Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

Olympian-tested science-driven personalised supplements soon to reach the mass market

By Nikki Cutler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Loewi team: (from left) Adrian Kapsalis, Prof. Dr. Johannes Scherr, Philipp Merk, Calvin Devereux
Loewi team: (from left) Adrian Kapsalis, Prof. Dr. Johannes Scherr, Philipp Merk, Calvin Devereux
Three entrepreneurs with a head for data and tech have teamed up with a renowned physician to create a business combining detailed data and evidence-based knowledge to offer personalised supplements and nutrition tested on Olympic athletes.

Philipp Merk, Adrian Kapsalis, Calvin Devereux and Prof. Dr. Johannes Scherr, an Olympic physician for the past 12 years, co-founded the Munich-based business Loewi with an aim to deliver science-driven personalised nutrition for the mass market.

 “This is the result of Professor Scherr’s 12 years of experience combined with our passion to get personalised nutrition to the masses,”​ Merk explains.

“We’ve translated what Professor Scherr was already doing with his athletes, by hand, and added the tech needed to add more data points and scale up the concept.”

The company's clients receive a finger prick blood test and a questionnaire in the post. The blood test can determine up to 35 biomarkers by laboratory diagnostics while the questionnaire delves into the clients’ medical history, lifestyle, diet etc.

Once they’ve sent off their sample and answers they get access to Loewi's certified health platform which shows their blood test results in an easy and intuitive way.

They then receive personalised diet recommendations and carefully tailored recipe ideas as well as a tailored supplement composed from more than 567 billion possibilities.

Personal supplements

Adrian explains: “Health and nutrition is something very personal, therefore, we didn’t want to recommend various standardised supplements because every human being has a different metabolism and therefore different needs.

“So we came up with our personalised supplement which includes everything the client individually needs, in the highest quality, the right composition and the right dosage.

“We genuinely believe that our concept is the most convenient way, to optimise health for the long-run. It´s intuitive, easy to use and most importantly, based in science.”

Adrian adds that one of the business’ core value is and scientific relevance and validity, therefore with every information or piece of advice, the client is also given a link to the relevant sources and studies to show the science behind.

Another major aspect of their business is their ability to provide a continuous feedback loop so the customer knows how well the service is working.

Always improving

The subscription model includes an initial test and questionnaire, nutrition advice, three months worth of supplements and a second test three month after the first.

Adrian explain: “This allows us to understand each client’s individual metabolism and absorbability and optimise our dosages and recommendations - that’s only possible if we combine the whole customer journey which is our biggest value in the long run.”

The service is currently only available to professional athletes and a small group of consumers in involved in the ‘beta phase’ before the service is rolled out to the wider public next year.

They know they are entering a saturated market but Merk says they are confident their service has more to offer than the others.

“There’s many companies in the field of blood testing and there’s some in the field of personalised pills and supplements based on questionnaires. What really differentiates us is our scientific and data-driven approach which is only possible by providing the whole customer journey – from the blood test to the personalised solution.  Therefore, we are basically the only ones who can connect the dots.”

Total transparency

He adds that quality is one of the main pillars in this sort of business, where you are allowing consumers to see the direct impact that your service provides.

“If you provide clients with the level of transparency as we do, it goes without saying that you need to assure highest quality standards and comprehensive information so that consumers understand the science behind.”

“Often startups will launch really early on, neglecting quality and scientific standards, to get on the market quickly. However, I strongly believe that you can´t do that when it comes to the health industry because quality and science must be at the core of health products.

 “It takes a little longer to do it this way because we have to scientifically validate and test everything we do but for us, it’s the way to build trust and bring quality products to the market. We genuinely believe that in the long run quality will always win.”




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