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Silke Sperling and Dr. Thomas Goergen (Catalpa Ventures): Nurturing Luxembourg’s Health Care  

Silke Sperling is a professor at the prestigious Charite in Berlin and Dr. Thomas Goergen has enjoyed a career in the fund industry since he exited his company Fundrock-LIS six years ago. As founding partners at Catalpa Ventures, the new health tech startup, they aim to improve the health of 100 million people. 

What motivates you to start a new venture in health tech? 

From a family office perspective, we have been investing in health tech. Catalpa felt right because we can have an impact on many people's health. The need for technologically transforming current healthcare systems is obvious. The approach we are adopting is that digitalization is not just an option: It is a priority. Our founding partners combine medical expertise, fund management experience, and an outstanding entrepreneurial track record. The launch of the Catalpa Ventures fund will allow us to take health care to the next level. We have always enjoyed building something with the right team. We found the ideal lineup of young and seasoned experts in health venture capital and entrepreneurship. Improving the health of 100 million people is a goal that we all share. 

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“The need for transforming current healthcare systems is obvious, and it's a huge driver for growth.” 

What is Catalpa Venture’s investment strategy? 

Catalpa is a venture capital firm dedicated to technology-driven solutions to enhance human health. It will lead and co-lead investment rounds in early-stage enterprises. These will start from pre-seed progressing to Series A, investing an average of €800,000. However, we are keeping dry powder for follow-on investments into our winners. We strive for teams that address at least one of the three healthcare major health challenges we are confronting: An aging society, a shortage of skilled labor, and growing healthcare costs. To give you a couple of examples, we are warehousing investments in AI-based software for smartphones. This screens six organs and 20 biomarkers in just two minutes. It can identify potential healthcare problems at early stages. We are also involved with Noellabs, which includes an AI-based voice monitoring system for early detection of heart failure. 


Is health tech also interesting from an investor's point of view? 

In recent times there has been a considerable focus on sectors like fintech. But health tech has proved more resilient. Health tech is such a huge driver for growth. We believe that technology can tackle the challenges in healthcare. There is a trajectory that is clearly defined by the current healthcare challenges of an aging population, the need to address staffing shortages, and the rising costs of treatment. Healthtec also offers significant added value to the development of the companies through active participation in the Luxembourg healthtech ecosystem. 


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