Success stories

Xsensio: the Lausanne start-up gambled on going global from the beginning

Xsensio SA has developed the Lab-on-Skintm sensing platform, an ultra-sensitive nanolaboratory that, when placed on the skin, is capable of detecting biomarkers present in biofluids. The technology can be integrated into a patch or any other “wearable.” Interview with Esmeralda Megally, co-founder and CEO of Xsensio.

ESMERALDA MEGALLY, XSENSIO

How is your product different?

Today's wearables all incorporate sensors that provide information on the user's physical activity: the number of steps taken, the type of movement, heart rate; there is a whole ecosystem that has been created around these few types of sensors. At Xsensio, we develop sensors that continuously collect biochemical information on the user's state of health and well-being.

Who are your potential clients?

Potential clients are companies that seek to improve the products or services they develop which center around the on-going health and well-being of the user. Pharmaceuticals, wearables and medtech companies may be interested in our technology. Our patch is equipped with a small chip and can be integrated into a medical solution, a wellness solution or for athletes. In the future, it could be integrated into connected objects, like watches.  

Where is Xsensio today in terms of marketing?

We will be marketing our first product next year and we're working with groups in different sectors to co-develop solutions.

You presented your technology at CES in Las Vegas alongside S-GE. What did you take away from that experience?

We exhibited at the SWISS pavilion set up by S-GE. It allowed us to showcase our technology quite visibly and to reach a large number of visitors. Many large groups came to our stand, attracted by the Swisstech label, and we were also able to have long discussions with companies in the meeting space set up at the SWISS Pavilion.   

Congratulations on winning the CES award. Could you tell us a bit more about it?

We are very proud to have received the CES Innovation Award in the “Wearables” category. We’re in contact with a lot of pharma groups that are extremely interested in what we’re doing, as our technology allows them to get health information that has never been collected, explored, or exploited until now. Unlike blood tests, which take a snapshot of a moment of time, our solution makes it possible to continuously monitor the evolution of various biomarkers.  

 

What advice would you give to other start-ups who wish to expand internationally?

Go to trade fairs. First of all, to see what is happening internationally, the trends that are being created, but also to gain market feedback and to be present at a stand. It's risky because we reveal what we're doing, but at the same time it's incredibly valuable to have market feedback, in order to develop the right features. It is always very useful to have discussions with potential clients, even very early on. Thanks to CES, we've opened up new avenues as companies approach us with challenges and ask if our solution can be adapted to their needs.

What did you like about S-GE's actvity?

S-GE offers a great choice of fairs: There's Medica in Germany, for example, or CES in Las Vegas. The advance preparation was also very useful: how to present and promote ourselves. Even more, the pavilion itself is a beautiful space. Very sleek and dark, the CES stand really showed off the various technologies at the show.

What is your model of internationalization?

We are not expanding market by market. We bet on going “global” from the start. We are a B2B company. Our goal is to convince large groups to adopt our technology. It's up to them, afterwards, to bring it to different markets.

About Esmeralda Megally, CEO of Xsensio SA

After completing an MBA in the United States and a few years in an American investment fund targeting new technologies, Esmeralda Megally returned to Europe with the dream of becoming an entrepreneur herself. She contacted a professor at EPFL with the idea of creating a company around the nanotechnologies found at the intersection of several sectors. This is how Xsensio came to be born in 2014 on the EPFL campus. It will soon move into its new location at the Innovation Park.

INTERESTED IN GOING INTERNATIONAL?

Get advice on making your start-up global from our internationalization coach, Bastien Bovy. He will be happy to evaluate your project and offer you personalized support.

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