Interview: Olivier Clatz, co-founder of Therapixel and NETVA 2016 laureate

Olivier Clatz © Inria / Photo G. Maisonneuve

Therapixel was founded by Olivier Clatz from Asclepios team and Pierre Fillard from Parietal team. Therapixel offers a flexible medical imaging solution that can be adapted to different locations and users. The business raised €600,000 to internationalise its fluid application, which, among other things, uses contactless visual recognition to allow surgeons to access the medical images they need in the operating theatre.

In 2016 Therapixel was a NETVA awardee. As NETVA is launching the 2017 call, we asked Olivier Clatz about his journey!


– Olivier, can you tell us about your Research and Innovation field?

Therapixel is a software company focused on medical imaging. We use machine learning to tackle a couple of challenges : from image navigation to image content understanding.

– You have been researcher at Inria for 6 years, could you tell us more about your scientific contributions?

I had the chance to work at Asclepios, a lab that pioneered in medical image processing.

Many aspects of medical imaging were addressed in this lab, and I was lucky to be able to work on many of them : from image segmentation, image registration, computational models of the human body, image retrieval ….

– How much is the research background important for the development of THERAPIXEL solutions?

The answer is twofold :

  • the method we use right now at Therapixel did not exist 4 years ago. In that sense it did not help so much.
  • however, being in medical imaging and machine learning for a while brings a lot of culture and a capacity to adapt faster to new problems and methods. In that sense, it helped a lot !

– The Startup THERAPIXEL has been very successful and got many awards, this includes being one of the awardee of the NETVA’2016 competition that allowed you to have a first experience in the USA, can you tell us what you learned from this experience and the impact on the development of the company?

Therapixel is yet to be a massive success !

The NETVA program helped me in many aspects. Here are the two most important to me :

  • landing in the US needs a very strong preparation : your product, your pitch, your marketing, your proposition value. You need to be sharp on all these aspects. I understood that I need to prepare myself better.
  • Understanding the cultural difference with the US is really important. People in general are way more business oriented in the US. What takes months in France could take a few days there because of the mindset.

– What are your plans now?

Therapixel pivoted on an ambitious project : revolutionizing diagnostic radiology with machine learning to improve patient care and reduce costs. Our next step is to raise the necessary funding to achieve the first milestone of this plan.

– The NETVA 2017 edition is now open! What advice would you give to prospective applicants of NETVA?

Go for it ! Make as many meetings as you can! Don’t be afraid to be too early (as we were), the benefits are huge !

Interview by Valerie Issarny for Inria@SiliconValley

For more information about Therapixel visit

More information about NETVA:

Related article: NETVA 2016: 5 Inria start-ups take off for the United States