What is Startup Creasphere?

We are a global digital health innovation platform that connects startups with industry-leading corporate partners to drive the goal of Transforming Healthcare Together. We offer startups, corporates and partners an environment within our global ecosystem to co-create solutions and services, drive investments, learn and share experiences, and facilitate international expansion. We run two batches per year, each lasting for 3-4 months. Established by Roche and Plug and Play in Munich in 2018, Startup Creasphere was the first health focused innovation program in Europe to connect startups with industry-leading corporate partners to pilot their technology and drive new digital health solutions. Leveraging the existing Plug and Play health innovation program in the Silicon Valley that was launched in 2015, we introduced a digital health innovation hub in the US in a next step. Following the success of program in the two existing locations, we launched our third location in Singapore in 2020. Today, we run an integrated program across all three locations as well as innovation challenges for specific health care areas.

Who is driving Startup Creasphere?

The founding partners Roche and Plug and Play are the main architects of Startup Creasphere. Further partners such as Neom round off our open innovation platfrom If you are interested in the people behind the scenes please visit out team page.

Why have we created Startup Creasphere?

We are striving for three main aspects: creating a digital ecosystem in healthcare, driving open innovation and accelerating success of startups. By creating a digital ecosystem in healthcare we are connecting all relevant players such as corporates, startups, investors, providers, payers and customers to ultimately accelerate the development of new digital health solutions and new business models. Driving open innovation within the healthcare industry results from the huge need to collaborate with different players. Startup Creasphere offers access to a dedicated healthcare ecosystem to foster co-creation and open innovation. Accelerating startup success is crucial as Startups play a major role in the digitalization of the healthcare industry and developing new disruptive ideas.

What are the key technology and indication areas?

The key technologies and indications are:

Advanced Data Analytics
Digital Biomarker
Lab of the Future
Disease Management
Clinical Decision Support
Digital Service Solutions
Digital Therapeutics
Cardiometabolic Diseases
Diabetes Care
Women´s Health
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Infectious Diseases

Who can participate and how can Startups apply?

Startup Creasphere is looking for the best startups in defined focus areas who want to make an impact in the healthcare sector, are digitally driven, have an MVP, and are ready for co-creation. A proactive application is not possible as we are searching very targeted according to the challenges we receive from the corporate partners´ business and R&D teams.

What makes Startup Creasphere different?

Startup Creasphere has a strong focus on the co-creation between startups and corporate partners, and fosters an integrative approach bringing together different corporate partners in healthcare and beyond (open innovation platform).

What/how many startups have been participating in Startup Creasphere?

To date, more than 117 digital health startups have participated in the program, resulting in approximately 50% follow-up collaborations. (status: May 2024)

Who is the contact for further questions?

Giota Papavasileiou, the program manager for Startup Creasphere or Christina Brandmair, program lead for Startup Creasphere: startupcreasphere@pnptc.com

How can I stay up to date on whats happening?

Follow us on linkedin or visit our News&Events section

Where does the program happen?

Startup Creasphere is a golbally integrated innovation platform, with three main hubs in Munich, Singapore and Silicon Valley.

How do you find the best startups for your challenges?

The batch-specific scouting runs once two twice a year and is based on the specific challenges and search criteria defined by the business and R&D teams of our corporate partners. This iterative process starts with a longlist of startups that are then step by step reduced ending up in one startup that will be picked to participate in the next batch.

What happens in the program?

Kick-off day marks the start of a batch where the selected startups pitch their solutions and the pilot project teams get to know each other. The day after, on Orientation Day, the teams get intensively onboarded to the program and start scoping out their pilot projects. Deep dives serve as major touchpoints to drive the co-creation process and can be accompanied by pitching sessions to spread the news within the corporate partners´. Additionally the Deep Dives are complemented by a coaching program, dealflow sessions, and further public events. The results of the co-creation are presented at the end of the batch during Expo Day. The specific structure is also depicted under “programs”.

What is the program timeline? When does the next batch start?

We are running two batches we year, a spring batch starting end of March and a fall batch starting in October. Please find the program dates under “programs”.

What follow-up do you do with the startups after the program?

We have seen a multitude of collaboration models resulting from Startup Creasphere participation: different types of partnerships such as extended pilot projects, supplier / vendor relationships, co-development, co-marketing and co-distribution agreements as well as acquisition or equity investments.

What are the benefits for startups?

Startups gain access to high-level corporate partners, get access to a broad network of experts and investors. During the batch, they receive valuable business insights, feedback / input for their solution, as well as coaching, and mentoring. For approximately 50% of the startups, the collaboration continues after the batch program.

How long is the program?

A batch typically runs for 12 to 14 weeks.

Do you invest and how much equity do you take in return?

No, Startup Creasphere is focused on co-creation, hence there are no investments included. However our program offers access to VCs during the focus weeks. Furthermore our partner PnP also acts as investor: https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/ventures/.

Do you have typical success stories?

We are regularly posting success stories on our News&Stories section. Please be aware that this is only a small sub-section as many ongoing topics can not be communicated externally.

How much does it cost to participate as a startup?

Startup Creasphere is a free of charge program.

What are pilot projects?

After having defined the challenge and selected a startup with the best fit, a team consisting of a corporate partner and the startup are working together on a joint pilot project with a defined scope. One empowered pilot owner of the corporate partner is driving and owning the project. The pilot project is running three to four months challenging the team to present the proof of concept at the Expo Day. The outcome of the pilot project also builds the basis for the team to jointly decide on a further collaboration. Currently we have over 50% of the pilot projects resulting in follow-up collaborations after the participation in Startup Creasphere.