Aortyx increased its capital with a seed fund of 650,000 € led by Genesis Ventures. This seed round started in February 2019, initially aiming for 300,000 €. The excitemtent from the investors and the updated cash needs made our round the 14th in Spain in 2019 and the highest without Venture Capitals nor Crowdfunding platforms.
Our CEO and co-founder, Jordi Martorell, states that achieving this round of funding is a recognition of the trust placed by our investors in our daily work and the main objective of Aortyx: saving lives.
This capital raise has been key to start animal testing and to fix our commercialization objective in 2024. Likewise, we have already started the industrialization process of our prototype and put in motion our quality management system to comply with ISO 13485.
ENISA is a public institution that offers soft loans to promising Spanish start-ups during their initial stages, when private capital is hard to raise. Being funded by ENISA is not only a great opportunity to raise capital, but also a sign of quality that can generate traction to attract new investors. Aortyx was given a participative loan of €175.000 to fund their business plan.
In mid-2019, Aortyx was selected to participate in the EIT Headstart Program, which included 40,000 € non-dilutive funding and mentoring. After half the program was completed, all the start-ups enrolled in the program had the opportunity to demonstrate the value already created thanks to the program. Moreover, 10.000 € extra were awarded to the most advanced companies in a pitch competition held on December 9th, the EIT Headstart Pitching Day.
Thanks to all the team and to our CEO, Jordi Martorell, who presented our global progression, we were one of the awarded companies. This cash prize supports our staff and awards the progress made developing our business plan.
ACCIO (Generalitat de Catalunya) promoted an ambitious mission for empowered female founders and leaders of emerging start-ups based in Catalonia to conquer New York City. The company selection process was very competitive due to the incredible ecosystem of Catalan emerging companies. Luckily, Aortyx was one of the selected start-ups that participated in the program. The emergence of multiple startups is a positive thing for various sectors, new and innovative ideas can bring about change in an ever-changing world. They will need to establish from the start what type of startup they are, companies such as Early Growth can help these businesses decide which one they want to be.
After months and great efforts from ACCIO teams in Barcelona and New York and the startups, the mission took place at the end of November. Aortyx was represented by their CTO, Noemí Bal , who used the mission to connect with potential investors and introduce Aortyx in the NYC ecosystem, but also to increase her visibility and continue fighting for genre equality.
New York has a great entrepreneurial atmosphere with more than 9000 start-ups in different sectors and hundreds of enterprise accelerators as well as co-working spaces. Noemí met with a number of empowered women who work in the most influential companies in the world. She and the mission attended the Tech Up for Women event in New York, an event qualified as Top Five Most Insipiring Conferencesof 2018 by Forbes. Our co-founder presented Aortyx, along with nine other Catalan female entrepreneurs in the fields of big data, AI, biotechnology and fashion.
Every year since the early 1970’s, the VEITH Symposium, one of the most renowned vascular conferences in the world, takes place in New York City. It provides vascular surgeons the opportunity of having a complete overview of the most up-to-date, unbiased and balanced state of the art in vascular treatment as well as what important new developments are on the horizon. Through a 5-day rapid presentations format, this conference is the global centrepiece of vascular practitioners and defines the highlight of the annual activity in this sector.
This year, Aortyx had the pleasure of presenting their project in the 46th Annual VEITHsymposium. Vicenç Riambau, who is not only one of the founders of Aortyx but also one of the most well-known vascular surgeons of the world, presented Aortyx’ new approach to treat aortic damage non-invasively.
The event was a great opportunity for Aortyx to connect with surgeons from all over the world, exchanging views on the unmet needs in aortic disease and to interact with other medical device companies with similar interests.
We are already looking forward to come back in the next edition!
The Generalitat de Catalunya offers scholarships for students willing to develop doctoral theses associated with companies, the so called Doctorat Industrial. Only well-balanced and promising projects and passionate students are able to get benefit of this kind of scholarships.
Pau Teixidó has been cornerstone in the development of our project since 2018, when he performed his master thesis on adhesives for vascular devices. Pau has been awarded a Doctorat Industrial scholarship. This support is critical to continue developing his PhD “Design and development of biocompatible adhesive for vascular patches” in an Aortyx-IQS collaboration.
The EIT Health Fellowship Network Alumni Showcase 2019 took place on November 6-7th in Lisbon, and Aortyx was there represented by Dr Júlia López Guimet. The EIT Health Fellowship Network is a strong and growing program family (Innovation Fellowships, Starship, and PhD Translational Fellowships) with a proven track record of creating impact and actively targeting the key challenges in healthcare: better patient care, improved population health, and reduced cost. Particularly, the EIT Health Innovation Fellowship Network Alumni Showcase is an annual event where the top alumni showcase their extraordinary success (both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial) that have come out of the various needs-led innovation programs in EIT Health. The event was held at the Pavilhão do Conhecimento – Centro de Ciência Viva, the largest and most emblematic science center in Portugal, in conjunction with Web Summit 2019 (“The best technology conference on the planet” - Forbes).
The event brought alumni, industry representatives, investors, program management, and EIT Health representatives together to network and learn about what is next on the healthcare innovation horizon. Several inspiring talks were held by Daniel Mogefors, Dr Ursula Mühle, Magdalena Rosenmöller and Peter Kelly; and Aortyx was able to get a glance of the flourishing European health start-up ecosystem by attending the pitch sessions of the Innostars Headstart awardees (Delox, SensoriumLab, SkinSoul, Mindlenses Professional, and others), the Starship fellows and the successfully established start-ups arisen from ET Health’s programs (Loop Diagnostics, NUA Surgical, Breaz, and others). This gathering was an excellent opportunity to share thoughts and first-hand experience on the healthcare innovation sector.
The Clinical Trials Europe conference was held last 19th - 21st November in the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), jointly with a previous private networking reception about “The UK Clinical Trials Landscape” organized by the Department for International Trade from the British Consulate. This conference is worldwide destination for the clinical trial professionals (more than 700 visitors came), and one could attend talks about regulatory affairs, patient engagement, technology applied to clinics, trial design, site and data management, outsourcing and digitalisation.
Within the conference, Aortyx, represented by Dr Júlia López Guimet, was able to network with leading delegates from the clinical trials industry, namely speakers from the UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), business development managers from clinical CROs, and delegates from service provider companies. We explored the world of clinical knowledge useful for Aortyx’s progression by hearing speeches with the latest data and insights into how clinical trials are being transformed and how the new European and American directives impact on them.
Aortyx has been awarded the SME Instrument Phase I grant worth 50.000 €. This instrument is part of the EU's Horizon 2020 program. A total of 291 small and medium-sized enterprises from 24 countries have been selected for funding, out of 2784 total applicants in this last call.
The target of this grant is to explore and assess the technical feasibility and commercial potential of our breakthrough innovation. It will cover the improvement of our business plan, the clinical trial preparation, the finalisation of our manufacturing plan and the upgrade of our stakeholder analysis. If Aortyx continues to succeed in the development of its Business Plan, the company will apply to the Phase II of this program, which can grant up to 2,5 million euros.
The EIT Health Headstart Programme provides funding of up to €50 000 to support early stage companies and SMEs in developing new products and services. Aortyx is one of the start-up companies that has been selected for this program. The selected companies will work on their product launch project with support from the regional managers to access local and EIT Health networks.
This program is a great opportunity to ensure our market study and plan the best strategy that can guarantee the shortest time-to-market of our products. Moreover, the funding is useful to verify the needs and benefits of Aortyx’s products and to increase the attraction of further private investment.