Announcing MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021 Award Winners

At the recent MedTech Actuator Showcase we joined ecosystem leaders to celebrate Asia Pacific’s next wave of early-stage MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech entrepreneurs – with four taking out prestigious awards.

About MedTech Actuator Entrepreneurs

Our changemakers are taking their innovations further, faster with MedTech Actuator programs – and took to the stage in Melbourne to pitch to industry leaders including the largest names in medical technology and investors.

Stepping into the spotlight were entrepreneurs from programs including MedTech Actuator Origin – an early-stage health innovation pitch competition and MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator. These programs are made possible with the support of the REDI Initiative, powered by MTPConnect.

Two MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows 2022 were also announced. With the support of the MedTech Actuator and Menzies Foundation our new Fellows are set to unlock the potential of their research on cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia.

Want To See All the Action?

Watch all the action in our MedTech Actuator Showcase video. You’ll see our startups pitching their innovations for a chance to win prestigious awards, the big reveal of MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows for 2022, and insights from industry leaders.

Watch now!

Award Winners

J&J MedTech Actuator Origin Award 2021: Vysum

Senior Director of New Ventures, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Kathy Connell joined us to announce the J&J MedTech Actuator Origin Award.

Congratulations to Lorace (Tianshu) Zhang from Vysum on taking out this prestigious award after a highly competitive process, intensive immersion sprints and industry-led mentoring. Vysum emerged as the winner out of ~20 early-stage entrepreneurs.

Vysum is developing a handheld device to make eye drop administration more convenient for glaucoma patients to improve treatment compliance and prevent blindness.

As the J&J MedTech Actuator Origin Award 2021 winner, Vysum receives $15K prize money, fast-tracked application to MedTech Actuator, and in-kind support.

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Origin contestant? Learn more and sign up below for news and updates on future intakes.

MedTech Actuator Prize for the Best Demo Day Pitch: Moon Technologies

The MedTech Actuator is Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator and supports founders in taking their innovation from seed to Series A. In just 15-months, founders can achieve what typically takes three years or more.

In a specialised acceleration model MedTech Actuator brings together over 100 speakers, experts, and panellists to cover everything from regulations and reimbursements to QMS and supply chain.

Our high calibre founders have been on a steep learning curve in their first six-months. At MedTech Actuator Demo Day, they took to the Showcase stage to share their impressive progress and pitch their innovations.

These changemakers are working to improve and save lives with innovations spanning IVF, genome sequencing, heart attack, paramedics, orthopaedics, nicotine replacement, family health, prosthetics, surgery, and rehab – harnessing technologies including virtual reality and wearables.

Congratulations to every founder on their relentless execution towards market success over these past six-months – and to Jian Ming Tan from Moon Technologies who took out the top MedTech Actuator Prize for their pitch.

Moon Technologies is working to provide emergency patients’ health data to paramedics in real-time and has been awarded $10K to support their endeavours.

MedTech Actuator - Asia Pacific's MedTech accelerator - cohort six together again at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022.
MedTech Actuator cohort 6 together again at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022.

Are you a future MedTech Actuator startup? Applications for our next intake open in January 2022! Learn more and sign up below for updates on how to apply.

MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award: The Think Project

Congratulations to MedTech Actuator Origin contestant Dr Anushi Rajapaksa from The Think Project on taking out the MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award.

MedTech Actuator Showcase guests from the innovation ecosystem – spanning investor groups and VCs, multinational corporations, hospitals, product development firms, universities, and research institutes – voted for their favourite pitch.

This coveted vote of confidence went to The Think Project for their work to discover and develop new technologies that will enable liquid medications to be inhaled, rather than injected. The Think Project wins $1K prize money, with the support of the Australian Government – Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, People’s Choice Award recipient with mentor Richard Sokolov from IDE Group at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022.
Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, People’s Choice Award recipient with mentor Richard Sokolov from IDE Group.

MedTech Actuator Superhero Founder Award

The MedTech Actuator Superhero Founder Award went to Dylan Andrews from Yabi Medical in recognition of his dedication to the MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator. 

Dylan came through our last MedTech Actuator Origin before embarking on his journey with the accelerator program. 

Dylan has shown tremendous commitment and passion for the program and excelled under challenging circumstances, caring for four children in lockdown and working night shifts while doing the program. 

Yabi Medical is developing an innovative, accurate and automated method for monitoring and escalating surgical drain output. 

Read more on Dylan’s experience with the MedTech Actuator. Congratulations Dylan, you inspire us all!

MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship 2022

Two Australian researchers were announced as MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows 2022. Congratulations to Dr Warwick Nesbitt and Dr Gregory Stewart who are set to transform their research impact.

The Fellowship will provide Warwick and Gregory with a strong grounding in entrepreneurship, commercialisation, and the startup ecosystem. This will help to unlock the potential of their respective research on cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia. Learn more about the Fellowship and their research.

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow? If you’re a career researcher sign up below for updates on future intakes.

Dr Gregory Stewart and Dr Stewart Nesbitt at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021
Dr Gregory Stewart and Dr Warwick Nesbitt at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021.

It Takes A Village to Raise a MedTech Startup

The MedTech Actuator Showcase and the specialised acceleration model underpinning all of our programs would not be possible without the support of the innovation ecosystem.

Special guests

Thank you to our distinguished Showcase guests for your support of our MedTech superheroes and the ecosystem:

  • The Hon. Minister Jaala Pulford – Minister for Employment; Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy; Minister for Small Business; Minister for Resources
  • Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AC – Chair, MedTech Actuator
  • Dr Ashley Bates – Director, Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals at AusIndustry
  • Kathy Connell – Senior Director of New Ventures, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California
  • Dr Kate Cornick – CEO, LaunchVic
  • Rebecca Davies AO – MedTech Actuator Board Member; Director, Heart Foundation
  • Michelle Gallaher – MedTech Actuator Board member; CEO – Opyl
  • Liz Gillies – CEO, Menzies Foundation
  • Dr Dan Grant – Managing Director & CEO, MTPConnect
  • Peter Jopling AM QC – Governor, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Prof Graeme Samuel AC – Professorial Fellow in Monash University’s Business School and School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine

Premier Sponsors

We would like to acknowledge our Premier Sponsors for the MedTech Actuator Showcase – thank you to:

Partners

We would also like to thank our Foundation and Product Development partners for their constant and continued support to both the MedTech Actuator and the ecosystem.

Friends and supporters

A very special shoutout to all our ecosystem friends and supporters. Without you, we would not be able to surround founders with the support they need to bring innovations to the patients and clinicians who need it most.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator applications are now open for 2022!

Do you have a medical innovation that you’re ready to bring to market? MedTech Actuator’s Accelerator is here to help and applications are open now. Over 12 months, the program will equip your team with the skills, the network and the resources needed to successfully navigate the commercialisation pathway, moving your startup from pre-seed to series A in 12 months.

Apply today to be a part of MedTech Actuator’s next Accelerator cohort!

MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows 2022 announced

Two Australian researchers have been announced as MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows 2022. Congratulations to Dr Warwick Nesbitt and Dr Gregory Stewart who are set to transform their research impact.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission in partnership with the MedTech Actuator.

The Fellowship will provide Warwick and Gregory with a strong grounding in entrepreneurship, commercialisation, and the startup ecosystem. This will help to unlock the potential of their respective research on cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia.

Transforming research for clinicians and patients, faster.

As MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows, Warwick and Gregory will receive mentorship from industry experts, a $20K stipend, networking opportunities and invitations to exclusive events.

The MedTech Actuator’s network will become their network not just throughout the program, but for life. Fellows will meet the brightest MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech founders in the MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator.

They will connect with MedTech Actuator’s extensive partner ecosystem spanning hospitals, product development firms, multinational corporations, and investors.

How it works.

Initially, Warwick and Gregory will embark on 6 months of mentorship. They’ll work with serial MedTech entrepreneurs and investors within the MedTech Actuator community, focusing on both technology and personal development.

During the second 6-month phase, Fellows will take part in a tailored version of our flagship, industry-led accelerator.

They’ll learn how to navigate key inflection moments in the commercialisation journey, from developing regulatory and reimbursement strategies to product development, approaching investors, and building a team.

Importantly, they’ll learn with – and from – other MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech founders from across Asia Pacific.

 

Meet Dr Warwick Nesbitt.

Photograph of Dr Warwick Nesbitt.

Dr Warwick Nesbitt is the Laboratory Head of the Haematology Micro-platforms Group within the Australian Centre for Blood Disease, Monash University.

His multidisciplinary group focusses on the development of novel lab-on-a-chip technologies with applications to:

  • basic haematology / cell biology research
  • new diagnostics in thrombosis and haemostasis
  • new antithrombotic drug discovery.

“A key inspiration for our technology is the prevalence and impact that cardiovascular diseases, particularly heart attack and stroke have on the community.

Having had family members’ quality of life impacted through the devastating effects of stroke I am keenly aware of the need for better diagnostics and therapeutics in this area of medicine.

My hope is that by developing better tests of blood function we can improve the clinical management of cardiovascular disease patients.

Through the MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship I hope to develop a better understanding of the MedTech landscape in Australia and internationally, and to access the experience, expertise, and networks necessary to commercialise our lab-on-a-chip technologies.

I am excited and looking forward to the opportunity to be mentored by experts in MedTech commercialisation and translation.”

-Dr Warwick Nesbitt

Meet Dr Gregory Stewart.

Photograph of Dr Gregory Stewart.

Dr Gregory Stewart is working at the interface of academia and the pharmaceutical industry to drive programs to discover better medicines.

“Mental health issues have touched my personal life as they have touched the lives of the vast majority of people.

The current medicines to treat diseases, like schizophrenia, are far from ideal. My drive is to create new medicines for psychiatric diseases to improve the quality of life of those affected.

Schizophrenia is a disease that has no effective treatment options. I believe my project can create a therapeutic for schizophrenia with vastly improved efficacy and greatly reduced side effect profile – thereby improving patient outcomes.

Through the MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship I hope to connect with industry leaders in Australia and the region, whilst gaining a deeper understanding on the inner workings of the Australian BioTech industry.

Becoming a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow will form a critical component in the transition I wish to make into an industry-oriented position and Australian BioTech.”

-Dr Gregory Stewart

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow?

If you’re a career researcher, or if you know someone who might be interested in transforming their research, sign up below for updates on future MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship intakes.

Congratulations to the MedTech Actuator Origin finalists!

Out of ten impressive startups that made it through to the Origin Semi-final, MedTech Actuator is proud to announce three finalists moving forward to pitch at the MedTech Actuator Showcase.

After an intensive sprint, the cohort of emerging founders took to the virtual stage to pitch for their place in the 2021 MedTech Actuator Origin finals. At the Showcase next week, teams will pitch for their chance to win $15K prize money, fast-tracked application to MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator – and in-kind support.

Meet this cohort’s finalists:

Vysum

Team members: Lorace (Tianshu) Zhang, David Lin, Isaac Ho

Vysum aims to develop a handheld device to make eye drop administration more convenient for glaucoma patients to improve treatment compliance and prevent blindness. 

Vysum originated from the year-long BioDesign Innovation subject at The University of Melbourne. Teams formed from the Melbourne Business School and the Department of Engineering explored 147 clinical needs in 4 areas including neonatal ICU, ophthalmology, mental health and chronic pain.

After surveying over 400 glaucoma patients and interviewing over 30 clinicians, the team identified problems within accuracy and compliance of treatment administration. Vysum’s eye drop device, Ocumate, makes treatment more accurate, convenient and enjoyable for glaucoma patients and clinicians, ultimately connecting patients and clinicians for improved care.

Aeolus by Spira Health

Team members: Joseph Po, Tony Pang, Jason Jin and Jake Harris

The team behind Aeolus discovered gaps in care for obstructive sleep apnoea whilst undertaking the Biodesign Sydney program. Obstructive sleep apnoea has an extensive impact on cardiovascular health and other health concerns.

Currently, sleep apnoea is treated with a one-size fits all approach that is designed for late-stage sufferers. There is a clear need for better therapeutic options in this area that can improve symptoms and health impacts and relieve the health burden obstructive sleep apnoea has across society.

Aeolus is a medical device that trains the muscles of the throat, empowering people with obstructive sleep apnoea to proactively improve their sleep and make the most out of every day.

Think Project

Team members: Anushi Rajapaksa, James Friend

Think Project emerged from research conducted by Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, a senior scientist based at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Many people around the world have a phobia of needles, just like Anushi.

Pain-free therapies and medication delivery via the lungs seemed like a no-brainer to Anushi. Over the past few years, Anushi has dedicated her work to discovering and developing new technologies that will enable liquid medications to be inhaled, rather than injected.

Anushi and team have developed a novel acoustic nebuliser for rapid lung delivery of life-saving biomolecules against infectious respiratory diseases in children.

The MedTech Actuator Origin final will take place on Thursday 9 December 2021 at the MedTech Actuator Showcase. A full recording will be made available to guests who were unable to attend in the week following the event.

About MedTech Actuator Origin

Find out more about MedTech Actuator Origin and sign up below to stay in the loop on joining future cohorts.

Photo: Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, MedTech Actuator Origin 2021 Finalist.