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CASE

BluSense Diagnostics - A journey from dream to medical device sold around the world in just 4 years

Denmark’s incredible talent pool, a strong life science ecosystem, and easy access to funding and investments. Those were the ingredients that helped Filippo Bosco, Marco Donolato, and Robert Burger grow BluSense from a startup to an established company with over 50 employees representing 17 different nationalities.
For most people living in Denmark, mosquitoes are just a slight nuisance during the summer. For Filippo Bosco and Marco Donolato, two former students at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), now CEO and CSO at the MedTech company BluSense Diagnostics, the small insect represented a far larger challenge.  

In their lab coats at DTU they were trying to invent a quick and efficient way to diagnose illnesses transferred to humans via mosquitos. The magnitude of the problem was clear. Nearly 700 million get a mosquito-borne illness each year, and nearly 80% of the world’s population is at risk. Filippo and Marco wanted to change that – their mission was clear from the beginning.
To provide value to the life of people, to provide affordable diagnostics in places that have poor healthcare. We obviously wanted to have business success. But it was also important that we were making money the right way – and for a meaningful purpose.
Filippo Bosco

Expanding and growing 

In 2014 they initiated the tech-transfer phase, and together with Robert Burger, now COO, they established BluSense Diagnostics. They soon employed six people while developing their first product, BluBox, a diagnostics tool able to diagnose several diseases, including COVID-19 and dengue fever, with only a single drop of blood. The diagnosis then happens within 10 minutes and is done at the point of care. The product was very promising, and they received funding and investments in Denmark, helping them grow further.  

"During the start-up phase, I really realized the benefit of the Danish tech-transfer ecosystem. We received funding from DTU, seed money from investors, and could apply for further funding from the state." 
Filippo Bosco CEO, BluSense Diagnostics
In 2015, the growth of the company really took off, and they had multiple rounds of investments attracting money from Taiwan, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, and Denmark. Filippo believes that the strong Danish biotech and MedTech brand was helpful when searching for foreign investors and companies to invest in BluSense. Especially from Taiwan, where BluSense quickly established a facility handling hardware and software equipment production. Today, the company effectively has built a bridge between Danish and Taiwanese strengths, bringing the best of both worlds to customers. And the combination of Life Science expertise from Denmark and the tech expertise from Taiwan has created a very strong foundation for the company. 
"The branding of Danish biotech and MedTech is a huge advantage not often talked about. Danish and Scandinavian MedTech and biotech comes with an automatic stamp of quality, because historically, the products developed here are world class. We also have access to so many talented scientists and people in general. And if we can’t find them in Denmark, convincing them to move to Copenhagen is very, very easy."
Filippo Bosco CEO, BluSense Diagnostics

From dream to reality

Completing an effective tech-transfer phase in just four years is quite a task. The industry average is somewhere between 7-10 years and cutting that short required both an extremely talented team, the right R&D ecosystem as well as committed shareholders. 
"Our greatest achievement has been creating a structure that could convert a lab project into a ready-to-use product. We have obviously experienced hiccups, but the combination of Denmark’s generous reimbursement schemes for R&D, access to extremely talented people and consistent support from major shareholders helped us fast track the process."
Filippo Bosco CEO, BluSense Diagnostics
BluSense also got assistance from the Danish Foreign Ministry, helping them get their products into many different foreign markets all over the world. Today, BluSense has projects in both Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, Vietnam and India to name a few. 
"The service the Trade Council put together has been quite valuable. And we are also working with Invest in Denmark to help us communicate Denmark’s strengths and establish strategic alliances with potential partners all over the world."
Filippo Bosco CEO, BluSense Diagnostics
As of 2020, BluSense has employed 50 people from all around the world. They are constantly growing and developing new products that can help patients everywhere. The biggest challenge? Keeping up with growing demand from satisfied customers. Not the worst challenge to have for a growing Life Science company.  

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