was followed by the Corporate Speed Dating. In these 1:1 conversations, the startups were given the unique opportunity to exchange ideas with companies from the health and pharmaceutical sectors. We are proud that also for the X-Linker "Digital Health for Pharma" these following world-renowned corporations took their chance to participate:


- Bayer

- BI X - Digital Lab of Boehringer Ingelheim

- Egis

- Fresenius Kabi

- Lilly

- Merz Aesthetics

- Pfizer Healthcare Hub

- Roche

Virtual event space connects start-ups from Lisbon to Salt Lake City 

The setting was embedded in a virtual event space including an exhibition area to showcase the range of services of the participating startups, allowing the audience to fully immerse and interact in the virtual 3D environment. In our exhibition area, not only the corporates but also the guests could inform themselves about the participating startups.

Virtual event space

5-HT X-Linker: Digital Health for Pharma - a complete success 

Marco R. Majer, Head of Ecosystems at 5-HT and co-moderator of the X-Linker, looks back with satisfaction on the successful bootcamp and is looking forward to further cooperation with the startups: "We are excited about the collaborations that will result from the discussions and look forward to continuing to network the startups with relevant players in the future in order to advance digitalisation in healthcare."

Dr. Frank Funke, Managing Director of 5-HT, also looks back on the event with pride: "Once again, a successful matchmaking event. I hope all guests and participants enjoyed the event as much as I did. I wish all participating start-ups every success. I think all other participants or guests got another concentrated load of inspiration today. Many thanks to the 5-HT Digital Hub - Chemistry & Health team!"

The feedback from the participating startups and corporates shows that the event was successful again this time and that several follow-ups are already underway:

Niko Louris, Manager | Digital Health Innovation Lilly Deutschland: „Creating an ecosystem together with partners like 5-HT Digital Hub is fundamental for the future of pharma. The “X-linker Digital Health for Pharma” event was a great chance to meet interesting and promising startups, which need to be part of this ecosystem.”

Peter Neske, Innovation Lead Internal Medicine Pfizer Healthcare Hub Freiburg: "After the hustle and bustle of Friday with all the information, encounters and conversations has subsided, at least the assessment remains that this was one of the best events (at least) I've been to! Big compliments to the whole team, and to Marco R. Majer and Lisa Tschalenko for their appreciative, competent and entertaining moderation! 

Megan Simpson from tired of cancer: "We are so grateful to the 5-HT Digital Hub - Chemistry & Health for putting on a fantastic and inspiring day of digital health solutions last week. What a wonderful opportunity to share what we are doing here at Tired of Cancer and meet great people. I left feeling energised and looking forward to seeing this industry continue to flourish, knowing that there are so many great people doing so many great things!"

Philipp Noll, Merz Aesthetics, also had nothing but appreciative words, "I would like to say a big thank you to the team at 5-HT. They were fantastic and supported me! All the potential candidates were promising. The well-prepared reading allowed for meaningful and in-depth interviews. I am already looking forward to the follow-up interviews."

Dr. Ali Tinazli, CEO of lifespin: "Excellent event to showcase early-stage start-ups and showcase efficient partnership and investment opportunities to established healthcare players!"

We would like to thank all participants and guests for the successful event and the positive feedback! See you on 03 June 2022, when it will be Build crosslinks now! Then on the topic of "Smart Production".

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