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    Date

    2/23/2024

    Authors
    1. Santander X Explorer
    Categories

    2/23/2024

    Alumni

    8 minutes of reading

    They had the product, they had the money... Your project won't move forward either if it doesn't have this


    Authors
    1. Santander X Explorer
    Categories

    From time management to online health: Adam Skali participated twice in Santander X Explorer with two very different ideas… or perhaps not so distant. The first one, in 2019, was MidasTime (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), an app to help students better organize their daily lives. He and his teammates (Marc Botifoll, Jonathan Gabriel Piccirillo, and Mikaila Shelton) were finalists in the Disruptive Technology category of the Explorer Award.

    After their time in the programme, the project took a twist. “We decided to focus on health, as we realized that the problem we wanted to solve was stress. We leveraged contacts from networks like EIT Health (an entity that creates links between companies, universities, research centers, and healthcare providers) and formed alliances while developing the product. We won competitions (AI4 Health), the UPF Emprés Consell Social award, and were finalists in the Johns Hopkins Design Competition… unfortunately, we had to stop the project due to several factors,” he explains.

    One of them was COVID, which also thwarted the second idea he presented to Santander X Explorer: Anatomy Atlas VR, this time at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and with Rafael Navarro as his partner. But the entrepreneurial spirit was still very present (you know what we’re talking about, right?) and he decided to continue with a new project that this time was going to take him a little further.

    The importance of the business model

    Adam had met Enrique Fernández in one of the contests, who had an idea about a product capable of detecting dementia at an early stage and thus increasing the chances of finding a treatment. “It resonated with me on a personal level,” our Alumni said.

    Although there were limitations to bringing it to market due to its status as a software product for healthcare, this project was more developed. They won several competitions and obtained funding. Everything was going well, they even established agreements to create a consortium with institutions; among them, the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona or the National University Hospital of Seoul. But it didn’t quite work out, what happened?

    “We realized the importance of the business model: no matter how good a product is and the collaborations you get, if it’s not clear exactly who will pay for it, it’s very difficult for a company to continue,” says Adam. Interestingly, this aspect had already caught his attention during his first time in Santander X Explorer.

    “The business model and the go-to-market strategy are topics that I consider increasingly important and that are often overlooked because we focus on the product and marketing. In Santander X Explorer, I realized not only how important these points are, but also how broad the world of entrepreneurship is. I was also surprised by the quality of the guests at the TalkX and the people who were there to help you; when you’re starting out, you really appreciate having great experts willing to share their experience. They helped us understand the limitations of certain approaches and shape our ideas to make them more ‘realistic’,” he says.

    Present and future

    After spending some time pursuing his education and testing whether all that he had learned would allow him to create a profitable and sustainable business, Adam is now focused on “the process of creating ecosystems that foster innovation in the healthcare sector. I have developed my own framework to optimise decision-making and risk reduction processes: I have presented it at several conferences and it has received awards and recognition. I am co-chair of the Innovation Forum in Barcelona and have helped organise one of the world’s largest healthcare conferences, the International e-Health Forum,” he adds.

    “In the future, I don’t know what I could be doing. Over time, I have focused more on doing projects well, rather than thinking about long-term plans. However, my goal will remain the same: to seek ways to improve the healthcare system through innovation. The important thing is to contribute where I can, wherever my skills and experience are useful,” he concludes.
    After all this, do you still have doubts about joining Santander X Explorer? Take a look: “The programme was a first step in entrepreneurship; it gave us the opportunity to have a more systematic and grounded approach to what it takes to go from an idea to a business. It opened my eyes to other opportunities and alternatives and taught me that to create change it’s important to choose the right tool. Scientific research, business creation, or something I’ve been more focused on lately, policy-making, are nothing more than different paths to make the world a little better,” says Adam. Word of Explorer.

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