NBT is the home of founders in IoT applications for healthcare, property management / smart building and energy. All bringing something slightly different to the table in terms of background, experience and what they're passionate about. Meet Jens Grudno - founder of Assistr, a new project hoping to revolutionise healthcare. Discover all about his background and where he sees the greatest opportunity spaces in IoT for healthcare...
For those that don’t know, could you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to become a founder at NBT?
Good question it was actually a coincidence. I was looking for a co-founder for my own business in a completely different field which was furniture manufacturing, and then went to a platform where there was a job ad for co-founder positions. I came across something particularly appealing and after several back and forth email exchanges, was lucky enough to actually meet them, they turned out to be NBT... and I couldn’t say no. The team and set-up were too good to not want to start a venture in that setting.
When was Assistr founded?
On a rainy day in late 2016, 21st December to be precise!
What do you see as the greatest opportunity spaces for IoT in healthcare and AAL?
I think 2 things. One is ambient monitoring of people through their living environment, so people don’t have to wear stuff but their surroundings actually know how they are and in cases of emergency, can inform a third party; relatives, or nursing services, or emergency services. Those systems can not only assist in emergencies but also guide them if they forget things, by reminding them etc. The other space is in making processes more efficient. We have limited nurses caring for people and the situation will only get worse in the coming decades. So if we can more efficiently care for people, that means spending more time with people and doing less administrative work that doesn’t have to be done - basically, anything that’s not caring for people, then that is a huge benefit. And I think we can use IoT for that.
What do you hope for Assistr to achieve?
It’s mission. Which is making elderly care better through innovation.
"A founder wants to develop a solution for a problem, and doesn’t want to care about HR, admin work, the foundation itself and all the legal stuff."
How do you feel NBT helps you reach those goals?
In multiple ways. First thing is structuring the foundation of a business - most of it is the administration work, and everything that a founder doesn’t want to do. A founder wants to develop a solution for a problem, and doesn’t want to care about HR, admin work, the foundation itself and all the legal stuff. So all organisational, administrational, and legal topics are taken care of by NBT, which leaves you with more room for actually solving a problem, getting partners involved and developing your idea. NBT also helps a lot with opening doors to partners and clients and with coaching and mentoring.
How do you feel you benefit from the infrastructure at NBT?
It’s good to have a team from day one that has experience in founding businesses, just to bounce back and forth ideas, to develop your idea. And from different fields. Like the tech side for example, which I have no background in, and support in developing a business from the very start, how to develop an idea, how to test the idea before starting to develop it, how to get the first partners, how to sell your idea - all that knowledge is really helpful. You work a lot faster and skip ahead steps when you have someone at your side that did it a couple of times already.