LEO Innovation Lab, established with € 60 Million in funding by global healthcare company LEO Pharma, initiates a new venture initiative focusing on early eHealth startups – LEO Ventures. The aim is to invest in and give grants to startups that can contribute to finding and developing new and innovative solutions in order to improve life of people living with psoriasis.

LEO Ventures has been created to help recognize and create positively impactful solutions by investing systematically in these areas. The project scope is to engage with startups in the Nordics and mid-Europe within the eHealth domain to support them directly with either equity investments focusing on pre-seed to A or the possibility to provide a € 30-50K grant.

“LEO Pharma has been in pharmaceutical production for more than 100 years, and we are very good at it. But if we really want to make a difference to people living with psoriasis, we have to help them in all the other areas of their lives that affect their wellbeing,” says Kristian Hart-Hansen, CEO of LEO Innovation Lab.

Experience from Startupbootcamp

Lars Buch, former Managing Director at Startupbootcamp Mobile, the European tech accelerator, is now leading LEO Ventures, taking on the position as Investment Partner:

“Life Science and eHealth are exploding and definitely going hot in the Nordics. I see a combination of our investor network looking more actively into this area and a lot of very serious startups gaining speed. The really exciting space is where scientifically based value propositions is combined with the execution power and growth of true tech-IT startups. I’m excited to move to this space exactly now and I look forward to engage with startups that are truly improving peoples lifes”, says Lars Buch.

There has been for the past month rumours about what will happen with Startupbootcamp in Copenhagen – it’s hometown. With Lars announcing his new position, the fact that Startupbootcamp Mobile has had it’s last batch became obvious.

“I cannot make statements on behalf of Startupbootcamp Globally and the decision of continuation in Copenhagen lies with the local Rainmaking people and SBC Global. What I can say is that Startupbootcamp have amazing momentum worldwide with both Startups, Investors and corporate partners and are expanding heavily during the coming year. I can also share that compared to launching new programs in US and Asia the fundraising in Copenhagen has been extremely heavy, specially when ensuring that the program is privately owned.”

“To my knowledge its important for SBC to maintain a program in this city where it all started in 2010 but I haven’t seen a new vertical defined yet. If the right MD with the right vertical and funding is out there its relatively straight forward to get started.”

Besides Lars, Kristaps Martinsons will will also make the move from Startupbootcamp Mobile to LEO Innovation Lab

“LEO Ventures is established by myself and Kristaps is hired as associate. It’s only us working on this project right now but will expand over the coming months.”

Growing eHealth startups

Lars will take his knowledge and experience from running the accelerator to LEO Ventures. Both with how they work with startups and funding. LEO Ventures will however also work with grants.

“A grant is usually a smaller amount given to entrepreneurs at a very early stage to support the team reaching some proof of concept or an MVP. It is in our interest to recognize emerging entrepreneurial companies very early and to engage with them in a positive way. To provide them with 6-8 months runway for free I believe is a good way to open a dialogue. Afterwards the relationship can lead to an actual investment for equity stakes or a partnership in another form,” explains Lars

Overall, there is a strong focus on finding innovative ideas and helping them grow, Kristian Hart-Hansen says:

“We believe that a lot of the new technologies that will be setting the agenda for Healthcare in the future will emerge from the international startup environment. With LEO Ventures we reach out to this environment and initiate collaborations with the people who are developing the solutions and technologies of tomorrow.”

You can read more over at Trendsonline as well. Applications for LEO Ventures grants can be found here.