Since founding Brainlab in 1989, Stefan Vilsmeier (born 1967) has served as its CEO and has been the driving force behind the company’s innovation and customer focus. A self-taught computer programmer, Vilsmeier prepared the ground for his enterprise at the age of 17 when he wrote a book on 3D Graphics. With more than 50,000 copies sold, it turned into a bestseller in its category.
In 1989, Vilsmeier enrolled at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, to study Computer Programming and The Theory of Medical Technology. However, his enterprising nature and burgeoning business in computer-assisted medical technology left little time for theory. While still in the first semester, Vilsmeier founded Brainlab GmbH from the proceeds of his book. During the following years, Stefan Vilsmeier spearheaded new developments in the area of neuro-navigation and radiotherapy.
With hospitals in Asia, North America and South Africa as some of its first customers, Brainlab has been an international company from the very beginning. Today, Brainlab AG generates more than 50 percent of its revenues in the US and has strategic partnerships with some of the world’s leading healthcare companies.
Vilsmeier has evolved the company’s vision beyond software solutions for medical treatments that are more precise, less invasive, and less expensive than traditional methods. Brainlab is now able to bring entire medical centers to a new level of integration and patient care by providing the infrastructure and support for state-of-the-art access and management of digital medical information.
Connecting advanced diagnostic and surgical technology, this Intelligent Treatment Framework enables physicians to manage and select the right data necessary for better-informed medical decisions at their discretion, at any desired time and place. From diagnostics through treatment, Brainlab solutions better leverage medical expertise and advanced technology, transforming knowledge into superior patient outcomes.
For his outstanding contributions to economic growth and achievements as an entrepreneurial role model, Stefan Vilsmeier has been honored with several awards. In December 2002, the World Economic Forum (WEF) selected him as one of their ‘Global Leaders for Tomorrow 2003’. In the same year, Ernst & Young, a provider of Management Consulting and IT Services, honored him with the title of ‘World Entrepreneur of the Year 2002’ after he had already been awarded the national title in 2001.
At the Bavarian Innovation Awards in 2000, Stefan was the only nominee to receive a special award for innovative leadership methods and marketing concepts. Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber also presented him with the highest decoration of the State of Bavaria. Vilsmeier was the youngest recipient of this prestigious decoration at that time.
In 2014, Vilsmeier was awarded with the International Steven Hoogendijk Award from the Bataafsch Genootschap der Proefondervindelijke Wijsbegeerte for his service as pioneer in the development of neuronavigation systems.