The 4C Alumni Gathering 2023 – Driving medical innovation together

Written by Lea Renz

Medical Life Sciences and Marketing Enthusiast with M.A. in Media Studies

12 Oct, 2023

A strong network, peer-to-peer learning and collaboration with established partners in the healthcare industry are important factors for the success of MedTech startups. In order to support startup projects and young companies on this level, we invite alumni of the 4C Accelerator and our network partners once a year to a large networking event in Tübingen. This year’s “4C Alumni Gathering 2023” took place on October 5th at Erbe Elektromedizin, a medical device company in Tübingen. Along with it: 29 startups from all over Germany, 17 network partners and an exciting and interactive program.

Highlights from the 4C Community

The event was opened by our CEO Ingo Hämmerle, who welcomed the startups that had come from all over Germany as well as our regional and cross-regional sponsoring partners. He also had the pleasure to welcome some partners of our parent company, the Stiftung für Medizininnovationen (Foundation for Medical Innovations). Among them, member of the foundation’s board of trustees, Annette Widmann-Mauz (Member of the Bundestag and former Minister of State), reviewers of our Idea Evaluation Board, Dr. Thilo Brinkmann (Managing Director, B. Braun Stiftung) and Prof. Michael Auer (Managing Director, Steinbeis Stiftung) as well as long-time advisor and supporter of the foundation and the 4C Concept, Alexander Schachtrupp.

These great advancements by the accelerator alumni prove once again that training in the 4Cs – Commercialzation, Certification, Clinical Studies and Copyright – and the Regulatory Thinking® method helps young medtech companies successfully navigate the hurdles of the healthcare industry.


How collaboration between SMEs and startups succeed

Under the title “Idea + Technology = Success !?”, Dr. Helmut Scherer, CTO of Erbe Elektromedizin GmbH, provided insights into the strategic realignment of the medium-sized medical device manufacturer. After almost 170 years of organic growth, the company decided a few years ago to also allow inorganic growth through the acquisition of promising startups. Together with his colleagues from Erbe’s management, Prof. Markus Enderle (CSMO) and Marcus Felstaed (CCO), he discussed the different perspectives on this strategy change as well as the criteria under which the cooperation between SMEs and startups can succeed.

What became clear: An idea and a promising technology alone are not enough. For medium-sized companies like Erbe, other factors are relevant, as Markus Enderle explained on the basis of the 4Cs. For example, a clear certification strategy, an estimable time-to-market and, last but not least, the fit of the product idea to the corporate strategy


Learning from MedTech founders already on the road to success

From the perspective of SMEs to the perspective of startups, a panel discussion then followed with the founders of three advanced MedTech startups. Under the title “MedTech Startup? Nothing easier than that!”, Lukas Flöß (Inovedis), Sabrina Hellstern (Hellstern medical), and Dr. Ramona Samba (sync2brain) discussed the hurdles of the healthcare industry and, above all, how to successfully overcome them. The panel was moderated by Julia Zimmermann, who, as co-founder of the early-stage startup EVERSION Technologies, knows all too well the questions you ask yourself every day as a founder.

For the startups in the audience, the panel offered practical insights and tips. From the strategic decision of a product certification first according to MDR in Europe or according to FDA in the USA, over the advantages and disadvantages of the internal knowhow building, to the topic of fundraising, the three founders passed on valuable experiences.


282 meetings during the speed dating session

After the valuable insights of the speakers, it was then up to all participants. At the speed dating, startups and network partners met in 12 rounds of 4 minutes each. In a total of 282 meetings, the aim was to establish new contacts, explore common ground and find synergies. This interactive element of the program turned the “4C Alumni Gathering” into a networking event par excellence. In order to continue the conversations started during the speed dating, all guests were invited to a joint get-together in the evening – with a lavish buffet, cold drinks and table soccer.

Driving medical innovations together through cooperation and collaboration – that is the goal of our annual “4C Alumni Gathering”. With almost 100 guests from around 50 different institutions attending the event, we were once again able to actively work towards this goal this year.

We would like to express our sincere thanks for the support of our plus partners

The Medical Solution Center – CASE4Med (Computed Aided Solution Engineering for Medical) – supports MedTech companies in using the technologies of the future: High Performance Computing, Simulation as well as Data Analytics/Artificial Intelligence in a profitable way. The goal is to find innovative and forward-looking solutions that represent the best possible added value for the respective companies.

ForTra gGmbH

ForTra gGmbH für Forschungstransfer der Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS) is a non-profit organization of the EKFS. The purpose of the company is to transfer medical research results into clinical application for the benefit of patients. To this end, ForTra finances projects under the EKFS Translatorik funding line.


In the field of venture capital, L-Bank focuses mainly on fund investments in order to achieve the broadest possible impact together with private investors in the fund. In addition, it offers the Start-up BW Pre-Seed program for early-stage start-ups. For companies in the growth phase, the InnoGrowth BW program is being developed in cooperation with the federal and state governments.


HOCHFORM is an initiative of the municipal enterprise Wirtschaft und Stadtmarketing Pforzheim (WSP) to support companies with a focus on precision engineering from the Pforzheim/Northern Black Forest region. Its precision companies stand for quality worldwide. The Pforzheim/Northern Black Forest region is the competence location for precision technology.

novineon CRO GmbH

As a Tübingen-based service provider, novineon CRO GmbH supports national and international manufacturers of medical devices and in vitro diagnostics in clinical and regulatory tasks related to conformity assessment. novineon CRO accompanies their products through all phases of the CE life cycle – from usability, through clinical testing, to clinical evaluation and beyond to PMCF.

relyon AG

relyon AG has evolved from a classic system provider to an agile provider of smart technologies. Its focus on managed services, cloud solutions and automation is its core competence. Relyon’s ambition is not only to meet customer requirements, but also to ensure their business success through proactive service. High flexibility allows the relyon team to react quickly to customer needs and makes them unique.


SKM-IP is a newly established patent and law firm specializing in intellectual property. With expertise and passion, SKM-IP accompanies companies from the identification of protectable intellectual property through required technical development processes to the representation of patent, trademark or design applications. Its technical home is in information technology, engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and chemistry.

VOELKER & Partner mbB

VOELKER is a partnership of lawyers, accountants and tax consultants with offices in Reutlingen, Stuttgart and Balingen. With currently around 45 professionals, the firm assists companies and private individuals with complex projects, advises them on all aspects of commercial law and covers all aspects of tax and business consulting. Seminars are held regularly for interested professionals.

We would like to express our sincere thanks for the support of our basic partners

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