Amelie Béduer reflects on her career and reveals the journey behind her company, Volumina, which develops innovative implants for breast reconstruction.
Can you introduce yourself briefly?
Biopôle’s entrepreneurs share: Journey & Tips from Amélie Béduer, CEO & Co-founder of Volumina
I am the CEO and co-founder of Volumina Medical. We develop innovative biomaterial-based implants that enable the human body to repair itself after a disease or trauma. Our first project is to improve breast reconstruction after cancer.
I am passionate about helping patients, medical doctors, and shareholders by taking innovations from the lab and bringing them to the market.
When you were a child, what did you want to do?
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to invent new objects, tools, or devices to make people’s lives better. As I got older, I discovered a passion for science. I thought it would help me to understand our world better initially and then help me to improve it.
How did you become an entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of Volumina? What gave you the confidence to pursue your start-up/product idea?
I realised that impactful innovations often happen at the intersection of several disciplines. I started my scientific career in France at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) before moving to the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), where I created smart implants that could interact with the human body.
After presenting my latest research at a surgery conference, I was approached by plastic surgeons wanting to discuss my findings. Their daily challenge was to reconstruct patients’ breasts after cancer treatment – a problem that affects millions of people with breast cancer each year. This is much more than an aesthetic issue: breast disfigurement can deeply affect patients’ quality of life by destroying their self-esteem and self-confidence. The plastic surgeons explained that they needed a way to create natural and long-lasting standing breasts, and they thought I might be able to help.
I spent a lot of time observing reconstructive surgery to study the market needs and understand why no one had been able to find a solution to meet them. Back in the lab, my co-founders and I designed, patented, and produced a biomaterial implant. It took several years of perseverance before we managed to solve the challenge of tissue regeneration. When we did, we said to ourselves: let’s make this happen for patients! So, we decided to create a company in order to bring this much-needed innovation to the market.
Why did you choose Biopôle for your company?
We chose Biopôle because it brings together a vibrant community of companies. It gave us the opportunity to create exactly what we needed: a clean room where we could manufacture our implantable medical devices.
What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur today?
- Believe in yourself
- Hire the best people
- Work hard every day, while keeping time for your family and friends
- Stay focused
Amélie Béduer is CEO and Co-founder of Volumina, a start-up established in 2018. The company is developing a platform of highly innovative biomaterials for regenerative medicine, at Startlab, the life sciences incubator of Biopôle.