Bambi Medical, a start-up coming out of the HighTechXL-accelerator, has collected 500.000 euro through a Leapfunder-campaign and took a trip to Shanghai to explore the Chinese market. Founder Fabio Bambang Oetomo gives an update on how the start-up is making progress since we last spoke to them, shortly after HighTechXL’s grand finale: XL Day.
Bambi Medical is developing the Bambi-Belt, a strap that can be applied to babies in incubators. The strap measures physiological parameters like the heart rate and temperature of the baby. Now, those measurements are performed through electrodes, which are attached to the skin of the baby and have to be replaced on different occasions throughout the day. The strap can be worn all day, which reduces stress for the baby as well as its parents.
The main difference between Bambi Medical at XL Day and now is that the company has raised money to continue product development. This also means the start-up can start paying a salary to its team. Up to now, everyone in the team worked as a volunteer for the company.
By now, the team of Bambi exists out of six players, an expansion of the team is probable however, the search for a CTO as the seventh man on the team has already started. “Before, all we could offer was to cover the expenses they made, now we can start to pay a salary”, Bambang Oetomo says.
Aiming to get to market
Another effect the investment has is that it creates space to further develop the product and do more research on the needs for the product. According to its founder the start-up can work on this for the coming nine to twelve months thanks to the investment raised. However, after that time, still no product will be sold on market, therefore the company will again have to look at ways to raise money with investors.
A next step in product developing is a trial period with three Dutch hospitals, which will start in the beginning of 2017. For that trial period a small batch of straps will be produced at Holst Centre, the research institute is based on High Tech Campus and is a partner of Bambi Medical. By 2018, the product should be used in hospitals throughout Europe.
“Worst-case scenario for us is that the prototype still has to undergo a lot of work an development. We did some tests before, but nothing at this scale”, Bambang Oetomo says. “Best-case is that the prototype works perfectly and we can go to the next phases quickly: developing the final product and proceed to mass-production.”
The team, which earlier this year was still in the acceleratorprogramme of HighTechXL, has its eyes locked on the future. A part of that future lies in international markets like China. The team visited China as part of a trading mission with StartupDelta in search of first contacts with possible partners there.
“We have spoken a lot of people about entering the best way to enter the market over there. The ask for the product absolutely is there.” That does not mean China will be easy to conquer for Bambi Medical however. “China is a different world. It is hard to enter without an insider on your side, even if you have a product they like.”
Therefore Bambi Medical would like to set-up an office in Shanghai. “We have to have a strong presence with local employees to get acces to the hospitals there.” A similar way of starting business is being contemplated for the US-market. When the step to a different continent will be made is not yet clear.
Meanwhile in Eindhoven the Bambi Medical team has an office at the High Tech Campus, shared with Usono, a start-up that was alos in the HighTechXL-programme. “We deliberately chose to stay on campus. We are close to our partner Holst Centre, share an office with a team we befriended in our time with HighTechXL and we are surrounded by companies we either already have or would like to create a partnership with in the future. The campus ecosystem has given a lot to us and will keep on doing so for some time to come.”