A year ago, the quest for new funding ended for Martin Stenfeldt and MedTrace – and even the most self-assured startup could not have dreamed of a better conclusion: ATP, Bankinvest, and Swisscanto came together to inject 180 million DKK into the diagnostic company.
This occurred just five years after MedTrace won Denmark’s largest acceleration program for hardware startups, the Danish Tech Challenge, facilitated by Futurebox at DTU Science Park and sponsored by Industriens Fond.
We met Martin Stenfeldt to discuss how MedTrace went from a startup to a future stock market candidate in record time.
A difficult subject to grasp
Martin Stenfeldt does not have a background in natural sciences, and radioactive water was a city in Russia before he founded MedTrace along with Rune Wiik Kristensen and Peter Larsen.
“It was my co-founder Rune Wiik Kristensen who saw the opportunity to revolutionize diagnostic methods using radioactive water. When he finally managed to explain it to me in a way that I understood, I did not doubt that this had the potential to become big,” says Martin Stenfeldt.
He was right, for in just a few years, MedTrace has gone from being a small startup to a future stock market candidate among the heavy hitters. And that’s far from the only thing they can boast about.
With its radioactive water, MedTrace has streamlined the diagnosis of heart diseases worldwide with up to 50 percent more accuracy than other current solutions.
Was thoroughly tested and challenged
It was not long ago, back in 2015 when everything suddenly accelerated for Martin Stenfeldt and MedTrace. During this time, the company was established and, shortly after, got enrolled in the acceleration program Danish Tech Challenge.
For Martin Stenfeldt, this marked the onset of funding, a robust and unique network, and, most importantly, a steep learning curve on how to best scale his business:
“We were thoroughly tested and challenged, which helped shape our company and calibrate our team. We were so green that we hadn’t had the chance to kill any darlings,” says Martin Stenfeldt.
As participants in the Danish Tech Challenge, MedTrace got office space in Futurebox, which they were more than happy about:
“We felt we had become part of a new family because we had all gone through the same school that shaped us as companies. Besides, we also experienced the value of being where things happen. This is the environment to be in if you want to keep your finger on the pulse and keep up with developments,” Martin Stenfeldt shares about the time in Futurebox.
The development environment at DTU Science Park makes a world of difference
I 2020 MedTrace had to leave the nest in Futurebox, as they had grown too big. Fortunately, it was no further away than the street opposite, so they could remain in DTU Science Park’s lively community and continue to have a finger on the pulse where it happens. It was important for Martin Stenfeldt, who elaborates:
“Even if you don’t participate in all professional or social events, you get so much gifted by DTU Science Park people who are happy to help. It radiates positive and progressive energy. You tap into a strong energy field, and there is always someone with good advice on which software system you should use, where you can apply for funding, or who you should talk to about sales to the public sector. Support and help make all the difference compared to a random office by the motorway.”
Founder, MedTrace Pharma A/S
Today, MedTrace resides in new modern premises in Hørsholm in a multi-user building with many like-minded companies. Here, Martin Stenfeldt and his colleague still greatly appreciate the development environment in DTU Science Park:
“When we are in DTU Science Park, we meet people who don’t necessarily do the same thing but are as passionate as us. You run into people occasionally who introduce you to new connections, who later can help you gain access to, for example, investors. So, there’s a cross-fertilization happening, which you don’t seek when you walk around in the MedTrace ‘cheese bell.’ We get that here, rather than if we lived in our domicile,” he explains.
MedTrace has developed a fully automated technology that enables the production of radioactive water in clinical practice. MedTrace aims to make the tracer radioactive water practically accessible as it streamlines the diagnosis of heart diseases in hospitals and clinics worldwide. In 2018, MedTrace merged with the software company aQuant, thus gathering a complete solution that can significantly move radioactive water from laboratory and research to practical application. MedTrace collaborates with university hospitals in Europe, Japan, and the USA, including the world-leading hospital, Mayo Clinic, with headquarters in Rochester, Minnesota.
MedTrace Pharma A/S was founded in 2015 by Martin Stenfeldt, Rune Wiik Kristensen, and Peter Larsen.