Founded in 2011 by Johannes and Greta Kreuzer, the Munich HealthTech startup cosinuss° has grown into a successful company. After pitching the idea at the CODE_n startup CONTEST at CeBIT in 2014, the enterprise has become well established following the development of cosinuss° One. This unique fitness tracker for professional athletes features a convenient and highly accurate heart-rate monitor and also measures the user’s body temperature.
Now the time has come for the startup to break new ground with the latest stellar product in its portfolio: degree°. Launching a Kickstarter campaign in March 2017, Greta and Johannes are turning their vision into reality – to help parents whose children are in danger of suffering a febrile seizure. Learn more about the new high-tech device, the story behind it and the Kickstarter campaign in this blog post, which also features an interview with the founding team.
cosinuss° founders Greta and Johannes Kreuzer (middle) with the team (image: cosinuss°).
The story of degree°
It all began with an incident that would scare most parents: Greta and Johannes’ three-year-old daughter was suffering from a viral infection which triggered a febrile seizure. Although Greta took her daughter’s temperature every hour, there was no hint that the fit was looming. Febrile seizures aren’t caused by the absolute value, but rather the rapid increase in temperature. Ever since the alarming event, Greta, who is not only a mom but an economist, hasn’t been able to stop thinking about ways to help other parents in similar situations.
It’s a known fact that 30 percent of children who have a febrile seizure repeat the experience. The founders were not willing to accept this status quo. The team had already proven their competence in high-tech wearables with cosinuss°, so it made perfect sense for them to explore technological solutions to this problem. Johannes, a medical engineer, and his development team buckled down and designed a continuous measurement fever thermometer, specially adapted for children, which can be worn day and night.
The high-tech wearable degree° measures the temperature in-ear (image: cosinuss°).
The founders talked with us about the Kickstarter campaign for degree° and how their business has grown over the years since they entered the CODE_n ecosystem.
1. Hi, Greta and Johannes. How have you been doing since you took part in the CODE_n startup CONTEST and the related event at CeBIT in 2014?
The CODE_n event at CeBIT in 2014 gave us a great push forward! Not only did it infuse us with energy, but afterwards we also had numerous collaboration requests from established companies as well as a lot of press coverage, both national and international. We managed to bring our first product, the cosinuss° One, to serial production and onto the market by convincing top triathletes like Jan Frodeno and Anja Beranek to partner with us. That was a lot of fun! We got a lot of valuable feedback and are now preparing the second version for sportspeople.
2. degree° represents the development of a sophisticated high-tech wearable. What are the unique features of the device and how does it work?
degree° is an in-ear thermometer that continuously monitors the body temperature of children. It provides two crucial features: high accuracy and continuous monitoring. This empowers parents to choose the right treatment at the right moment because they’re able to see the real-time effects of every action they take. For example, I always try to avoid giving my children medication unless absolutely necessary, and degree° lets me see that applying cold compresses to their calves is lowering their fever and also how fast it is working.
degree° can also warn parents if their child’s body temperature reaches a level that is too high for them or if their temperature rises too fast (which can trigger a febrile seizure). This way parents will always know when their child needs their care the most. That is particularly useful at night. We also integrated a brief fever guide that lists possible treatments and how to apply them. And in case of an emergency, parents can find the nearest on-call pharmacy and physician as well as important numbers to call.
3. What’s the goal for the crowdfunding campaign and what will be the next steps to bring the product to market?
Our first goal is to make degree° known to parents, and with Kickstarter we are able to reach parents who are open to new technologies and innovations. As we learned with cosinuss° One, it’s crucial to connect with the early adopters at the start of market entry in a new product category. Following the Kickstarter campaign, we will adapt and redesign the current app and at the same time bring degree° to serial production. What we have going for us is we already did all that with cosinuss °One. And there is already a lot of interest from the Far East. So we have to get there fast!
4. Thank you for the exciting update, Greta and Johannes. One last question regarding advice you might have for other founders: What lessons have you learned about building a successful startup?
I think the most crucial thing we’ve learned is that no startup takes a straight, predictable line from A to B – even if it’s often suggested otherwise in the press. You will always have setbacks or obstacles you weren’t counting on. And the important thing is to overcome them. If you get knocked down, get up and try again!
Thanks a lot for you time. We wish you all the best and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for the Kickstarter campaign!
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