Scaling up a start-up

PwC’s support for CADskills sees it accelerate its introduction to the international market in a sustainable way

The challenge

Well aware that the Belgian market for its products is simply too small, CADskills, a Belgian start-up that designs and produces 3D-printed patient-specific implants, required a partner to support its international expansion to secure profitable growth.

Following recommendations about the quality and extent of the services PwC delivers, CADskills reached out to us for help.

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Calling on a global player

As a small start-up, CADskills had neither the competencies nor network to create a strategic plan for sustainable growth.

As part of a global network with activities in 157 countries, PwC is well placed to advise on international expansion and undertake required market research into market conditions and applicable legislation. And with deep financial expertise, we were able to devise a well-thought-out plan to help CADskills acquire the capital it needed to grow.

Taking a tailor-made approach

Rather than starting from a developed technology, CADskills is inspired by the surgeons who use its products. Each implant is expressly designed and manufactured for an individual patient, offering far greater benefits than a standard implant could. That tailored approach CADskills also found with PwC.

"PwC took time to really listen to us and understand our business and ambitions. Far from a standard package, together, we’ve created a step-by-step process specifically for our business that’ll help us achieve the global expansion we’re looking for," says Peter Vanwonterghem, CEO, CADskills.

"Calling on PwC's support is a substantial investment for a small start-up like CADskills, but we firmly believe it's money well spent as it's helping us break into the international market in a sustainable way."

Peter VanwonterghemCEO, CADskills

Opening up new markets

That plan sees CADskills move first into the UK and Scandinavian markets, followed by the US, and then Japan and South Korea. Having drawn up a longer list of potential markets, these were chosen based on PwC’s research into local interest in patient-specific implants, awareness of the product, local legislation and registration procedures. And it’s backed up with financial predictions.

With just five employees, it would have taken CADskills a lot longer to find local connections, identify required information and get local advice. With PwC, it has fast and direct access, and the ability to translate it into an intelligent business plan, helping make the process much more efficient. And as a start-up, CADskills lacks the financial expertise in house to be able to create such a comprehensive plan.

Creating a blue print for teeth prosthetic

Assuring comprehensive knowledge

While PwC has the global reach and required financial know-how, with CADskills working in such a niche domain, we sought to make sure we had specific knowledge of the product and market for it. For that, we reached out to Orthogrow, a Belgium-based advisory and distribution company with a mission to help medical device companies grow and accelerate their business.

Its involvement in the process filled our product-specific knowledge gap, helping to further increase efficiency.

"PwC's willingness and ability to reach out to an expert third party to make sure it was truly able to understand our business and support us in the best possible way convinced us that we were working with the right partner," reports Peter Vanwonterghem.

Team of CADskills with Peter Vanwonterghem, CEO, CADskills, posing for 3D printer

Delivering full-service support

With Orthogrow on board, we’ve also been able to support CADskills with its ISO 13485 activities. Although not currently subject to a quality regulation, CADskills expects there to be a requirement in the coming years and wants to make sure it's fully prepared.

In Orthogrow, we found a reliable partner to help CADskills with that objective.

Contact us

Griet Helsen

Partner, Clients & Markets Leader, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 2710 4035

Elise Carton

Senior Consultant, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 2710 4341

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