Berlin startup Smarterials

Michael Schneiker (Co-Founder, CFO), Martin Bothe (Co-Founder, CEO), and Nikolaus Mirtschin (Co-Founder, CTO). © Jasper Kettner


Enhancing Safety – Surgical Gloves Rethought

Founded in 2016
4 employees
Funding €900K / 1 Round

Scientists and entrepreneurs at Smarterials develop materials for enhanced safety of healthcare workers. 500.000 blood-blood contaminations are annually counted in Germany, potentially transferring infections like Hepatitis B/C or HIV. The team develops gloves for enhanced safety, tactile sensation, and high comfort (patent pending). Universities, research institutions, and advisors support with expertise in science, certification, and market knowledge. The company is funded by public and private investors. Website

Interview with Smarterials

What inspired you to found your startup?

Employees at Subways, struggling to wear and use their disposable gloves, sparked the idea to use new materials in gloves. Discussions with physicians encouraged us to target the medical / surgical market.

How do you define success for yourself and your company?

Success is when the startup is running according to the plan and when the company realises a high profit.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?

At the moment everything is fine, so there is no need to do anything different.

What problem does your product solve?

Many surgeons and healthcare workers do not sufficiently protect themselves, despite recommendations and warnings from renowned institutions. For them, wearing two pairs of gloves impairs their tactile sensation to much. Our product solves those issues. It offers enhanced safety and provides better tactile sensation. As a result, it reduces the infection risk for healthcare personnel.

Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?

One year from now, the processes and materials are optimized, medical certification and production are adressed, in five years we have established several technologies in surgical gloves and ten years from now the company evolves to a leading supplier for medical safety products.

How are you different?

We are mainly scientists, who take a completely new approach to target common problems with gloves. Our first product enhances the safety of healthcare personnel and provides the best tactile sensation.

How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?

In health care, our product enables surgeons to do their job. In Germany about 44.000 operations take place every day.

Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?

Smarterials helps healthcare personnel to avoid infectious diseases and take care for a healthy world.

How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?

No idea.

What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?

Berlins ecosystem is mainly focussed on digital business models, which makes it difficult for materials science startups. However, the academic background and the science park in Berlin Adlershof make it a unique place to found a science-based startup.

Smarterials was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.

The picture above was taken at:

RAW Gelände

A hotspot for leisure pursuits, the RAW Gelände in Friedrichshain is covered in impressive street art and features intercultural projects, exhibitions, markets, an indoor climbing hall, and several bars and clubs.

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