Tech Tour Growth Health, one of Tech Tour’s flagship growth events, is taking place for the 14th time on 19-21 June 2023 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Inspired by the topic of the event: "2023 Reality: How to succeed in the storm", we interviewed our leaders – Moneshia zu Eltz, Partner at Walther Transaction and President of Tech Tour Growth Health and Eric de la Fortelle, Managing Partner at Cathay Health, and Vice President of Tech Tour Growth Health.
Join them in Lausanne and register for Tech Tour Growth Health here.
Q: Introduce yourself and tell us more about your current position and company?
Moneshia: As a Partner in M&A and Investment, I proactively build bridges between people in different worlds, and who think differently, to create more than the sum of the parts. Building on twenty years of M&A in technology and healthcare with IBM, Watson AI and Philips, our focused team at WT works with strategic and financial investor clients to execute M&A with a focus on the DACH region.
Eric: My professional life played out in three acts. First, for about 10 years as a scientist in the field of X-ray crystallography of proteins, then for the next 15 years as a business development executive in biotech and pharma, including 6 years as Head of Global Tech Partnerships for Roche, and finally as an investor these last 10 years. I am currently a Managing Partner for Cathay Health, a fund at the interface of tech and healthcare, part of the Cathay Capital group.
Q: Why did you decide to lead the Tech Tour Growth Health? What inspired you?
Eric: I attended Tech Tour in Lausanne already one 6 years ago and liked the format very much. Then again last summer. So when the organizers approached me a couple of months back, asking whether I was ready for the role of VP to head the selection panel, I was indeed ready for it, as I recognized the value added by this process to the quality of the event.
Moneshia: Like Eric, I attended Tech Tour Growth Health 5 years ago and was impressed by the calibre of Entrepreneurs and Investors. When a former President asked me to consider the role in its 14th year, I was excited to jump in to build on and expand on the conversations we are having in 2023, and generate new insights in real-time.
Q: What is your mission as a President/ Vice President of the event?
Moneshia: My mission is to ensure that the event gives a chance for diverse perspectives to contribute and exchange in this pivotal period of investment and growth in the healthtech industry, particularly in Europe.
Eric: Make sure the selection panel is efficient, fun and motivated, and help make it great experience for all involved.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
Moneshia: As an American of Indian origin, I am looking to see Europe adopt some innovations that I have seen dramatically reduce costs while delivering high-quality care, particularly to reduce strain for caregivers and professionals. I would also like to see how we can create business models that serve markets that are not as robust as my home country, Germany.
Eric: In practical terms, finalizing the fundraising of the first Cathay Health fund in difficult macro circumstances. In ethical terms, the thought that our healthcare systems are under significant pressure when most of the technologies to relieve those pressures are already with us. The question
is to turn those into products friendly enough towards health professionals to be widely adopted and put to use.
Q: Moneshia, why do you think the Femtech sector is important and should be introduced to the European market? Can you give examples of companies that inspired you? What impact will Femtech have on the future?
Moneshia: As a woman, I see Femtech as an area attracting investment and attention in the US as an underserved segment with unique needs. I believe Europe can step up and contribute to our understanding of those challenges if we put the spotlight on how better health for women has a positive halo effect on mental health, population health and macro health economics.
Q: Eric, what are you going to look for in the companies to be selected for Tech Tour Growth Health 2023?
Eric: It is all in the word "Growth". Selected companies must have the potential to grow, which means their products (or product candidates) are fit to their markets and capable of evolving the practice of their healthcare application field for the better.
Q: What is your advice regarding the economic downturn we are experiencing?
Moneshia: In simplest terms, I see valuations are lower, which means that companies need to double down on their strengths and differentiate based on what they can and want to do best. It is a great time for re-assessing non-organic options for growth.
Eric: Health needs will not experience a downturn - they are here to stay. The general economic downturn forces us to be even sharper on developing products that improve the economics of their health fields. More productivity, less waste, and a reduction of skill levels are required for a better health outcome - all those points need to be carefully documented in rigorous medico-economic studies. Products which fit those criteria will be runaway successes.
Q: What are you most excited about the onsite event of Tech Tour Growth Health 2023?
Moneshia: I love where we will be all co-locating. Lausanne is in the centre of Europe, with beautiful surrounding and the Olympic Museum- an inspiring venue to reflect on our past and future.
Eric: Meeting entrepreneurs, getting excited about the wonderful technologies they are developing, and telling them to focus not on brilliant gadgets but on measurable outcomes.
Q: What do you consider is the best asset of the Tech Tour’s activities?
Moneshia: The jury process and selection plus networking opportunities. The forum brings together a unique cross-section of healthcare industry professionals at the C-suite level, all working on the solutions of tomorrow.
Eric: The selection process. When correctly done, it ensures the high quality of innovative companies, and attracts high-quality participants from the corporate and investment sectors, triggering a virtuous circle which leads to a great event.