Russian medical start-ups presented in Moscow; investors wary but ready to step in | Volga, Technology & innovation

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Russian medical start-ups presented in Moscow; investors wary but ready to step in

13 Nov '12
As innovation news portal Venture Business News reports, the Digital October innovation center held on October 29 a conference to present a number of projects in the biomed sector and also host a debate among investors over if the sector is a good area for investing. The conference was part of the Healthcare Networking event put together by the MedStart Association of Medical Start-ups.

At the event, participants first saw presentations of projects that exist in the biomed sector and then debated the sector problems and if investors were ready to invest in the area.

Among the project presented was Regenex, a company that offers innovative solutions in treating sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. In future, Regenex wants to collaborate with any Russian medical institution. The start-up is now a resident of Skolkovo, Russia’s largest innovation hub outside Moscow, and is seeking a patent.

TimeToVisit, a Russian analog of ZocDoc, has developed an online service to streamline dentist’s appointments. TimeToVisit was invested earlier this year by AddVenture, a VC fund, ITECH Group, a website developer, and Alexander Glushkov, a businessman from the beauty parlor industry. The service raised then $5m from the partners.

Other projects presented at the conference included MedInfon (a search system to look for medical institutions in Moscow and the Moscow region), TeleDoctor (enabling doctors to consult patients remotely via a video service), Med-Room (online scheduling and doctor’s appointments).

When it came to an investor debate, the participants talked about prospects of investing in the biomed sector, the criteria that investors use to choose from among start-ups, and the tools that the area must have to attract investors.

In the U.S., the biomed market is one of the most heavily invested, while in Russia, it is only testing the waters. However, the conference participants emphasized that both investors and entrepreneurs are beginning to fully understand the rules of the game, and are learning to not only siphon off the money made in the sector but also to plow it back into their business.

The participating investors noted that there are accelerators in the Russian market (including i-Accelerator, MedXPoint, StartupMagic, Biotech Àccess) that are ready to support medical start-ups by investing in those and pairing their leaders with outside experts.