After winning the UnternehmerTUM TechChallange, HospiChef not only joined the Venture Lab Healthcare, but also entered a co-development phase with a large private hospital chain. This gave them the opportunity to develop their solution based on how the processes are actually lived in the hospital. At this early point, they were able to validate several hypotheses of their idea with real users.
Simply scanning a QR Code grants patients access to their browser-based app and thus, it gives them control and flexibility for ordering their food.
We emphasize that our app is easy to use for everyone, including elderly patients, as 68% of people older than 70 own a smartphone. Our experience shows, that more than 40% of patients prefer ordering their meals on a mobile device. They often prefer to do this from the comfort of their own home before coming to the hospital, taking as much time as they need for their order.
It was challenging but very essential to demonstrate the openness of elderly patients to using a digital patient app or quantify the reduction of food waste and the time staff can save by using the solution. Equipped with this proof of concept and business case, HospiChef can now boost a broader rollout as there are already enthusiastic customers for their solution.
How VL helped us
- Accessing other start-ups and mentors: Most problems of early-stage ventures have been solved before and the exchange with start-ups and mentors can lead to the prevention of costly mistakes.
- Using the TUM infrastructure: Especially in post-Covid times, it is very useful to be able to meet up physically in an office space to foster team culture.
- Embedding the ideation into your studies: It has been helpful to be able to develop the prototype and business idea in the context of TUM classes to intertwine the entrepreneurial with the academic journey.
Advice for founders
In the healthcare industry, one is faced with a variety of specific challenges - from regulatory barriers to slow and bureaucratic sales processes. HospiChef’s advice for other start-ups is to proactively exchange and network with other upcoming and established entrepreneurs active in the same industry. Oftentimes, this exchange will not only help to resolve current challenges, but also challenge your current solutions – and might even lead to a fruitful collaboration.