The A-Team

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Forbes MC Staff   Forbes Monaco

Meeting With A View: Juli Ferré Nadal (LUDI), Brian Frederiksen and Fabrice Marquet (Monaco Foundry) with ) Manila Di Giovanni (DWorld).

Monaco Foundry signs two local startups trying to make a societal impact in healthtech and VR.

In only ten months, Monaco Foundry, the company created by Fabrice Marquet, ex-head of MonacoTech, has built an impressive portfolio of ten startups, from next generation DNA sequencing to blockchain health data security. “We are working with companies who are doing their part to improve the lives of others and the planet with a focus on the UN SDGs,” explains Marquet, who cofounded Monaco Foundry with Fortune 500 Executive Brian Frederiksen, former COO of MERCK’s Healthcare Services & Solutions.

“We understand the corporate world without being corporate ourselves and we become shareholders and advise the company’s executive team, leaving them to make the decision and have control,” says Marquet.

Two of their startups, both newly incorporated in Monaco, have certainly been creating a buzz.

LUDI Therapeutics focuses on treating sports-related injuries with cutting edge drug discovery technologies and a biomarkers platform to develop specific firstin-class drugs to enhance muscle repair. The biotech company is in the process of entering their first round of financing to secure €5 million.

Founders Cindy Benod and Guillaume Poncet-Montange have spent most of their careers in the U.S. finding cures for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Along with Juli Ferre Nadal, who has 15 years of experience in the sports and entertainment business, starting at Cirque de Soleil and including FC Barcelona, the three partners understood that there was a need to improve the current standard of care for most physical exercise related injuries.

With some 60 million muscle injuries per year accounted for worldwide, the global sport medicine market is estimated to be €7.3 billion ($8.8 billion) and is expected to reach €12.5 billion ($15.2 billion) by 2027.

“After initial discussions with football club doctors it became quickly clear that there was a lack of innovation in the muscle injury recoveries, which creates a massive headache for clubs and athletes,” observes Nadal, former head of AS Monaco FC’s commercial and marketing department. “This could also help the general population, which makes it even more powerful.”

Sport innovation experts and doctors from top European and South American soccer institutions have welcomed the idea of biotech helping with the research on such injuries that greatly impact their industry, but this technology will benefit a much wider market beyond sports, for instance, therapeutic application for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

To respond to the space constrains in Monaco, the team decided on a virtual pharmaceutical company model, with the LUDI scientific leadership team, law advisors, accountants being based in Monaco but the science being performed all over the globe through close partnerships with a trusted CRO (Contract Research Organization).

In three years, they expect to have a drug candidate with robust preclinical data and to sell their asset to a larger pharma player to manufacture, commercialize and market the drug. This is all very promising and it is the right time for innovation.”

Manila Di Giovanni and Christian Bertelsen couldn’t agree more about timing.

The cofounders of DWorld, which launched in March 2020, are looking to disrupt the way people travel and socially interact by building a new virtual reality shop to create a need and want for V-Commerce.

In a real boost to tourism in Monaco, DWorld will digitize the country, one neighborhood at a time, by early next year. This VR hub will include corporate events, sport events, museums—and the VR hub will give free access to everyone and be able to monetize with shops, venue owners and the likes, that participate.

“By creating a VR version of Monaco, we are adding value and integrating a whole new radical v-economy channel to the smart city development of the Principality,” reveals CEO Di Giovanni. “This will offer new virtual working opportunities and give local enterprises from different industries, access to a global audience to sell their products and services with a fully tailored experience, that online shopping does not provide.”

In addition to the Monaco government, DWorld is also partnering with local enterprises like the Carlo cash back program that favors local economy. They hope to build the world’s largest VR hub for the European, American and Asian markets by 2024, and to democratize VR not only among tech innovators, but also for early adopters with the aim to have an annual revenue of €1 million by the third year.

“The Covid pandemic has made companies realize it is vital to use new technologies to enable them to adapt to any situation and provide radical solutions to keep them viable,” Di Giovanni insists.

Both DWorld and LUDI support Monaco Foundry’s vision of making the world healthier and more sustainable one founder at a time.

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Forbes MC Staff   Forbes Monaco