Interview With Angelica Kohlmann
Describe your product or service:
“Bloom allows for lay people in any location to have access to healthcare and to test for markers, receiving real-time, actionable feedback.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Bloom wants to make healthcare more accessible to improve the lives of many.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“VC [venture capitalists], angel investors.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“The team has grown to about 60 people with around 30 nationalities. We value exceptional skills but also kindness and cooperation. Interdisciplinary work is needed among software and hardware engineers, the medical [field], regulatory [spheres], and all other teams for the best outcome. The ‘people team’ has helped the company to grow smoothly and keeps a special eye on the company culture.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Having been an investor for many years, I wanted to learn more about the challenges of sitting on the other side of the table.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“As an MD who loves new technologies, I saw that healthcare is far behind others in terms of accessibility (if you compare it with banking, travelling, shopping) ... This needs to change. People are skilled enough and ready for it. So, we started from the beginning — which is with diagnosing. Also, with the increasing importance of personalized medicine, diagnosis and therapy will have even stronger links than today. Ehealth is here to stay; there is no other way to serve the increasing demand for healthcare.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“It was a placeholder, which in the end, we loved!”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“There are so many challenges: fundraising and convincing others, technical challenges, etc. The greatest challenge is to have the stamina to move forward no matter what challenges you find on your way.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“Bloom targets the consumer market and lay users. Although, as typical for the medical space, the products are B2B2C [business to business to consumer], meaning that in part pharmacies, drugstores, or other healthcare professionals may be involved.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“The strategy is to start growing the market with larger volumes through partners [such] as pharmacies, and over time, to reach lay users or chronically ill patients who test regularly and would [benefit from] being able to test for markers at home.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“With launch events, including in Bloom's first flagship store, the Bloom Store in Zurich.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“The Bloom Lab doesn't contribute much to the metrics; we sell them with a small margin only. You can use one lab for thousands of tests. The relevant part is the Bloom tests. These provide for healthy earnings. The most important KPI is the number of tests sold, [since] Bloom has implemented machine learning and learns more with every test performed.”
What's your favorite entrepreneurial book and podcast?
“Regarding books, it has always been biographies … Steve Jobs' biography has a special meaning, as he was also very much design-focused — design has to have a purpose. Regarding podcasts, it's more general, there are many.”
What is the biggest lesson you learned during your journey?
“Be honest to yourself and others.”
Who is your support system?
“My family. We discuss all matters, including all [matters] related to Bloom.”
How do you stay motivated?
“People and technology are my greatest motivators.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Strict discipline: Finding time for working, sports, family, and friends.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Having built a company where people are proud to work for.”
More on Bloom Diagnostics
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Angelica Kohlmann of medtech startup Bloom Diagnostics that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.
We have developed this list of five creative and impactful ways to support medtech startup Bloom Diagnostics.