HealthCare Lab: an international accelerator for health tech startups


We’ve partnered with Roche, a leading global player in healthcare innovations, to design and execute a state-of-the-art startup accelerator for digital health startups. The challenge HealthCare Lab wanted to address was the lack of a CEE-wide startup support program helping entrepreneurs in the region build digital health ventures with global potential. 

In addition, the client’s objective was to meaningfully connect and align different stakeholders in healthcare ecosystems to support innovations in the sector.

The essence of the project:

We have designed and executed HealthCare Lab, a leading accelerator for promising Healthtech startups from 16 countries in Central and Southeastern Europe. Its mission has been to connect, grow, and nurture an international community of innovators, researchers, healthcare providers, and regulators to bring groundbreaking innovations in healthcare to the market faster. 

HealthCare Lab is more than just a traditional corporate accelerator. In this digital innovation program, innovators come together with industry leaders from Roche, the innovation community of EIT Health, and innovation experts from Civitta to solve some of the biggest challenges in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Based on three predefined challenges, startup teams are invited to co-create and pilot new solutions directly with international experts from Roche. 

To achieve the desired impact of the project, an essential step was to define the most relevant challenges. Then Roche could build partnerships with startups and co-create solutions around them. In collaboration with Roche and EIT Health, Civitta helped to choose and define challenges with high impact on healthcare and patients. It also presented topics with innovation potential and strategic relevance: healthcare data management, screening and early diagnostics, digital therapeutics, and disease management.

What has been done?

  • Creating the concept of HealthCare Lab as an international acceleration program.
  • Supporting the partners by selecting the right set of challenges.
  • Preparing and organizing acceleration programs for startups.
  • Organizing expert mentoring, coaching, and workshops.
  • Scouting and selecting the most relevant startups. 
  • Organizing the final Demo Day event.


Thanks to its international scope, the program received 202 applications from 31 countries and offered the expertise of more than 30 international mentors and speakers. In the end, nine startups were selected and went through the three-month-long program.


“HealthCare Lab was one of the best structured and most comprehensive accelerators in which our company has participated. The experts the program gave us access to helped us refine our strategies in several important areas including regulatory, go to market, and fundraising.”

Brian E. Wallace
Chief Medical Officer at Calmsie, participant of HealthCare Lab 2021


Martin Vesely

Project Manager, Bratislava, Slovakia