Month: June 2019

Communication is everything! – The speech therapy app developers Neolexon at WERK1

We need to talk. All of us. Speaking is our connection to the world. But for many people this is “easier said than done”. How important this is for our everyday lives is particularly noticeable when, for example, a stroke causes our ability to speak to be lost and we have to struggle our way back into the world of acoustic communication. The WERK1-Startup Neolexon helps – with the most modern speech therapy app on the market.

Practice – the key to therapeutic success – Actually

The German Society for Neurology recommends 10 hours of speech therapy per week. The reality is different: In therapy, patients usually practice just one hour per week. Far too few and current offers are not tailored to everyday situations. Hanna Jakob found a solution to this problem. When she worked as a speech therapist in a clinic during her speech therapy studies, there was often not even time for this so important exercise session, because the patients first had to train the swallowing reflex. Also the already existing therapy-accompanying apps were not user-friendly and therefore not very helpful. Based on current research results, Hanna founded Neolexon in 2017 together with her speech therapist colleague Mona Späth.

Neolexon – Smart language training

The digital speech therapy system Neolexon includes an app for therapists as well as a self-training app for patients and is certified as a medical device. It is based on a unique database with around 10,000 practice terms with associated images and pronunciation video clips. From this, speech therapists can create an individual set of terms that are best suited to the patient in terms of both therapeutic aspects and everyday relevance. With this scientifically based, highly flexible system, Neolexon clearly stands out from other language training apps. In addition, many motivational elements are included to make practicing at home fun and effective. The neolino version for children with articulation disorders followed in April 2019. The two founders do not run out of ideas for other fields of application so quickly – also thanks to their close ties to the Institute for Phonetics and Speech Processing at the LMU Munich.

Make Neolexon fly

Now, however, it is a matter of bringing the existing system to the man and woman. Due to different interest groups such as therapists, patients, relatives, clinics and health insurance companies, Neolexon has to act on many different levels. The latter are the most important and at the same time the most complex project. Neolexon has already completed its first major milestone: the inclusion of neolino in the Techniker Krankenkasse program.

Come to WERK1 to stay (as long as possible)

After several funding programmes such as EXIST and FLÜGGE, the start-up team of four now stands on its own two feet. After the first phase at the university, they were able to move to WERK1 “at very short notice”, as Hanna, still visibly relieved, says. The combination of their own office plus exchange with other start-ups – either in WERK1’s everyday life or at various in-house events such as “AfterWERK” – forms the ideal growth environment for them. And if Neolexon’s space requirements grow accordingly in the near future, WERK1 will definitely provide a solution. Hanna is sure of that. She and her team definitely don’t want to leave here so quickly! In return, they are one of the few Medi-Startups who diligently contribute to the diversity in the WERK1 community.

Startup: Neolexon
Contact: info@neolexon.com
Website: www.neolexon.de

W1>> ACCELERATOR #4 AT WERK1 – UNLEASHING INNOVATION POTENTIAL IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY

The keyword “Accelerator” is usually associated with an idea about financial support and revision of business models. The W1 Forward Accelerator Programme, initiated by the InsurTech Hub Munich at WERK1, shows that a programm to promote innovative start-ups can work in a different way. In the eight-week, early-stage programm, the creators focus primarily on well-founded, targeted advice on start-ups and intensive use of the industry network.

THE INSURTECH HUB – A POOL OF POSSIBILITIES FOR STARTUPS & INSURERS

“The InsurTech Hub is a platform that brings the different players in the industry together,” explains Ben Shaw, Director Program & Strategy. Fourteen large insurers, large corporations, business and strategy consultants and universities such as the LMU or the Bundeswehrhochschule are part of the network. “The idea is that all these institutions have an interest in driving innovation together in the insurance context. And one part of driving this innovation forward is the Accelerator Program, which brings the various insurance companies into direct contact with small, innovative projects and start-ups.

PROGRAM USP & BENEFITS FOR THE STARTUPS

We want to know from Ben which startups the program is aimed at, as we meet him for the interview on the program running since mid-May in the WERK1 Café. In some cases the business idea is there, it hasn’t been founded yet – just early. “What’s important is that we not only select the start-ups according to the idea, but also according to whether we have the feeling that they can put it into practice. The selection event resulted in ten young companies. Only two of them have already received funding. “Over a period of eight weeks we will give them all the resources they need to build up and expand their business – i.e. consulting in business modelling, financial modelling, marketing & sales, etc.”, says Ben about the USP of the Accelerator programm. “And we bring them into contact with 14 major insurance companies, which give them direct enterprise feedback or rather insurance-relevant feedback. This is extremely valuable and priceless.”

PROGRAM FINALE: DEMO DAY

At the end of the eight weeks – this is the aim of the efforts to meet the big players from the insurance industry on a regular basis – the young companies will have pilot projects in the pipeline resulting from the program and the contacts made. For the finale, the Demo Day with around 400 guests, modelled on the American one, is waiting for everyone. “This event gives the startups the opportunity to present themselves to potential investors and tell their story. Why can my startup change the industry? They have four minutes for that.”

BUSINESS IDEAS THAT INSURERS & INSURED BENEFIT FROM

And the young companies want to change a lot! Seven B2B start-ups are involved. Among them, for example, is a company that develops software to support rehabilitation after illnesses and injuries. “This is interesting for private health insurers who want to make sure that the costs do not increase immeasurably due to incorrectly implemented physiotherapy,” explains Ben Shaw. “In addition, such an offer is also in the interest of the insured, because there is direct feedback as to whether the exercises were carried out correctly. Another example is a smoking cessation app developed by a team of experts with years of experience in the health sector. Three B2C start-ups are also taking part in the programme. “Our most international team comes from Thailand and deals with on-demand insurance. This keeps costs much lower and makes processing extremely easy and customer-friendly,” reports Ben. Other teams come from Austria, San Francisco or Barcelona.

INNOVATION POTENTIAL IN THE INSURANCE MARKET

The innovation potential in the insurance industry is huge, and the demand for young, rethinking companies is high, Ben explains the background to the Accelerator Program. “About two years ago, insurers had the aha moment. That’s when the industry became aware that we simply weren’t so technologically advanced in the financial services sector. And that so much more could be done with digital banks. Information about individuals who reflect their personal risk is now much easier to implement through data mining and data science,” Ben explains. Thanks to fast and precise data processing, insurance companies are now in an extremely good position to digitize themselves. And this is exactly where the Insurtech Hub with the Accelerator program comes in. Ben: “This digitization is incredibly difficult and the big insurers solve it through partnerships with external experts, our start-ups.

TIP FROM THE INDUSTRY EXPERT

Who really makes it in the end? According to Ben, that doesn’t just depend on whether you participate in the program. But above all whether the founders can implement the varied feedback they receive during the eight weeks. “A successful founder is always a Hustler, someone who constantly pushes his business forward. Even if the core idea changes – and it always does anyway – it is important to stay on it, with willpower and flexibility. Then you reach your goal.” And that certainly doesn’t just apply to the insurance industry.