The aim of the Morning Talks series of interviews is to present the impact of partnerships on the EU innovation and investment ecosystem.

For this interview, we met with Orily Pratt, an experienced Marketing and Strategy professional with a well-established record in working with small and medium companies, especially in the Healthcare and MedTech industries. She currently dedicates her extensive experience and skills to help entrepreneurs and startups thrive and achieve their goals.  

Orily collaborated with as a jury member in an e-pitching event on Biotech and in the Innovation Radar Prize 2023 for the Female-led Innovations Category. 

As a coach, I help startups develop resourceful strategies that enable them to achieve their goals despite limited resources. I help them conduct market research and find the information they need to understand their target market, customer needs, and competitors.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?  

I am an experienced business coach and Marketing and Strategy professional with over 25 years of experience working with SMEs. I have held senior marketing and business positions in growing entrepreneurial companies and established global enterprises. Since 2010, I have worked as an independent consultant, providing companies with a wide range of services, including business coaching and mentoring, go-to-market strategy, branding strategy, global marketing management, market and business planning, company and product positioning, and international business growth.  


Do you only coach startups or do you also support earlier stage innovators in the process of spinning-off or developing their technologies? 

My work is driven by a deep-seated passion for innovation and a steadfast commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and startups to thrive and realize their aspirations. I support innovators across all TRL stages, including early-stage and spin-offs. For instance, I am an authorized Expert in the EIC Tech2Market Entrepreneurship & Venture Building programme, where I guide entrepreneurs in business ideation and validation.  


Do you coach startups from specific sectors or are you sector agnostic? 

I have worked intensively in the MedTech, Biotech, Pharma and Healthcare industries, as well as Wellness, FemTech and Aesthetic Medicine. I also have experience helping companies in Renewable Energy, Consumer Goods, Digital Health, and WellTech.  


How do you support startups identifying opportunities for growth and development? 

My approach to fostering business growth involves collaborating with company leadership and leveraging a blend of market research, business analysis, and strategic planning. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape, customer needs, and competitive positioning, I assist startups in unearthing potential growth areas and formulating viable strategies to capitalize on these opportunities. Furthermore, I often provide guidance to companies during their funding processes, enhancing their appeal to investors and strategic partners.  


How do you tailor your coaching approach to meet the specific needs and face the challenges of each business? 

To tailor my coaching approach to my coachee’s needs, I conduct a thorough assessment of each business’s unique challenges, goals, and market context. In addition, with the experience I accumulated over the years, I can often learn from other companies’ successes or failures and implement that knowledge into my current work. This enables me to customize coaching strategies, tools, and resources to address specific needs and guide startups through their individual challenges. 


In your view, what do you consider as key-factors to establish a positive, productive and trustworthy work environment with your coachees? 

Open communication, empathy, active listening, and a collaborative approach are key factors in establishing such a work environment with coachees. Creating a safe space for coachees to share their concerns and aspirations builds trust and fosters a productive coaching relationship. 


What are some common challenges you encounter when coaching startups, and how do you address them? 

Many common challenges I encounter when coaching startups revolve around resources, market information, and operational issues.  

One of the most common challenges startups face is limited resources. Startups typically have limited funding, so they must be resourceful in their operations. Challenges around market uncertainty derive from the fact that many startups often have limited market information, especially about their target audiences and their competition. Operational inefficiencies are another common challenge that startups face. Startups may struggle with operational processes such as production, distribution, or customer service.  

As a coach, I help startups develop resourceful strategies that enable them to achieve their goals despite limited resources. I help them conduct market research and find the information they need to understand their target market, customer needs, and competitors. This information helps startups develop effective go-to-market strategies that result in increased market penetration and customer acquisition. To address operational challenges, I help startups prioritize their actions, develop lean methodologies, and implement agile methods to optimize their operations. 

Overall, my approach is to focus on results-driven strategies that enable startups to make the most of their resources and develop sustainable business models that allow them to achieve long-term success. 

Can you share a few success stories or case studies from your work with previous mentees, explaining your contribution to their success? 

I have successfully worked with numerous startups, aiding their growth, market penetration, and strategic positioning. For instance, I supported a MedTech startup in developing a compelling go-to-market strategy, turning the company into a more attractive and reliable target for investors. Additionally, I assisted a renewable energy company in positioning its innovation uniquely, using branding and marketing methodologies from other industries. Operating in an unconventional manner in a market that is dominated by large, established corporations allowed them to stand out and attract investors and strategic partners.  


What motivated you to join forces with  

My motivation to join forces with stems from the platform’s commitment to supporting innovation and connecting EU-funded innovators with investors and corporates. This aligns with my passion for fostering entrepreneurship and leveraging networks for growth and collaboration. is all about supporting innovation and providing a unique matchmaking platform where one can find thousands of EU-funded innovators, which can also find investors and corporates to connect with. How meaningful do you think a database like this can be? 

A database like can be incredibly meaningful as it provides a centralized platform for EU-funded innovators, investors, and corporates to connect, collaborate, and access a wide range of innovative projects and investment opportunities. This facilitates efficient matchmaking and fosters a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and investment within the EU. 


In your perspective, which are the main advantages of EU-funded companies? 

In addition to access to financial support for research and innovation, EU-funded companies benefit from various other advantages that contribute to their growth and success.  

One advantage is the availability of international collaboration and networking, connecting them with counterparts, research institutions, and businesses across the EU and beyond. It offers access to a wealth of expertise, resources, and markets through partnerships and programs facilitated by the EU. This exposure to diverse perspectives and expertise enhances the company’s ability to innovate and expand its reach.  

Another advantage is the credibility and trust associated with EU-backed initiatives. This is especially important for the company stakeholders, including customers, investors, and potential partners. The backing of the EU signals a commitment to high standards of research, innovation, and ethical business practices, which can be advantageous in building a positive reputation and establishing credibility in the industry. 

By leveraging these advantages, EU-funded companies can not only access crucial funding for their projects but also expand their networks, enhance their credibility, and tap into a wide range of resources and expertise, ultimately positioning themselves for sustainable growth and success. 


Article published by EurA AG.


Read our last Morning Talks issue with Tom Weller: Charting the Frontiers of Innovation and Investment at Evenlode 


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Supported by the European Commission, discovers and supports the most promising EU-funded innovators and connects them with relevant investors and corporates. The initiative was launched to help groundbreaking innovations secure the funding needed for their future commercialisation by offering them tailored support and matchmaking services. 

To learn more about, visit 

Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.