Pitch Contest “4C Check-up” – Team Semanux convinces the expert jury

Written by Lea Renz

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

15 Mar, 2024

A total of nine medical startups competed against each other in the “4C Check-up” online pitch contest. The aim of the five-minute pitch was to convince the expert jury of the product idea, the business model and the team. In the end, Lukas Schmelzeisen from Semanux succeeded. The team has now made it through to the state finals of the Startup BW Elevator Pitch.

On March 13, startups with product ideas from the field of medical life sciences had the opportunity to present themselves to a panel of experts at the “4C Check-up” online pitch contest. The winner not only had the prospect of free consulting from the MII experts, but also the chance to qualify for the grand finale of the Startup BW Elevator Pitch, organized by the Startup BW state initiative. Nine teams took advantage of this opportunity and faced the critical eyes of our judges.


A jury of MedTech experts

Specific expertise is required to assess whether a medical innovation is actually marketable and whether the business model behind it is not only promising from an entrepreneurial perspective, but also plausible from a regulatory perspective. The “4C Check-up” jury was therefore made up of four MedTech experts: Prof. Massimo Kubon, Annika Sunnanväder, Dr. Timo Weiland and Ingo Hämmerle.

Prof. Massimo Kubon has been Deputy Dean of Studies and Professor of Medical Technology at Hochschule Furtwangen since 2022. He is an expert in applied medical research in the field of microsensor technology and in the development and approval of medical devices, in particular visualization systems for minimally invasive surgery.

With her background in biology, genetics and pharmacology on the one hand and business administration on the other, Annika Sunnanväder combines two important pillars of entrepreneurship in the life sciences. As Co-CEO of the family office LS medcap GmbH, she has accompanied and supported the founding and financing of numerous startups and SMEs throughout Europe. In addition, Annika is on the advisory boards of several startups and chairs the MedTech manufacturer Bently Endovascular AB.

Dr. Timo Weiland initially worked as a researcher in biochemical pharmacology, first at the University of Constance and later at the University Hospital of Tübingen. Since 2011, he has been Director Research & Development and certified Clinical Data Manager at novineon CRO GmbH, where he is responsible for clinical evaluation.

The jury quartet is completed by Ingo Hämmerle, CEO of Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH and co-founder of the MedTech startup Fysor GmbH. Together with the MII team, he developed the 4C Concept and is also a pioneer in Regulatory Thinking®. His wealth of experience from supporting numerous startups makes him an expert in the development of 4C-connected business models for the healthcare industry.

9 innovative ideas present themselves, 3 are shortlisted

In 5 minutes each, the teams presented their product ideas, their business model and their teams. The jury then had the opportunity to ask critical questions and put the founders to the test: Is the market size realistically derived? Are regulatory hurdles known? Has the USP been clearly identified compared to the competition?

These nine teams used the “4C Check-up” to present themselves:

Aktiv_mobil_bleiben, CerebricorwayEndoSurgemedai.aiMySmyptoPerspective CareSemanuxTraining Arc

After exciting pitches, which were followed closely online by the jury and audience, three teams went head-to-head for the best places:

3rd place went to the EndoSurge team. The startup develops versatile robotic surgical instruments that are compatible with existing clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and enable image-guided cardiovascular procedures in real time and without radiation.

2nd place went to the Perspektiv Care team. The startup offers a “care monitor” that recognizes absences, mobility, tendencies to get up or fall and thus relieves the burden on nursing staff, giving them time for the essentials – personal interaction and care.

Lukas Schmelzeisen takes the win for Semanux

4C Accelerator alumni Semanux from Stuttgart took first place and thus qualified for the state final of the Startup BW Elevator Pitch. The pitch by CIO and co-founder Lukas Schmelzeisen impressed the jury with a well thought-out business model for a promising product with great scaling potential. Their first product, “Semanux Access”, is computer software that allows computers to be controlled using head movements instead of a mouse and keyboard, without the need for expensive eye-tracking devices. The software makes self-determination and participation in digital life possible for people with motor disabilities.

As the winning team, Semanux will now move on to the state final of the Startup BW Elevator Pitch, which will take place on September 28, 2024 in Schwäbisch Gmünd as part of MAKE Ostwürttemberg. The team will also receive a free „4C Check-up“ consultation from the MII experts.

Promoting innovation together with Startup BW

Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, also congratulates the newly crowned state finalist Semanux. She emphasized: “I am delighted that Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH is giving founders the opportunity to present themselves and their innovative business ideas with this preliminary decision.”

Competitions such as the Startup BW Elevator Pitch and its preliminary rounds give founders the opportunity to make important contacts, for example with strategic partners or investors. Together, institutions such as the MII and the Startup BW state campaign can thus actively promote innovation.


The entire MII team would like to thank the jury and all pitching teams and wish Semanux every success in the state finals of the Startup BW Elevator Pitch!

You may also like