From Research to Start-up: Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch

Interview by Startupdate with Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch - November 12, 2020

"Flexibility is always needed"

We hear far more about men in leadership positions than women, yet female entrepreneurs are just as capable as their male counterparts. That's why we talked to Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch, co-founder of CUTISS AG. In the interview, she tells us who she would like to meet for lunch, what she would do with a few extra hours a day, and whether she ever doubted her idea.

Do you find it difficult to delegate tasks to others?

FABIENNE HARTMANN-FRITSCH: From academic research, I was used to delegating. Leading a team, however, was a change. For me personally, however, the responsibility to the patients and the authorities weighs much heavier.

How do you set priorities?

FH: I am a very organized person, I work in the classic way with lists, and I like to check off things that have been done. But flexibility is always needed, for example when a new study patient arrives.

Did you ever doubt your idea?

FH: No, the medical need is clearly there worldwide. But the most challenging part is definitely the cost-efficient manufacturing.

What's the best professional advice you've ever received?

FH: I find Caspar Coppetti's "Get the sh*t done" wonderfully simple and applicable to us as well.

What would you do if the day had 30 hours instead of 24?

FH: I would volunteer at Zurich Zoo, that would be a great balance for me. As an Antarctic enthusiast, I would prefer to work with the penguins.

FH: Which entrepreneur would you like to meet for lunch?

FH: Cristina Mittermeier, the founder of SeaLegacy, advocates for the world's oceans with her organization. I would love to chat with her about her challenges in building and running her organization.

What has been the best moment of your career so far?

FH: Seeing our skin on a patient for the first time was a moving moment.

What advice would you give yourself at this same time last year?

FH: To set our 2020 annual plan for a pandemic... but I certainly wouldn't have taken that advice.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Winterthur native Fabienne Hartmann-Fritsch spent a long time in academic circles. In 2013, she completed her doctorate at the University of Zurich in the "Tissue Biology Research" unit, the research group in which the basic research for her skin replacement product "denovoSkin" was done. Since 2017, she is co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer at CUTISS AG.

CUTISS AG is a Swiss life science company that aims to provide patients with large and deep skin defects with the first automated personalized skin tissue therapy, denovoSkin™, a safe, effective and accessible therapy for children and adults.

Contributed photo: Frank Brüderli
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