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Alon, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, interview about the exciting path of HeroKi and our unique product.

50% of kidney transplants fail within 10 years; the lack of sports activity of the patient is one of the causes of this failure

Alon Magal, 31 years old, CEO and co-founder of the startup Heroki, talks about his background, his career and his Health Care project.

Your story?

"I can't separate my personal story from my professional path: the former guides the latter".

Five years ago, as a civil engineering student, he discovered that he was suffering from a serious illness and underwent a kidney transplant after a long year of waiting punctuated by dialysis.

During his post-operative rehabilitation, he realized that while this new kidney saved his life, it did not offer him the comfort and freedom that he had before: the practice of many physical activity was dangerous for him, because of the risk of receiving a blow on the zone of his kidney that could prove fatal to him.

When he has understood that he wouldn't be able to regain his "former" rhythm, nor to project himself into simple everyday activities such as riding his bicycle to work, he has decided not to give in to fear and to look for a solution.

The idea of a protective belt has emerged in his head.

How have you gone about it?

"I didn't have any experience in the HealthTech sector, or even in the business sector, I had to learn a lot, listen, and take the plunge. »

Alon Magal and Fiona Choppe - co-founders and board members of Heroki - have come up with a simple, precise and safe solution that will allow people like him who have undergone a transplant to live their lives to the fullest without putting themselves in danger. This is the motivation of their project, this is what punctuates their days.

In parallel with their work, they have undertaken in-depth research and have thought about a product. They have solicited their relatives, activated their network, and contacted professionals in the sector in order to address scientific and financial issues of their project. With the necessary audacity, they have managed to surround themselves with the best nephrologists, transplant surgeons and kidney recipients, who are now part of the Heroki Medical Council.

They quickly understood that they had needed an associate who had mastered the technological aspect of the project, and they teamed up with Nadav Willinger, a mechanical engineer who would help them develop a safe product and launch production.

In 2018 the start-up Heroki is borned!

What is this innovation?

After several months of research, the "Kidney Shield" is born, it is a carefully designed protective shield that is both comfortable and stylish. It has been designed and developed by kidney recipients along with nephrologists and kidney transplant surgeons in order to give the best protective shield that adjusts to the body’s every movement, yet upon impact, forms a comfortable shield that keeps the kidney safe.

The technology combines shock-absorbing non-Newtonian material with high-quality dry-fit and ergonomic back support.

The idea is to give back the confidence to go about daily activities unhesitatingly and comfortably knowing the kidney is protected at all times.

Your work motto ?

Pareto !

Alon, anxious to reach his objectives, organizes his working time according to the famous Pareto or 80/20 principle known in quality control and applied to the world of work, according to which 80% of the results are obtained by only 20% of work.

What is the status of your project?

After having integrated an incubator, he won a significant grant that propelled him into product design phase of a CE certified medical device under the Medical Device Directive (MDD).

The health crisis has jeopardized several partnership agreements with investors, but the project is holding up; today the Kidney Shield is in its mass production phase, and Alon uses it daily to ride his bicycle to work, play with his son and to practice his favorite sports.

The product will be marketed within a month throughout Europe via Heroki's online store.

Alon has seen his project take shape and has already been working on the next models of shields for other postoperative issues.

Your 3 pieces of advice for entrepreneurship?
  1. Be patient: it takes time.
  2. Prepare yourself financially: entrepreneurship requires major sacrifices.
  3. Asking for help from others and trusting them: you can't be good on all fronts.

We leave you with this precious advice.

Thanks a lot to Alon for sharing this experience with our HealthTech network and good luck to Heroki!



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