Why did you start your start-up, which problem do you address and how do you solve it?
Our Düsseldorf-based company Weltenmacher was initially founded in 2017 as a virtual reality agency. We quickly switched to virtual reality training software. Today, we mainly focus on the medical market, helping nurses and patients to learn all critical dialysis procedures.
How did you get the idea to found your start-up?
After our team was ready, we decided to implement something we called "Vision of the Month". Within this framework, we evaluate new ideas for interesting products and markets and build on them with a prototype and a short business plan. The original idea for our dialysis training was brought to us by a friend of ours, Dr. Panagiota Zgoura, who joined us later as our medical consultant.
What is special about your business model, what do you do differently?
You can imagine our work as the "democratization of the flight simulator", which is achieved by making training simulations accessible to everyone. This new form of training is finding more and more applications in many industries, such as the automotive industry, aviation and medicine. Our secret sauce is a virtual trainer that uses AI to support users in their individual training needs.
What were the biggest challenges you faced at the beginning?
One of the biggest challenges in the medical market is overcoming barriers to entry. It is very important for world-class companies to have the right partners to help us understand and address this very specific market.
What has been your greatest success so far?
We have just completed a clinical evaluation within Europe and managed to train patients between 30 and 83 years of age. It was great to see that very different people with different needs and abilities use our application without hesitation because of the technology.
What is the next challenge for you?
Getting your product to market is always the biggest challenge. Obviously there are many parts that have to fit together: Let the team grow, implement your strategy, complete the product, find the right partners and of course: have sufficient financial resources at hand.
Why are you on Startbase?
We are currently looking for strategic partners to join us for the next phase.
What would you recommend to other founders?
Stay focused and adapt to the changes!
Where did you meet?
The two founders used to work together and have been friends for many years. They have managed to attract the team from their professional network and through their guest lecturers at the Rhein Main, Rhein Sieg and Düsseldorf Universities of Applied Sciences.
What has really gone wrong since your foundation?
Until today we have been wrong about how long it really takes to reach the next step. That will not change, no matter how hard you try.