SimplicityBio, an early-stage healthcare AI company based in Lausanne, Switzerland, has been acquired by US-based Precision for Medicine, the first biomarker-driven clinical development organization. SimplicityBio, a winner of the IMD Startup Competition, worked with the IMD Executive MBA class, and accompanied them to Silicon Valley in September 2017.  As part of their “real learning” assignment, the EMBAs pitched SimplicityBio to bay area Venture Capitalists. 

Dr. Matthew Hall, SimplicityBio’s CEO, commented: “Winning the IMD startup competition was both a recognition and an incredible learning experience. Having the opportunity to have seasoned executives examine and challenge our assumptions allowed us to put them into perspective. The key learning from the EMBAs, especially for me, who has never worked in a large corporation, is that even if we do live in two very different worlds as executives, we all have problems that we need to solve. We therefore succeed as a startup if we make it our duty to understand and solve a problem. Technology is a means, not an end. Collaborating with the EMBAs and tackling this as a team, and then witnessing them in front of the investors, was a pivotal moment for SimplicityBio.” 

When asked by IMD whether this event was good for them, Matthew responded: “It is a great outcome for the team and the company. It will allow us to grow the technology and the company with the backing of a fast-growing organization. Precision for Medicine has the means and expertise to take us to the next level, and, on the personal side, like most startups, we’ve been through some arduous times, bootstrapping ourselves, so we relish the chance to work with them”.

Prof. Jim Pulcrano, who is responsible for the IMD Startup Competition and runs the Silicon Valley module of the EMBA, stated: “We believe that all executives should have a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation. Their companies’ survival, and their careers, depend on this. Society is moved forward by entrepreneurs like Matthew and his cofounder, Pedro Faustino, and at IMD we believe it’s crucial that our EMBAs learn from them by working with them”.

Read more: IMD Startup Competition 2018/2019

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