Imagine a manager who has too much stress and one day has a stroke. From one day to the next, they are now disabled and unable to move, to get a glass of water, or to use the bathroom. These everyday common occurrences are what motivates Gondola Medical to address the problems that arise when a person has lost part of their mobility due to a neurological cause, using an innovative device. This device allows patients with neurological conditions to live better, move better, and improve independence.
Francesco Cecchini, co-founder and CEO of Gondola, emphasises that the goal of the device is to reduce the problems to allow those who have had a stroke or who have Parkinson’s to regain something that most people take for granted, until they have it. These conditions have an effect on 15 million people per year worldwide.
How did the journey begin?The company was created back in 2010, when Francesco Cecchini met Stefano Tassin, who had discovered the innovative treatment approach that later would be embodied in the Gondola medical device. Francesco and Stefano co-founded the company to develop their innovation - they had something unique: trust in what they were doing, will to make this innovation available to the broadest number of patients, and competence to set up the company and master the medical treatment. At that time, they believed that their journey would be fast and easy. Even though Francesco Cecchini had no medical expertise, he and his team have worked relentlessly and since studied everything they need to know to be recognised as peers with neurologists and other key players in the market, and involved external knowledge to complement their expertise as needed. He emphasizes the importance of mastering a topic, never giving up, and to be resilient when it comes to leadership. With those values engrained, the two founders have been curious and enjoy the excitement of being an entrepreneur, while also understanding the risks and rewards that come along the journey.
What have you accomplished throughout your journey?Gondola Medical has worked with strong ethical values since the beginning, and they have had the luck of working with investors in the community who understand their project and want to help them. Back in 2015, investors joined Gondola and Cecchini’s foundational approach; they also made 2 follow-up investments since then, allowing the company to further develop the device, validate its efficacy through international clinical studies, enlarge the geographical reach, and to increase serviced patients, revenue and earnings for the company. Their journey has already taken more than 8 years so far, the company to date has sold almost 500 devices, and forecasts a relevant increase in sales volumes over the coming years. In the mid-term, Gondola aims to partner with a med-tech company to bring their technology on a large scale to the market to help those that are affected daily with strokes and Parkinson’s disease.