Catching up with Velocity Fund $5K winner, OcuBlink
Last July, OcuBlink pitched and won $5,000 at the 22nd Velocity Fund Finals (VFF). We caught up with Dr. Hendrik Walther, CEO of OcuBlink, for a post-VFF update. OcuBlink is now a Velocity Garage company.
OcuBlink offers an innovative testing platform with sophisticated eye models that will help research centres, pharmaceutical, and ophthalmic companies to validate new vision and ophthalmic product’s core technologies more rapidly and cost-effectively.
Q: How has your company developed since winning VFF?
Dr. Hendrik Walther (HW): The past months have been very interesting and exciting for us. More recently, after winning the VFF, we moved into the Velocity Garage and are settling in at our new workplace while we work on figuring out the needs of our customers and how to position ourselves in the market: do we have a product or a service?
Q: What is your company currently working on?
HW: We are mainly working hard on our hardware to have a fully functioning prototype by early 2019 (in order to get our product validation underway). Simultaneously, we are reaching out to potential customers to determine their exact needs, which will help us built the right minimum viable product (MVP) and guide us in the right direction of how to place our company.
Q: What do you enjoy most about building a startup?
HW: Seeing something you’ve been working on for a couple of years (just on the side to suit your own needs) flourish and get the recognition that you’ve always hoped for is very exciting. There is so much to learn on how to build a startup/company, which can sometimes be a little bit overwhelming, but it is a necessary part of the exciting journey and we enjoy being challenged by it.
Q: What did you like most about competing at VFF?
HW: Pitching at VFF was a very rewarding experience. Not only did we get exposure to various new startups and get to know what their goal is, but we were also provided with a tremendous amount of support from the Velocity team. The practice sessions were very helpful in providing valuable feedback about the flow and content of the presentation.
Q: Are there any tips you can give to startups that are pitching?
HW: Enjoy yourself and trust in your idea. Make use of every possible input and advice you can get while preparing for your pitch. Prepare and practice your pitch many times so you will know it inside out and it will come to you naturally when it is time to perform. But most importantly, have fun with it!
Missed OcuBlink’s pitch? Watch it on YouTube
Want to see all of the updates from past season’s winners? Check out our Road to 23rd Velocity Fund Finals blog.
Learn more about the Fall 2018 Velocity Fund Finals today!
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.