Last December, the two HPI master's students traveled to the "Big Apple" to make valuable contacts for their startup ideas and to experience the American startup spirit firsthand. Both were winners of the HPI E-School's Best Idea Award, which is given annually to the best startup ideas.
Joann Halpern, director of the Hasso Plattner Institute New York, mentored on-site, digital health student Pauline and cybersecurity student Johannes. She heads the HPI branch office in Manhattan and regularly hosts exchange students, research groups, school classes, lecturers, and scientists.
The idea that brought Pauline and Johannes to the metropolis stems from the research project StudyU at the Chair of Digital Health & Machine Learning. The project aims to establish a platform for designing, monitoring, and analyzing personalized medical studies (so-called N-of-1 trials). In New York, Pauline and Johannes gained insights into the American healthcare system from HPI scientist Stefan Kornigorski, among others, and exchanged ideas with him on how to further develop StudyU. They also visited the Cornell Tech campus, where they met HPI alumnus Thijs Roumen and his wife Anna, took a behind-the-scenes look at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and chatted with a doctor about their research project. Both Pauline and Johannes received valuable startup tips from a New York venture capitalist, as well as fromMax Kahn, Director of SAP.iO Foundries.
Pauline says of their trip to New York, "It was definitely worth it. It was empowering for me because everyone is eager to support you and your idea and listen to you. In America there is very much a hands-on mentality, and this was great to witness." StudyU remains a research project that the two students plan to continue working on. Only time will tell whether it will eventually develop into a startup.