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Catch up with Echo, Cera and GiveVision

Our competitive grant winners Cera, Give Vision and Echo speak to Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London about the progress they have made in partnership with Pfizer in the first six months.

Cera

Cera’s mission is to change the world of home care by supporting elderly people to live where they are most comfortable and happy.

Hub: Cera is really making waves in the home care sector. But how has the Pfizer Hub been able to help you so far?

Cera: There are three elements where we’ve really seen movement and success with the Pfizer Hub’s involvement.

The first is marketing and growth support. We’ve had a few strategic marketing workshops with Pfizer’s marketing experts and the Cera team, which has helped to improve our website and digital marketing. The workshops really drilled down into the detail about our marketing strategies and messaging and helped us find solutions to challenges we were facing.

The second is geographical expansion where Pfizer has helped us make connections with public and NHS figures in Manchester, and build foundations for our expansion in the area.

Our aim is to fully personalise care to our clients, so the third element was helping us to launch an e-learning programme called Learning Pool using the Hub grant fund. E-learning enables our professional carers to improve their knowledge and their career progress and it works alongside our face-to-face/classroom training. We hope this will improve the efficiency of learning. If you want to deliver really high quality, personalised, care we feel efficient, specialised training for carers is key.

Overall we’ve really enjoyed working with the Pfizer team!

Echo

Echo is a free service that allows medicines to be delivered to your door. It also reminds you to take your medication at the right time.

Hub: Echo has just been through a funding round, congratulations! Where do you think you’ve seen the most value with the competitive grant programme so far?

Echo: Thank you! The Pfizer Hub has provided Echo with mentorship and helped us access parts of the NHS that are typically hard for start-ups to reach. The Pfizer team provides a different perspective on how to approach some of the challenges we face, from compliance to medicines to go-to-market planning.

We’ve worked exceptionally hard with our colleagues in NHS Digital this year to get Echo listed on the NHS app store. In 2018, our goal is to scale the business, ensuring that we maintain our world-class customer service levels as we grow. Over the next six months we will work closely with Pfizer Hub to make this happen.

The team at Pfizer are also great to work with on a personal level, and we have really enjoyed the time we’ve spent together so far.

Give Vision

Give Vision has developed a device called SightPlus, an innovative wearable headset for the visually impaired. The hands-free, portable device can magnify close-up or far-away objects, change the contrast or apply custom filters to anything you are looking at.

Hub: Give Vision has received a lot of attention in the press, and rightly so! You provide a truly life changing device, but what do you think you’ve learnt since being a part of the Pfizer Hub over the past six months?

Give Vision: When we applied for the competitive grant process, we weren’t sure we’d have much of a chance of being selected, mainly because the connection between the pharmaceutical industry and medical devices isn't usual or even that obvious.

But, six months in and we’re thrilled to benefit from so much professionalism and dedication from the Pfizer team which has helped us grow and better bridge pharma and medical devices. As a startup, it can be difficult to source the right advice; you need reliable and technical information but most of the time you can’t afford to pay for it!

Joining the Hub was perfect timing for us to get help to gather reliable information about medical device certifications, patents and health economics from true experts who have been in the industry for many years. By mobilising a range of experts from marketing, devices and policy, Pfizer has been helpful in guiding us to better position ourselves and more systematically approach partnerships and funding opportunities.

We’ve also been put in touch with some specialist consultants who have helped us iron out some of our pressing issues. Overall, the ability to tap into Pfizer’s network is pretty fantastic. The next step is capitalising on the introductions to potential partners in the UK and in the US that have already been made.

Hub: Thanks to all our start-ups for chatting to us about their experiences of working with the Pfizer Hub so far. We’ll be providing another update at the end of the programme later this year.

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