Successful projects with startups require a closer collaboration model
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Startups have a different company culture than corporates. Therefore they require another collaboration model to execute projects successfully. By working together in a close and agile way, we supported the startup Minze Health with developing the housing of their uroflowmeter.
Being a part of the team
We notice that startups have a lot of internal knowledge and are very eager to learn. Furthermore they typically don’t have a lot of time and resources. To prepare their product idea for manufacturing and market launch, Minze Health was looking for a partner. The ideal collaboration would be one that focuses on consulting rather than execution. Minze involved Verhaert in the mechanical design of their Uroflowmeter. From the beginning Verhaert actively looked for tasks that could be taken up by the Minze team.
“We supported Minze in specific aspects they were less familiar with to speed up the development process. Time to market is a very important aspect when working with startups. This called for short and direct communication lines. Thanks to this close collaboration we noticed and pointed out possible risks which were out of the original project scope. This all happened in the sideline, but was greatly appreciated. It made us feel like we were a valuable part of the Minze team.” says Robrecht Van Velthoven, Consultant MechLab at Verhaert.
Mechanical design of the uroflowmeter
This year Minze Health will launch ‘Homeflow’: a solution to diagnose & monitor voiding disorders at home. Homeflow consists of multiple components: a wireless uroflowmeter, accessories (for men, women and children), a mobile app and an online platform. For the mechanical design of the uroflowmeter they needed external technical support.
“We always got important new insights during Verhaert meetings. The knowledge and experience of Verhaert related to mechanical design were a great addition to our own team’s skills.” says Jiri Vermeulen, co-founder of Minze.
As an ISO 13485 certified company with experience in the medical industry, Verhaert filled in the missing pieces of the puzzle. We analyzed the composition and usage of the uroflowmeter to understand the requirements of the housing.
Due to possible contact with urine, the uroflowmeter needs to be thoroughly cleaned. An aspect made even more difficult because of the sensors and electronics inside. The design therefore has to be waterproof and resistant to cleaning with chemicals at high temperatures.
We defined the product requirements document together. Verhaert rather had a supporting role and contributed with useful information from earlier projects. Finally, we optimized the design of the uroflowmeter for manufacturing: elements with high precision and a housing in one piece.
Minze, Health at Home
Minze Health is a ‘digital health’ company focusing on Internet connected medical devices for home. Their first product is ‘Homeflow’, a wireless reusable uroflowmeter that allows patients with voiding disorders to be diagnosed and monitored in their comfortable home environment. Minze Health launched Homeflow at the Medical Device fair Medica and was awarded by VOKA Flanders’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the ‘Most Promising Startup of 2016’.