Tobias Grix (Co-Founder), Lutz Kloke (CEO, Founder), Anna Kreuder (Co-Founder), and Alexander Thomas (Co-Founder) © Jasper Kettner
What inspired you to found your startup?
During my PhD thesis I wanted to find a way to create human organ models for biological research, which sounded like science-fiction at that time. I had the idea to use 3D-printing to build the models. Instead of plastic I wanted to use biological material, i.e. cells and proteins. Unfortunately, no Bioprinters were commercially available. Thus, I started building my own Bioprinters from scratch.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
The vision to print organ material can be overwhelmingly huge – in order to stay focused, we have to concentrate on one step at a time. But if we manage to create a transplantable human fabric that helps curing a disease or saving lives it would mean a great success to us.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Of course there are always a few minor things one could change – but looking back, all decisions made so far brought Cellbricks to the state in which it is right now and we are quite happy with.
What problem does your product solve?
Cellbricks uses Bioprinting – 3D-printing with biological material – to create human organ models for scientific research. For example these mini-organs can be used to reduce or even abolish animal testing, that is currently the gold standard for drug and cosmetic development. Thus, these processes become cheaper and more sustainable. In the long run, of course, we aim to create human organ material to alleviate the current bottleneck in organ transplant availability.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
We want to be a part of biological research routines and everyday health care hospital treatments.
How are you different?
We control the complete toolchain from CAD over Bioprinting to cell culture techniques and analytics. Based on this profound experience we are able to develop complex living biological structures and integrate our technology seamlessly into our customer’s workflow. With this experience we empower researchers to advance in their scientific field.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
We play a substantial role in our customers’ daily routines in biotech and health care research.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
We are printing organ models to reduce animal testing and to develop drugs and cosmetics in a quicker, more sustainable way. Our vision is to advance our technology to the point, where we can print patient-specific organs to solve the shortage of donor organs. These fields have an enormous impact on our health care system and therefore our technology really can make a difference for everyone.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
The scene has matured and grown. It is more innovation than imitation. More startups are being founded; experienced talents move to Berlin and the funding sums go up as well.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Berlin is the perfect spot to found a biotech company. The city offers a vibrant ecosystem with clinics, scientific institutions, pharma and healthcare companies creating a highly innovative and collaborative cluster for young biotech startups. To us this is an essential environment to grow our company
Cellbricks was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.