A Spanish-German mashup hashtag coined by G4A founder Jesus del Valle, meaning “Slowly but Surely” and signaling persistence, defines a night celebrating digital health innovation

When surrounded by over 700 other digital health enthusiasts, you are in the right place for health innovation. That’s what happened at Grants4App’s Kick-off Open Air Meetup event at Bayer’s Berlin CoLaborator this week.

The G4A team, led by Jesus del Valle, clearly dedicated significant efforts to pull off an event of this scale, welcoming their new batch of 4 start-ups to their Accelerator Program. It was great to see that half of these, Oratel and Aparito, are headed by women. The evening was a major success in support of digital health; it was also networking magic — connecting people who are transforming health tech.

The G4A Kick-off attracted people from across the digital health spectrum: pharmaceutical industry leaders, healthcare marketers, organizations who promote business in Berlin, investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, journalists, and other innovative people who are passionate about digital health.

The vibe, or auf Deutsch ‘Stimmung’, was lively despite overcast skies. The Master of Ceremony was a dynamic 17-year old prodigy, Max, who had interned at G4A. He and other spirited organizers kept the crowd entertained and engaged.

TV personality Alexander Mazza (L) co-MCing with Max from G4A (R)

The absolute theme music of the night was “Despacito”, which has broken records as a long-standing number-1, non-English-language song in the US. But I digress. Its catchy beat ruled the evening, inspiring video tributes by the G4A team and their international start-ups, as well as on-stage dances. Beer, ping pong , and volleyball rounded out the good sentiment.

But back to these start-ups. G4A invited their impressive 2016 accelerator alumni including Turbine, Cortrium, Oasis Websoft, Viomedo, and Semantic Hub back to highlight key successes, challenges, solutions, and offer advice.

Szabolcs Nagy, CEO of Turbine in the ‘hot seat’ answering crowd questions

In this passing-of-the-baton ceremony, all the new start-ups and the crowd benefited from shared experience. The new crop of start-ups for 2017 hail from the US, UK, and South Korea. They are taking on health challenges including endometriosis, atrial fibrillation, and remote patient monitoring, among others.

There is sure to be a lot of buzz as these new start-ups move through the acceleration process under the guidance of Bayer’s innovative G4A program.

The 2017 startup winners and G4A family

During the evening there was ongoing opportunity for local start-ups to pitch new ideas to the audience. This included young companies offering tailored and valuable legal advice, VR training and communication. The inclusivity that the G4A hosts encouraged people to show was admirable. It fostered a sense that we all have much to learn from each other.

Despite many hours in a rather brisk outdoor setting, I left feeling energized about the Berlin digital health scene. It is ever growing — slowly but surely.

ALWAYS follow signs for #G4A. You’re guaranteed to find out what’s next in digital health.

Reporting from within a Venn diagram of health, tech and empowerment. Berlin-based. Internationally minded.

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