HatiSens – Faster Heart Attack Detection to Guide Treatment

MedTech Actuator Accelerator startup HatiSens is developing a point-of-care device that can accurately and rapidly diagnose heart attacks to guide clinical treatment.

HatiSens is based on Co-Founder Siew Joo Beh’s PhD – currently underway at the Integrated Photonics and Application Centre (InPAC) lab at RMIT University. Siew began developing the technology with Co-Founder Dr César Sanchez Huertas in 2018.

The HatiSens team consists of researchers and clinicians who worked closely together prior to the birth of the startup, bringing a great synergy to the team. Siew sees this synergy as a strength, along with their multidisciplinary expertise in photonic and microfluidic technology, biochemistry and clinical cardiology. 

Fusing Research With Entrepreneurship.

“We see an opportunity for our technology to make an impact in the field of emergency diagnostic testing,” says Siew. “Heart attacks in particular require quick and precise diagnosis to ensure patients receive the right treatment immediately.”

Siew and César are driven to translate their research into a clinical product that revolutionises how heart attacks are diagnosed.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator – and MedTech Actuator Origin pitch competition – has supported Siew in fusing her research background with entrepreneurship to bring this ambition closer to reality.

“When we were first accepted into the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, I found it quite difficult to put away my ‘researcher’ hat and put on my ‘entrepreneur’ hat,” says Siew. But seeing the potential for impact, Siew has been tenacious in honing her entrepreneurship expertise.

Knowing Your Audience.

Through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator and Origin, Siew has learned how to adapt her communication style to different audiences – many of whom were new to her as a researcher.

“I found investors struggled quite a bit when I used technical terms in my early pitches,” Siew says.

“Every time I pitched, I would have a hypothesis in my head, test it out, observe the audience’s reaction and feedback, and reflect on this afterwards with my team.”

Siew says that this experimental, iterative approach has become a mantra for the HatiSens team, inspired by Co-Founder Arnan Mitchell – to always have a hypothesis and expected outcome in your mind before you attempt anything, and test it out.

“Over the last few months, I found myself easing into pitching and becoming a better communicator than I was when I first started.”

Her advice to emerging entrepreneurs is to always have a pitch ready to go, and to practice communicating in a way that is easy for your audience to understand.

“Always be ready to pitch. You never know when a potential investor is around the corner.” 

“My philosophy is that if my Mum is able to understand what I am doing, then someone else will be able to understand what I am doing,” says Siew.

As well as communicating in new ways, Siew has learned how to keep a laser focus on advancing the company. For example, as a researcher, Siew is always excited to share the technical side of research with peers. 

“But I quickly learned that technologies are best kept secret unless an NDA is signed.”

Building A MedTech Startup.

Siew joined the MedTech Actuator Accelerator in 2021 to investigate product-market fit in a very competitive space, and to ultimately translate her research into a commercial product.

“Since we first incorporated as a company through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, we have identified our key target market within Australia, successfully raised pre-seed funding, established our brand identity and the first mockup of our point-of-care device, as well as strategised our path to market,” says Siew.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator gave us the knowledge, skills and resources to grow our company beyond the pre-seed stage. We entered the accelerator as naïve researchers – and by the end of our first six months we had developed specialist expertise in running a MedTech startup.”

Photo of HatiSens Co-Founder Siew Joo Beh

It Takes A Village.

Siew is grateful to Dr Elane Zelcer, who she says has been a kind and resourceful mentor since day one.

“Elane checks-in with us every month and gives us advice on how to navigate through the MedTech ecosystem,” says Siew.

“We would also like to thank the MedTech Actuator team and 2021 accelerator cohort who have supported us through a pretty stressful year – especially with the lockdown in Melbourne.”

Siew highly recommends the MedTech Actuator Accelerator to any emerging MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech entrepreneurs, saying that it has helped the HatiSens team to understand what their startup should focus on. 

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator has helped us to identify and mitigate risks along the way, providing far greater value for investors.”

Join the next MedTech Actuator Accelerator intake.

Do you have a MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech prototype or proof-of-concept to improve or save lives? Get ready to take your innovation further, faster in 2022 with our new MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort – apply now.

You can also download the information pack, or book office hours with our team to discuss your application.

More on HatiSens

Learn more about HatiSens and follow their journey at www.hatisens.com.au.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is supported by LaunchVic and the REDI Initiative, powered by MTPConnect.

Desafía Singapore applications opening soon

MedTech Actuator is supporting Spain’s next wave of health ventures to take bold, strategic steps into Asia Pacific’s thriving innovation ecosystem with the new Desafía Singapore program.

Paving the way to enter new markets.

As a gateway to South East Asia, and with a life sciences ecosystem valued at $22.5 billion (Startup Genome, 2021), Singapore is primed to enable European ventures to unlock new opportunities to transform healthcare. MedTech Actuator is proud to work together with ICEX Spain Trade and Investment to help ventures realise this potential with greater speed and scale. 

Building on the success of the inaugural Desafía Singapore in 2021 – applications will open soon to continue catalysing the growth of Spain’s MedTech and BioTech ventures in Asian markets.

Supported by the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 masterplan by the National Research Foundation, Singapore has set aside $25 billion to support innovation over the next 5 years.

Singapore is also home to more than 50 regional and global headquarters of healthcare MNCs, with more than $300M invested in startups in 2018 alone. Singapore’s ecosystem supports the commercialisation of innovation in healthcare through providing strong clinical infrastructure, robust IP protection and leading biomedical research. 

Singapore welcomes entrepreneurs and tech talent to anchor themselves in Singapore with talent initiatives like Entrepass visas for foreign entrepreneurs. MedTech Actuator was recently appointed as an Entrepass partner to support overseas entrepreneurs – including Desafía Singapore participants – to establish a business in Singapore.

Expanding networks for greater health impact. 

Leading up to the launch of Desafía Singapore, our General Manager Singapore Joshua Lim travelled to Spain to help promote the new program. Joshua met with startups, accelerators, investors, and bioregions in Spain’s healthcare ecosystem such as Asebio (Asociación Española de Bioempresas), Telefonica, Basque Health Cluster, Caixa Capital Risc, Barcelona Health Hub and ACCIÓ.

“Spain’s vibrant ecosystem creates innovative and digitally-enabled medical solutions that are well-positioned to disrupt traditional healthcare services,” said Joshua.

“We see new opportunities for expansion and collaboration of commercial activities between Spain and Singapore’s ecosystem, and are excited to catalyse the acceleration of Spanish companies to bring their innovations to the leading medical institutions and corporations in the Asia Pacific region through the Desafía Singapore program.” 

ICEX Spain Team, 2021 Photo of Desafía Singapore program participants on Zoom call, 2021

The inaugural Desafía Singapore, 2021.

Spain’s health venture founders ready for liftoff in Asia.

An impressive cohort of health venture founders from across Spain joined the inaugural, two week immersive Desafía Singapore in late 2021. 

Founders built expertise in navigating global growth opportunities in Singapore, neighbouring Asian countries, and Australia. They participated in commercialisation workshops with a laser focus on growth in Asia, developed new cultural sensitivity to help them navigate the nuances of working in different countries across Asia, connected with industry mentors, and networked widely with healthcare stakeholders and investors.

Here’s what founders had to say about their Desafía Singapore experience.

“Great insights on the regulatory frameworks and inner workings of healthcare systems in many different countries.” –Pablo Sanchez, Adamo Robot

“I feel more prepared to approach the culture and market, knowing how the ecosystem works and with local friends that can support me. The biggest benefit of the program was the human relationships built, although I would call it a privilege. Thank you so much for everything.” –Vera Guerreiro, Mediktor

“I now have a better understanding of different MedTech spaces in Singapore and other countries in Asia – and how our company can enter and work in them.” –Jose Angel D’Amico Bravo, Cella 

“In other training and mentoring programs, you feel from day one that it is going to be a waste of time. But this was not the case with Desafía Singapore. We joined the program to build our knowledge of the Asia Pacific market and to start thinking about it for the next four to five years. But the last two weeks of sessions have been amazing. We have learnt so much about your region and discovered that we could have a sweet spot there.” –Ruben Molina, Innitius

Ready to grow your health venture in Asian markets?

If you are based in Spain and preparing to grow your health venture in Asian markets, Desafía Singapore can support you. 

Applications are opening soon – register your interest or reach out with questions to Joshua Lim at joshua[@]medtechactuator.com.

Feature photo: José María Blasco Ruiz, Carmen García-Cervigón, Joshua Lim and Patricia Rodríguez-Lucena at ICEX Spain Trade and Investment.

Desafía Singapore is delivered by ICEX Spain Trade and Investment and MedTech Actuator, supported by the Embassy of Spain in Singapore, Enterprise Singapore, National Health Innovation Centre Singapore, Agency for Care Effectiveness – Singapore, Stendard, National University Health System, National Healthcare Group Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board, Ernst & Young, Austrade, HealthTEC Singapore Health Technologies Consortium, Philips, Singapore Biodesign, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Intralink Group, and Ontogenix

Make Your MedTech Actuator Accelerator Application Shine

Thinking about applying to the Medtech Actuator Accelerator? Here are top tips from Maria Pelipas, our Head of Programs, on how to prepare a stellar application.

Welcome founder,

You have come up with a health venture idea, you have talked to your friends and family, and you are ready to take the plunge and become a startup founder. So what’s next?

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is a 12-month program that helps early-stage founders address critical aspects of the commercialisation process such as regulatory approvals, reimbursement models, pricing strategies, product development, and IP. We bring together more than 100 experts who help health startups like yours to figure out how to get to market. 

If you’re thinking about applying to the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, here are three areas of your application that you need to nail in order to be successful and take your first steps towards becoming an early-stage founder. We’ll take a look at pressure-testing your idea, building a great team, and essential planning to make sure you get the most out of your experience with us.

1. Let’s start with your idea

Photo of Nutromics Head of Product Robert Crowder delivering a workshop.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 1 startup Nutromics Head of Product, Rob Crowder leading a workshop.

Are you ready to disrupt healthcare?

Chances are you have come up with something that could disrupt the current workflow at a hospital or for clinicians. To begin with, think about this: what is the current approach, and how familiar are you with it?

Our application process dedicates large segments to market and customer validation: pain points, competitors, market estimates, etc. We do this because we need to understand the potential of your idea and why the current market is ripe for disruption.

If your product is a medical device, here are some of the questions that you could think about before applying: who currently manufactures similar products? What makes you think there is a need for your idea? 

And really, when you say that your product will be better, what features will make it better? Have you thought about the changes that it will entail for users and the added value? And how about disruptions that it will create, and the adoption curve? 

Talk to your end users

A good first step would be to talk to clinicians or other potential users to get their perceptions about the gaps and solutions. 

Why is this important? Here are some thoughts from one of our founders.

Tim Tyndale, Quitta:

Customer validation can seem like an inconvenient step that slows the building process. After all, we entrepreneurs know exactly what our customers want already…right?!

In truth, validating the problem and solution is more important in MedTech/BioTech than almost any other field. In a highly regulated industry, the further you go down the development journey, the harder it gets to make adjustments. 

In Quitta’s case, we wanted to tailor our solution to the needs of our end-users without having to conduct expensive clinical trials for each iteration. Fortunately, e-cigarettes created a legal precedent in the U.S. for us to test real-world demand and gain all-important user feedback.

Without developing a deep understanding of the needs of our customers, we could have spent lots of time and money building a product that no one wanted at the other end.

Through this time we acquired more than 3,800 customers.  We learnt about their needs through interpreting sales data, conducting focus groups and formal interviews, and hundreds of informal conversations with individual customers.

Start with ‘the need’

Let’s imagine you are creating smart glasses for surgeons to use in the operating theatre. One piece of advice would be to not talk to them about glasses just yet. 

Instead, start with the current workflow, the problems they face with current solutions. In other words, the need – is there any?

After you validate the need, you can begin the solution validation interviews. I always recommend the book called The Mom Test to the founders that are looking to do their first customer interviews. Check it out to make sure your potential customers are not cornered into praising your innovation when you talk to them.

When completing your application, make it clear that you understand the problem inside and out and back to front. Be concise and back yourself up with X, Y, Z to really capture our attention.

2. Your team

Photo of the Virtetic team.

Having a great team makes a huge difference to your health venture’s success. Photo: Virtetic, MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 6.

Every Spock needs a Kirk

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is intensive. We are proud of the efforts founders are putting into their startups but it sure can be overwhelming at times. We wholeheartedly believe that you need a solid team to succeed and you need to be in it for a long game. 

If you have a team already, then think about the balance of skills – are you the visionary and your co-founder is the down-to-earth pragmatic with commercial experience? That could work. 

At Medtech Actuator, we believe every Spock needs a Kirk. So, as well as your skills mix, think about comprehensiveness, chemistry, flow, magic, and connection as key ingredients. Health ventures take years before they enter the market and secure a revenue stream, so motivation and focus can’t be underestimated.

Your team influences success

Here is what one of our founders had to say about the importance of a team.

Nick Murphy, GenEmbryomics: 

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator has been the perfect springboard for GenEmbryomics. The program has prepared our business for the realities of what it will face on the road to becoming a thriving startup. But there are some things that even the MedTech Actuator can’t do for you! 

Startup teams will have a range of personalities, expertise, and passion, and require the virtues of a functional group like communication, compassion, honesty, trust, and respect. This way a startup can forge lasting success through a concerted unity of action. 

Setbacks, disagreements, and mistakes will all inevitably happen. But a good team dynamic will buffer these issues and ensure the resilience to learn and push through them.

A startup team that can fall back on each other will, I think, always have a better chance of success at achieving their goals than a team with gaps in the key basics of teamwork.

The finer details of your team

As a part of the application process and due diligence, we will ask you to explain the relationships between co-founders and your projected shares distribution. Not only do we want to understand the team dynamic, commitment and magic between you all, but also the finer details of how your team is structured, legally. 

If your CEO has full responsibility for the business strategy, the program participation, shares need to reflect that. And know that splitting shares 50/50 could create unnecessary difficulties down the road, like a decisional gridlock.

3. Time commitment

Photo of MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 6, 2021

Founders from MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 6 were thrilled to meet in person again.

Get ready to sprint

We have been through a lot in the past two years – closed labs, caring responsibilities, founders not being able to meet co-founders and brainstorm – we get it. It has been tough. 

In the two programs delivered since the pandemic began, we have seen that those founders who can meet in-person quickly and build support networks to fall back on, ultimately, succeed faster than those who try to brave the journey alone.

Within the program, startups will be undertaking one-week focused sprints each month. These sprints are delivered in the form of interactive workshops, panel sessions, and fireside chats with vetted industry experts. The sprints are designed to tackle, guide, and refine strategic thinking around critical elements associated with MedTech commercialisation including regulations, reimbursement, clinical trials, product development and IP.

The downtime between sprints isn’t a break. You will dedicate this time to implementing your plan and working towards milestones, alongside rigorous mentoring, coaching, and leadership support from our resident mentors and the MedTech Actuator team.

Our experience leads us to prefer in-person sprints as much as possible. We are recommending founders to attend at least two sprints in person in Melbourne and a Demo Day in February 2023 (subject to government restrictions, of course). 

Giving it your all

So, consider your workload in advance. Think about the first week of every month between July and October – will you be able to fully engage in what the program has to offer? Will you be able to maximise the time between sprints to put into practice the learnings of the program?

We recommend that at least one team member attend the program full-time. You can delegate the attendance of some specific sessions to your co-founders but you still need to have that one key person on the team who will oversee your participation in the program and its deliverables.

I will give you an example. In the program, we have sessions on product development. If a CEO doesn’t attend and delegates it to an engineer on the team, then when the time comes to submit the product development strategy, incorporate it into the pitch deck, pitch to the investment committee, or at the Demo Day, the CEO needs to be fully across the details.

So in the application and during the interviews we want to see that you have thought out the program’s time commitment and that you, and your team, can handle the workload and give it your all.

Here to help with your next steps

In this blog post, I have addressed only three aspects of the application. I am sure you still have questions, so don’t hesitate to sign up for our info session on Feb 15th, join our half-day bootcamp on March 4th or book an individual call with me here to discuss your application.

Or if you’re all set, apply by March 6th!

Accelerator programs can be overwhelming and exhausting. But they don’t need to be – connection, community and relationships of support are what makes the difference. If you decide to join us on the journey, you will be welcomed into our community of 250 MedTech founders and befriend companies like Nutromics, Navi, Ventora, Jaynik, and others. Come, join and level up!

GenEmbryomics sequences the genomes of IVF embryos

MedTech Actuator startup GenEmbryomics offers an innovative new technique for IVF patients to screen for every known genetic disease before pregnancy.

“We are the first to develop and offer as a service IVF embryo genome sequencing and screening for every genetic disease,” says Nick Murphy, GenEmbryomics Founder and CEO.

Nick and team became aware of patients undergoing their long and arduous IVF journey, then discovering that their baby had a genetic disease. 

“We knew that we could pick up these genetic diseases using our genome sequencing technique,” says Nick.

Current tests available to patients are comparable in cost to GenEmbryomics. However they are limited in scope of genetic diseases that they identify, while GenEmbryomics enables patients to screen for every known genetic disease.

“The GenEmbryomics technique of sequencing and screening the entire genome out-performs the currently used tests,” says Nick. 

“GenEmbryomics provides IVF patients with peace-of-mind that they can have children without the burden of genetic disease.”

Photo of baby sleeping.
Photo by Carlo Navarro on Unsplash.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator x GenEmbryomics

The MedTech Actuator’s specialised acceleration model surrounds startups with the ecosystem support they need to bring their MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech innovation to the patients and clinicians who need it most.

Through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator’s intensive mentorship, industry collaboration, up to AUD$200K initial capital injection and capital raising support, founders can achieve in 12 months what can typically take 3 years or more.

GenEmbryomics is based in Melbourne and joined MedTech Actuator in 2021 to develop a market ready company by the end of the program.

“With MedTech Actuator’s knowledge and experience we’ve been shaped to make this achievement realisable,” says Nick.

A major milestone for GenEmbryomics was connecting with keen investors.

“MedTech Actuator prepares companies to take on investment – we were ready to engage when investment discussions began.” 

Nick notes that MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups require an array of specialist skills and resources.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is comprehensive and helped GenEmbryomics to develop in the specialist areas we needed. This support was crucial in preparing us for the reality of the life sciences industry.”

Nick would not hesitate in recommending the MedTech Actuator Accelerator to MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups with a prototype or proof-of-concept.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator has been a fundamental contributor to our progress and traction. They always go the extra 100 miles – and are wonderful people!”

Join the next MedTech Actuator Accelerator intake.

Do you have a MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech prototype or proof-of-concept to improve or save lives? Get ready to take your innovation further, faster in 2022 with our new MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort – Download the information pack or book office hours with our team to discuss your application.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is supported by LaunchVic and the REDI Initiative, powered by MTPConnect.

Feature photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash.

Supporting people with limb loss through VRx

MedTech Actuator Accelerator startup Virtetic is developing game-based virtual reality digital therapeutics (VRx) for people living with limb loss. 

Driven by a passion to help others live their best lives, Virtetic supports people to transition to life with a prosthesis and regain their function and independence faster.

“Virtetic started in our research lab, where we needed a way to evaluate how people move when learning to use a prosthesis,” says Ricardo Garcia-Rosas, Virtetic Co-founder & CEO.

To solve this need, Virtetic created a virtual reality platform to support their research. 

“As we used this platform, with the help of our clinical advisors we discovered great clinical applications for it to support the rehabilitation process of people living with limb loss,” says Ricardo. 

Virtetic X MedTech Actuator

Virtetic joined the MedTech Actuator Accelerator in 2021 to build their understanding of medical technology commercialisation and to develop a plan to do this for their technology.

The program’s specialised acceleration model surrounds startups with the ecosystem support they need to bring their MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech innovation to the patients and clinicians who need it most. Through intensive mentorship, industry collaboration, up to AUD$200K initial capital injection and capital raising support, founders can achieve in 12 months what can typically take 3 years or more.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator helped us to develop our go-to-market strategy, file a provisional patent application, and sign a collaboration agreement with the largest prosthetics manufacturer,” says Ricardo.

Ricardo says that the MedTech Actuator Accelerator’s network of industry experts has been a great support and recommends the program to those commercialising a medical technology for the first time.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator provides you with a framework to develop your strategy – and access to the network to put it to action.”

Photo of the Virtetic team.
The Virtetic team.

Join the next MedTech Actuator Accelerator intake.

Do you have a MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech prototype or proof-of-concept to improve or save lives? Get ready to take your innovation further, faster in 2022 with our new MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort – apply now.

Read more about the program, download the information pack or book office hours with our team to discuss your application.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is supported by LaunchVic and the REDI Initiative, powered by MTPConnect.