Today, there are many inspirational leaders who are changing the world through their vision. However, there are a few personalities who are actually taking everyone on the path of success.
Claudiu Leverenz is one such leader, who inspires others by working with people with disabilities.
Talking about Claudiu’s childhood, he and his family moved to Germany when he was 7 years old. His family moved to Germany at a time where Romania was recovering after the revolution and still trying to reach an economic condition where people have good work and a future perspective.
He graduated in 2016 from the Technical University of Munich with a master’s in information systems. Previously, he also studied in the US and Australia for a shorter term. During his studies at the TU Munich, he had been exposed to entrepreneurship and how to work on ideas and validate them. This made him focus on business administration and management skills.
Through this interview, Claudiu Leverenz, the CEO of Munevo speaks about his extraordinary journey and life story. He explains to us how he and his team at Munevo help bring a change the world is in need of.
- Can you please tell our readers about your journey with Munevo?
Until I started Munevo, I was working always as a part-time consultant and was sure to continue this path. As a consultant, I learned to work in an analytic way and process information effectively. In my last role, I was already responsible for the opportunity management in three countries for a specific technology. However, my motivation changed when I started working with people with disabilities which was an inspiration within itself. My motivation now encompasses work with social characteristics.
My role at Munevo is to help people with certain diseases or disabilities to become more independent. It also leads the team at Munevo towards creating new solutions in order to reach our goals. Helping people with innovative technology has been at the core of the startup. All of our team joins with a mindset of helping people. I am most proud of our international and diverse team that achieved already so much that I couldn’t have dreamt off when starting this journey.
- Being a successful leader, what difficulties and challenges do you face? What keeps you motivated?
As a leader, we face many challenges. But in times of challenges, I often seek advice and work together with many different people from different backgrounds. Often, I feel motivated and inspired by the different perspectives that allow you to look at things from many angles. The motivation comes not only from this but also from our clients and users themselves.
When you see how much a person can achieve, even if there is some form of limitation, in the end, it just enables people more to become the most amazing person. I have seen people drawing beautiful portrait just by using their mouth, starting to study medicine while only being able to move his/her head. Stephen Hawking has amazed people all around the world with his ability to imagine the most complex situations.
- What word best describes your personality?
I am very open and like to be together with people. At the same time, I can adapt very easily to changing situation. I would also describe myself as driven and motivated.
- Describe in brief about your company and its products and services.
Munevo has started as a university project and has been developed according to the wishes and inspiring ideas of people that in the end require help. Munevo has today become a full-fledged company that provides a different solution to help people become more independent. We focus on innovative technology and making it accessible to people that often are overlooked. Munevo DRIVE is the first-ever control system that allows the user to drive a power wheelchair hands-free. It is based on smart glass technology and connects to all your surrounding devices. The smart glass serves as a platform for different features and thus can create more independence for the user.
- What advice would you give to the upcoming entrepreneurs and healthcare professionals?
Pick up the phone and call. We often tend to write a mail rather than getting in direct contact and discuss it over the phone. Another advice would be not to stop being passionate and don’t give up.
- What is your opinion regarding the current landscape of the healthcare market your company caters to?
Currently, we see many good things happening and we are proud that we are part of the change. Technology has advanced so fast and sometimes we overlook certain communities. As of now most of the market for wheelchairs is very traditional. We also see healthcare systems change from traditional healthcare to value-based healthcare. From curative to preventive healthcare. I see technology being a key aspect of the change and if we just take into account all communities and all perspectives, then we can create great things. But we still have a long journey.
- How is the advancement in technology changing the healthcare space?
It changes very fast. Sometimes maybe too fast and that is when we have to sit together with everyone at one table and talk about how we can use technology to create better experiences, a better life and outcomes for everyone. Not just for one country but for every human living on this planet. Technology has shown its impact on our world and we are still not yet understanding the impact that it can create. Technology should enable us but not be used in a harmful way. We should be the ones in charge of it and not vice-versa. While data has become our greatest asset, we need to make sure that we know who owns the data and what we are allowed to do with it.
- Please tell us about your achievements and accomplishments
I am the first in my family to graduate from university and straight after that start a company. During my studies, I have been able to travel the world, which was the first eye-opening experience that helped me move forward. After developing the idea and a prototype of Munevo DRIVE, soon, we received lots of great feedback. I was selected Forbes 30under30 in the healthcare space in Europe.
We won several other prizes and even got funded by the federal government in Germany. The biggest milestone was when we finally achieved to certify our solution as a medical product and got our first user which meant to be 100% reimbursed by public insurance in Germany. Seeing people using the solution and being happy with the solution is the biggest achievement and that’s what we want to continue to do everywhere in the world.
Personally, I am proud to also be part of the Global Shaper Community, an initiative by the World Economic Forum, that supports local projects and creates impact in various areas like climate, education and inclusion.
- Where do you envision yourself and your company in the near future?
My vision of Munevo is to really help more and more people worldwide. We are still at the very beginning of our mission and have a lot of work to do.