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Interview: “I am an idealistic person” – How an idea led to a successful start-up
While doing her PhD at the Entrepreneur Research Institute of the TUM School Of Management, Friderike Bruchmann got the idea for her start-up “Medikura” and worked on its realisation. Today, the start-up already has 20 employees and is still expanding. We talked to the TUM SoM alumna.
How did you get the idea for “Medikura”?
“Medikura” was born because I myself had relatively serious side effects when taking a drug. At that time I did what anyone would do: Googling. I ended up on community forums without the feeling that I had found a good source here. Although I had seen in the package insert that you can report your symptoms to the authorities, I never did. Because I am an idealistic person it bothered me that I didn’t report my side effects to anyone. Even though I got better quickly after stopping the medication, I asked myself: What about other patients who might also have these side effects? After all, they would also need to have such data recorded. And maybe there are 10,000 other people like me and nobody knows because nobody tells. So the idea was born to develop a user-friendly and confidential reporting service.
How does the “Medikura” reporting system work?
We have an online reporting service on our website “Nebenwirkungen.de” and we have our own iframe solutions that partners can integrate into their own website. For example, we are linked in every package leaflet at the “Apothekenumschau”. Patients can enter their experiences there in a structured way, while keeping secret their personal identity. Then the information is sent to the respective drug manufacturer, who must take this information seriously and process it. Indeed, a certain number of notifications mean that adjustments have to be made to the package leaflet.
What role did TUM School of Management play in developing and founding “Medikura”?
I am very happy that I studied at the TUM School of Management because I received a lot of knowledge before Medikura was founded. After my master’s degree I decided to do a PhD, but exactly two months after starting my doctorate I had the idea for Medikura. That was a stupid coincidence. I pursued Medikura and my PhD at the same time, but at some point I had to make the decision: Am I doing it right now? Because you can’t start up a business on the side. I got really great support from the professors of the Entrepreneur Research Institute and was able to start up my own business right after my doctorate in a smooth transition with an EXIST start-up grant. Through the TUM SoM I had a lot of input in terms of resources and project teams with students at hand with whom I could further develop my idea. Furthermore, computer scientists programmed the first prototype for me.
What are the next steps for “Medikura”?
Our vision is to establish a worldwide system that will allow drugs to be monitored in real time. We are currently in the process of rolling out “Medikura” in the DACH region and plan to move on to other European countries such as Italy, Spain, England and France. We are also working on getting feedback to the patients. We want to answer questions like: How serious are the side effects? Have other patients also experienced these side effects? What are the alternatives? Our system brings together patients, doctors, pharmacists and manufacturers on one platform, so that all relevant groups receive this information.
Dr. Friderike Bruchmann studied Management and Technology at TUM, holds an honours degree from the Center for Digital and Technology Management (CDTM), and did her PhD at the Entrepreneurship Research Institute on the power of new media and its impact on venture legitimation. She founded “Medikura” together with Dr. Philipp Nägelein and Tobis Nendel.
For more information about “Medikura”, follow the link: https://www.medikura.com/
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