The Blue Team

CHAPTER 7. Italian Resilience

We end our amazing Italian journey with a very interesting call with another part of the Endeavor community: D-heart. The CEO and founder, Nicolò Briante, introduced us to their innovation;  the first mobile hospital grade ECG device. Their proposition is brilliant and simple: Move data instead of people. This device allows the monitoring of chronic heart conditions from home and significantly reduces the time to treatment. With their innovative image processing camera systems for guiding the patient to the correct  placement on the chest, they help the patient independently to record an hospital grade ECG with 8 and 12 leads and then to get the ECG report from the telecardiology service with real cardiologists available 24/7. The next generation model will offer data analysis and predictive diagnosis. We believe that they are on track to delivering Homecare in a box.

We were also very lucky to have the chance to speak with one of the top VCs in Europe – Balderton – represented by Rob Moffat, a partner at Balderton, but most importantly – an INSEAD alumni. Balderton is an early investor in Revolut. Other investments include GoCardless, Prodigy Finance, Citymapper. According to Rob the key aspects that they look for when they invest are: the exceptionality of the founding team; the size of the market, the current competition, and the product market fit – whether your customers would be ‘devastated’ if they cannot get your product.The formula for success is simple – invest in companies that have better product and better process.

Even if a concept is easy to copy, if its team has the capacity to innovate quickly, the company will be ahead of its competitors (e.g. Revolut). Usually, the competitive advantage comes in the ‘last mile delivery’ not in the first one.

According to Rob now is a great time to launch a company – there is money available and there is talent available (especially if you want to hire from the financial sector and retail), just be conscious of your cash burn rate and be ready for all scenarios!

According to Rob now is a great time to launch a company – there is money available and there is talent available (especially if you want to hire from the financial sector and retail), just be conscious of your cash burn rate and be ready for all scenarios!

Talk about resilience, when overnight you go from designing prototypes for bicycles, to valves for ventilator masks that save lives on a daily basis,  in less than 3h.  

This is the incredible journey of Cristian Fracassi, the CEO of Isinnova, and his inspiring team of young and passionate engineers!

Isinnova is an Italian R&D service company that brings the ideas of individuals and companies to the market by developing prototypes and testing the applicability of the products. During the Covid-19 crisis, the team of Isinnova developed a 3D printed adapter (Charlotte valve) to turn a snorkeling mask (from Decathlon) into a ventilator for COVID-19 patients for the hospitals. The key innovation by Isinnova is that the valve was modified for the mask to be connected to a ventilator. The adapted snorkeling mask was successfully tested and addressed the shortage of C-PAP masks used for sub-invasive oxygen therapy and eventually saved thousands of lives.

After realizing the potential of the product to save lives worldwide, the Isinnova team decided to freely share the file for the realization of the products and therefore everyone with a 3D printing to be able to produce the valves. Isinnova patented the valve in order to prevent any speculation on the price of the component and is not obtaining any royalties on the idea.

It has been an honor for the Blue Team to speak with Cristian and to hear about Isinnova journey! What we learnt from him is that: You need to be surrounded by smart but ‘foolish’ enough people who trust each other and make ideas become realities!!!

Thank you Cristian Fracassi and Isinnova’s team for doing what you are doing!!! Good luck!”

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