Sometime in the latter part of January 2022, soon after my IMD MBA journey began, the class was asked to select a start-up project. Working with start-ups is an integral part of the MBA program, under Professor Benoit Leleux. Out of 20 potential companies, we had to select those that were of interest to us. Scanning through the list, b-rayZ stood out for me because I am a physician and a health-technology entrepreneur.
The b-rayZ team
The Zurich-based start-up was launched on a cold winter day in 2019 by two co-founders with PhDs. One of these was in Biophysics and the other in Medical Science – an atypical path for academics. Their solution was an AI algorithm that optimizes early cancer detection in mammograms.
I was ecstatic when the MBA office accepted my request to work with the start-up. Next, I met my teammates in our dedicated break-out room (aka dungeon). While being a medical doctor was an advantage in working with the health-technology start-up, my group members brought a wealth of additional experiences. With backgrounds in Consulting, Business Administration, Engineering, and Risk Management, Sarah, Monica, Priyank, Dimas enrich our delivery. Working with these talented people, I have learnt so much about presentation, business analysis, strategy audit, process optimization, and collaboration.
The b-rayZ project
Technology is a dynamic subject, and ‘health technology’ introduces a different layer. The digital discourse in this environment needs to consider that multiple stakeholders and confidentiality issues are default features. My team and I were curious to know how AI worked in the context of early cancer detection. But equally, how it could help with prevention, solution efficiency, adoption rate, its intuitiveness, adoption/scale hurdles, cost implications, etc. We hope that we will add value that leverages our unique backgrounds and learnings from lectures.
Our first meeting with the co-founders was scheduled after a Non-Disclosure Agreement was signed. We learnt more about the company journey, their motivation as well as how they hoped my group (Team Invictus 😃) could help them. Also, we had a live demonstration of the solution with anonymized data. We were then invited to explore proprietary materials which could aid us in our task: developing an action-oriented distribution framework to scale the software.
As we continue to engage the co-founders and stakeholders in the target market, we hope that our efforts will help in reducing the incidence and mortality associated with breast cancer through the gift of this solution. It is a challenging task; however, we believe our combined experiences and resolve have prepared us to succeed.
Thanks for reading,