MIETHKE celebrates its birthday.
Christoph Miethke took his chance! With public funding, support from his former professor and a large portion of confidence, he founded his company on 01 July 1992. The first office was located on a former Stasi site in the east of Berlin. Why? There was a telephone connection there, which was by no means the case everywhere in East Berlin at that time.
Ideas take shape
The first valves are built and tested with much head scratching, testing, discarding and rethinking. The results of the first pre-series of a hydrostatically operating valve are promising, the idea works. So the company continued to puzzle and optimize, even the company logo, which, by the way, still exists today in a modified form.
The patent for the new type of valve is approved and the test results for the DUALSWITCHVALVE are good. In November, the valve is presented for the first time at the MEDICA TradeFair, the largest event for the medical industry worldwide, in Düsseldorf. The goal: Explain, convince and sell!
On February 1st, 1995, the first MIETHKE valve was implanted in Charité Hospital Berlin. The first of several moves in the coming years followed: To gain more space, the company moved from Wuhlheide to the Adlershof Innovation & Start-up Center. Within one day (record-breaking!) everything (including heavy machinery) was moved from one place to the other.
A new clean room
The joy about the new clean room was big, the clean room itself was rather small at that time. But we were able to work more productively and flexibly. Due to the lack of air conditioning, cleanroom assembly was a sweaty job back then. Today, the clean rooms are probably the coolest workplaces at MIETHKE in the summer.
Shunt systems and joyful faxes
The year of completion: Our catheters were approved as a medical device, now the patients could be fully supplied with a MIETHKE shunt system. The mood in the team was good, especially when the fax rang, then the team gathered excitedly in front of it, cheering in case it was an order.
This year, not only we launched more products, but also the cognition matured that professional product photos were needed. Sophisticated ideas were used to put our products in the right light. The times when product photos were taken outside in the yard on a sheet of paper are over now. Today we are glad to have a professional marketing team and product photographers for this matter...
The hard work paid off and the success became visible, internally and externally. Secretly, our CEO Christoph applied with the DSV for the Berlin-Brandenburg Innovation Award and we won! In addition, we still had to get used to such amazing shipping volumes (see picture) at that time, after the sales cooperation with B.Braun Aesculap, which accompanies us as a strong partner until today, picked up speed.
What our CEO Christoph wants to show here is not passed down. But maybe it's simply enthusiasm? After a great start into the new millennium, many new faces joined us in 2000, we even welcomed our first trainee.
A long-turner and a lot of preparation
In the winter of 2001, we purchase our first sliding headstock automatic lathe, which was received into production with great joy and awe. With it, we were able to produce faster and more efficiently. In addition, the preparation for FDA approval kept us quite busy. Heads were spinning, the work was extensive, but in the end it was all about being able to offer our hydrocephalus valves on the US market as well.
MIETHKE Ventile go USA and a birthday
What a birthday present! Just in time for the 10th company anniversary, the FDA approval arrives at the house. The hard work of the last year has certainly given some of us a few grey hairs and required strong nerves, but all the sleepless nights were worth it: The way is clear now to supply patients in the USA with MIETHKE valves!
The success and energy of recent years reached new heights. After an interview with our CEO Christoph an article appears in the german newspaper "Welt" with a daring goal. It shows our motivation and is a message to the by then already more established big companies: We have come to stay. And the motivation from back then has remained until today: We are still working hard every day to improve the health care of patients with hydrocephalus.
Move to Potsdam
120 years after its completion, after a exhausting renovation starting in 2003 in line with the preservation of historical monuments of Potsdam, the Garde-Ulanen barracks became our new home. What the press called "high-tech in a stable" back then is still our creative realm today. Only one thing has changed since then: Over the course of time, the original 15 employees have grown to over 240, for whom our headquarters have long since then become too small.
Fight with the hydrant
A finding from our archive. That's what happened: Our managing director Christoph was in a particular hurry that day, and in a careless second the hydrant suddenly got in his way while he was parking out. Immediately a fountain sprouted up in front of our main entrance. Without thinking twice, Christoph threw himself into the floods and finally defeated the hydrant. What remained was a soaking wet and funny memory and thanks to the photo, we can still amuse ourselves about the story today.
The Berlin Brandenburg Innovation Award is a joint project of the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg. Every year, the award honors innovative ideas from various industries. It was already the second award for us in this format. This time we received the prize for our adjustable gravitational valve proSA.
Fight with the hydrant
A find from our archives: Our CEO was in a particular hurry that day and in a careless second, the hydrant suddenly got in the way while parking out. Immediately a fountain sprouted up in front of our main entrance. Without thinking twice, Christoph threw himself into the floods and finally defeated the hydrant. What remained was a soaking wet and funny memory and thanks to the photo, we can still have a good laugh about the story today.
Compatibility work and family
The compatibility of family and career has long been matter of the heart. That's why we decided to go down the path of "work-and-family" certification in 2008. We have firmly anchored the associated guidelines and principles in our corporate culture. For us, these include flexible working hours, the option of home office, and an awareness of the different needs of employees in different family and life stages.
Open Company Day
We were part of the "Open Company Day" with more than 200 companies in Brandenburg. The aim was to improve the visibility of the diversity and potential of Brandenburg's economy and bring it to life for the visitors. Our colleagues were also very pleased about the curiosity of the visitors and were happy to present their work.
Art in the cafeteria
This work of art has been an indispensable detail in our cafeteria since 2010. The painting by the Düsseldorf painter Diana Rattray is called "Longing." Christoph, our CEO reveals: "I can remember being like the little boy. The footbridge as a boundary, as it was an end, a restriction and at the same time an invitation and a gateway to the world." And today, too, the image awakens a desire for a journey, for a new adventure with many wonderful experiences, we believe.
In a small group, we presented our intracranial pressure sensor, the SENSOR RESERVOIR, to experts, doctors and partners for the first time. We collected their feedback, tested it, thought about it and continued working on it. It is especially important to us not to tinker in a closet, but to exchange ideas with experts and thus become continously better. Until today, the SENSOR RESERVOIR has experienced many improvements and in the end even got a new name: M.scio!
20 years MIETHKE
For the 20th company anniversary we celebrated a big party. It was a wonderful day full of memories for everyone and a moment of gratitude addressed to all who supported us in the past and believed in the idea behind MIETHKE. Therefore, the invitation to the party consisted of many photos taken in the past 20 years - moments that made us what we were then and still are today!
"We understand the gravity of the situation." - the joint image film with our partner B. Braun Aesculap celebrated its premiere in 2013. Not at all as easy as we thought, we found out in the end. What makes us stand out as a company? What distinguishes the partnership? Deciding which scenes to feature was not that easy. Finally we created a film that is still relevant today and that reflects what we stand for and what distinguishes our partnership and us.
The further development
The time has come for the proGAV2.0! The predecessor model of proGAV, our first adjustable valve ever, was already approved in 2004. The new and further development combines feedback collected from our patients and users to date. Further more, product presentations at trade fairs are very important for us during the market launch, because they allow us to present the products directly to physicians. With the help of the replica head in today's picture, for example, the new adjustment mechanism of the proGAV2.0 could be tested live on site.
Topping out ceremony RoK
Because we needed constantly more and more space, the Rote Kaserne, affectionately known as "RoK", was added as a production site in 2015. The building was built in 1892, used as a riding arena and later as a sports hall, then it was forgotten for a long time - until we bought it and completely renovated it. At the topping-out ceremony, all our colleagues were able to see the building for the first time. At that time, a lot of imagination was needed to imagine what our RoK would look like one day. Today, the RoK is a modern production site and the daily workplace for many colleagues and has been even expanded by new buildings since May 2022.
Market introduction SENSOR RESERVOIR
In 2010 we took over an exciting development project from our partner B.Braun Aesculap. We finished the development and approved the product. In September 2015, the first SENSOR RESERVOIRS & READING DEVICES were delivered to German, British and Polish clinics for testing. Initially, our focus was still primarily on researching this technology, and in 2016 we began cautious marketing in ads like this one in our brochures. Today, the enhanced product is known as M.scio.
25 years MIETHKE
Lay back, relax and enjoy your flight! For our 25th anniversary, we came up with something very special and flew 450 guests to our party in Potsdam with AirMIETHKE, the world's best airline. Due to our soccer enthusiasm, there was of course a small challenge with a grand final. Fittingly, our fabulous cabin crew served up tasty snacks and after a safe landing, we partied into the wee hours of the morning.
Change of perspective
"We understand the gravity of the situation." With this slogan, we have been selling our hydrocephalus valves around the world together with our partner B. Braun since 2013. In 2018, there was a photo shoot for this campaign: following the motto, we turned the world upside down and produced a pictorial change of perspective. Not everything is as it seems, in fact, the pictures were taken from above and all the contortions of the people depicted were implemented lying on the ground to achieve the image motif and effect.
Our new logo
New logo? Why actually? Our old logo was unmistakably ours for 27 years. But it presented some challenges on a day-to-day basis. The company name, written on edge, is not so easy to read and was therefore often turned "the right way round". In addition, "MIETHKE" was often difficult to read when scaled down. A few changes had to be made and so our logo shines large and clearly recognisable in new splendour since 2019.
The Corona Year
The Corona Year. Like everywhere else, our year 2020 was marked by the Corona pandemic and the many upcoming questions and uncertainties. How do we deal with the situation in the company? What does it take for our employees to protect themselves and each other? How can we support our employees in reconciling private concerns, home office and all the other challenges of everyday life? A crisis team was quickly set up to respond to all questions, changes and issues on a daily basis. In the end, we fortunately did well with this and got through it.
What is this jumble of letters?
Our colleagues from the house craft have played a little trick on us! "Guys, none of this fits here!" - described like this or similar, an email with this picture flew into our mailboxes here in marketing. For a brief moment, they had got us! The aim of the action was not this crooked jumble of letters in the picture, but finally a nice branding above the door to our main building. Whether visitors, applicants or interested Potsdamer people: The question of which company is located there came up again and again. In 2021 the branding was planned and delivered. It took a few days of swearing and great craftsmanship until all the letters were in the right place. Since then, it's much easier to find us and to see what's inside the building from the outside!
MIETHKE is 30. Yippie! We are very happy about what lies behind us and even more excited about what lies ahead. Therefore: Here's to the next 30 years with all known and future comrades-in-arms.