Novartis launches Novartis Cancer Startup Programme

In its commitment to reimagining cancer through innovative science and the power of new technologies, Novartis has joined Conector Startup Accelerator in the launch of Novartis Cancer Startup Programme, a “HealthTech” startup acceleration programme focused on caring for cancer patients.

The objective of the programme is to boost the potential of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to foster the development of innovative solutions that contribute to improving the quality of life of people with cancer throughout the entire process: prevention, at the time of diagnosis, during treatment and medical monitoring, and in daily life with the disease.

In the words of José Marcilla, CEO of Novartis Oncology, “we are in a time of exponential transformation with two revolutions, biomedical and technological, occurring at the same time. And Novartis believes that the innovation/collaboration binomial; that is, the joint work with startups and other stakeholders in the digital environment, enables us to channel all the potential that comes from the hand of this transformation to continue reimagining cancer care and one day realise its dream of curing the disease.”

The CEO of Conector Startup Accelerator, Quino Fernández, points out that “‘open innovation’ is clearly one of the routes with the most potential for developing new products and services and enables corporations to incorporate innovative ideas generated and developed out of their structures. It is a pride for Conector to collaborate with its experience and its network of mentors with Novartis on its first project in this area”.

The programme is aimed at startups in the “seed” phase – with developed product, but in the initial phase – and in the “growth” phase – with product in the market and a validated business model – that develop proposals that can contribute to improving the experience of cancer patients, facilitate the work of the professionals who care for them them and, in general, optimise the processes and treatments related to the disease.

The call for the programme is now open, and all startups who wish to do so can register until February 23 on the website. After this process, a ‘Startup Day’ will be held in which the entrepreneurs will present their projects to the experts of Novartis and Conector Startup Accelerator, who will select the startups that will take part in the Novartis Cancer Startup Programme.

The selected startups will enter the acceleration programme, which is supported and monitored by a group of high-level mentors from Novartis and the Conector network who will share their experience to support and optimise the development of their business models. 

The initiative also offers the possibility of putting entrepreneurs in contact with patient associations and healthcare professionals to better understand recipients’ needs and the best way to respond. Finally, a “Demo Day” will be held in which startups can present their improved projects to potential investors and business angels.