Bertrand Klaiber, EE, MBA
CEO, co-founder

Bertrand Klaiber has 20+ years’ experience in innovation management, strategic marketing and business development, with particular focus on emerging markets. He graduated in electrical engineering at EPFL in 1994, and completed an MBA with honors at the University of Lausanne in 2004. He worked for several international companies, namely Motorola Semiconductors, Logitech and LEM, assuming increasing levels of responsibility from project management to worldwide strategic marketing manager.

In 2010 Bertrand co-created the EssentialMed foundation whose mission consists in providing access to appropriate medical technologies to impoverished communities across the globe. He was part of the team that initiated GlobalDiagnostiX project, which arose from the observation that most health workers in the South have to deal – often heroically – with the lack of reliable medical equipment in their hospitals. This project aimed to develop a new medical imaging system specifically for these contexts. From 2012 to 2015, Bertrand led the development of the technology at EPFL with a consortium of several research and medical institutes. Convinced that both high profitability and large social impact could be achieved simultaneously, he developed an original business model and founded the Pristem company to industrialize and deploy the solution. He also developed the EssentialTech program at EPFL, with which Pristem continues to work closely to develop other medical equipment highly needed in emerging markets.

Laurent Sache, MT, PhD
COO, Head of Operations, Quality & RA

Laurent Sache is an innovative, engaged and results-driven leader who focused on achieving high performance and on bringing product to markets in challenging environments. Over the last 15 years he progressively acquired functional/program/portfolio & general management expertise in highly regulated industries (Aerospace, Pharma and Food industry). He’s an expert in managing the entire product life cycle encompassing research, development, quality, regulatory, manufacturing, supply and services.

Laurent holds a master’s degree in micro-engineering and a PhD in Optical semi-conductors from EPFL.

Hubert Blanchard, MT, PhD
CTO, Head of Engineering, co-founder

Hubert Blanchard has extensive knowledge in high-tech R&D team management. He has 20 years of activity in technical development and 16 years in managing multidisciplinary teams developing high quality industrial, traction and automotive products composed of electronic, sensors, embedded software and mechanical components. He holds a master’s degree in micro-engineering and a PhD in applied science from EPFL. During his career, he has participated to several research programs and has achieved successful transfers of academic research works into industrial products. Responsible for the on-time/quality/cost delivery of full product development roadmaps, he has built multidisciplinary teams and associated work processes to successfully achieve his objectives and cope with constantly evolving technical fields and business needs.

Stéphane Velan, MScM
CFO, co-founder

Swiss, born in 1961, graduated with a degree in business management, Master of Science in Management from HEC University in Lausanne and PED program in international management at IMD, Stéphane has more than 20 years’ Management & Operational experience and expertise and has held senior executive positions (Chairman, Board member/President du Directoire and CEO) for more than 10 years in numerous Swiss and international companies, in various activities, with different types of shareholders/investors.

Stephane has an impressive track record in Business building & Management (incl. Luxury & Watches, telecommunication, high-tech start-ups, Strategic Project), in Finance (M&A, Investment funds, Venture Capital, Equity fundraising, structured finance, financial engineering, portfolio management, credits & risks, tax optimisation), and Consulting (strategy, Business development, operational, production, marketing & sales). He has led multidisciplinary operational teams of experts, has managed large budgets and many large teams throughout his career.

Founder member of the Foundation Essentialmed, Stephane has actively participated to the definition of the strategy of the Foundation and to the concept of developing and deploying effective, high-quality and affordable medical devices, adapted to the needs of impoverished communities across the globe. He has notably been part of the first concrete project named “GlobalDiagnostiX” developped and fully supported by EPFL, Lausanne, that became Pristem SA.

Stéphane founded in 2010 the Swiss Watch Company Frères Rochat SA, specialised in the Singing Bird automatons, which he sold in 2016.

Andrej Sobkowski, EE/ICT, eMBA
CIO, Head of IT department

Most of Andrej’s career focuses on managing large scale software development projects, supervising internationally distributed multi-cultural teams and implementing product-oriented agile and DevOps processes. He has worked for startups, SMEs and large international groups in Europe and North America; as part of the executive team, he has delivered initiatives related to IT transformations, cloud computing, mobility and M2M/IoT and has established business and technological partnerships.

Andrej holds a double Master’s degree in Electronics and Computer Science Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (now Télécom ParisTech), France as well as an Executive MBA in Management and Corporate Finance from HEC Lausanne, Switzerland.

Andrej is an Italian and Canadian citizen, working in Switzerland and living in France with his wife and their three children.