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Announcing MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022 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 home prestigious awards.

About MedTech Actuator Entrepreneurs

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

Stepping into the spotlight were entrepreneurs from early-stage innovation programs including MedTech Actuator Origin Australia and Japan and MedTech Actuator’s flagship Accelerator program.

Award Winners

MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award: EN∀I

Dr Simone Mitchel, Partner at MinterEllison joined us to announce the MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award.

Congratulations to Amin Abbas from ENI on taking out this prestigious award after a highly competitive process and pitching at the finals. NAME was selected by the audience and judges as the winner out of four early-stage entrepreneurs who made it to the Origin finals.

EN∀I is improving endometriosis imaging by using ultrasound with inbuilt guidance and 3D reconstruction.

“We were really impressed with the pitches tonight and we decided to offer the winner another $10k in in-kind legal services. Congratulations, EN∀I”, – Dr Simone Mitchel, Partner, MinterEllison.

As the MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award winner, ENI receives an AUD$10K cash prize, over AUD$5K worth of in-kind support from MedTech Actuator, legal services from MinterEllison to the value of AUD$10K, as well as access to a fast-tracked entry into the MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2023. 

MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award winners: Team EN∀I with Buzz Palmer, CEO MedTech Actuator and Simone Mitchel, Partner Minter Ellison

Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award: Anura Medical

Gerald Marion, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at Bupa Asia Pacific, joined us to present the Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award. 

“Congratulations to the winner – innovations require a lot of perseverance and it is a long journey to market”, – Gerald Marion, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, Bupa Asia Pacific.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator supports founders in taking their innovation from Seed to Series A. Embedded in the MedTech Actuator ecosystem, startups radically advance their technology development, raise pre-seed capital, gain critical business and management skills and build a comprehensive commercialisation strategy. 

Congratulations to every founder on their relentless execution towards market success over these past six months – and to Phoebe Lewis from Anura Medical who took home the Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award, winning an AUD$10K cash prize.

Anura Medical helps people breathe better through continuous, wearable lung monitoring.  Founded by a team of engineers, doctors, and business consultants, Anura aims to create a new gold standard that will enable clinicians to treat breathing decline early and reduce health complications for people with lung disease.

Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award winner: Team Anura Medical with Buzz Palmer, CEO MedTech Actuator and Gerald Marion, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, Bupa Asia Pacific.

MedTech Actuator People’s Choice 2022 Award: Vysum

Congratulations to MedTech Actuator Accelerator participant, Lorace Zhang from Vysum, for being selected for the MedTech Actuator People’s Choice 2022 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 of the night, with Vysum taking home the prize.

This coveted vote of confidence went to Vysum for enabling easier eye drop delivery and glaucoma management. Vysum takes home an AUD$1K cash prize.

MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award winner Lorace Zhang with Buzz Palmer, CEO MedTech Actuator and Rebecca Davies AO, MedTech Actuator Board Member

CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award: April Van Der Kamp

In 2022, MedTech Actuator focused its efforts to help bridge the gaps for female and diverse founders to pursue entrepreneurship. In its first year event, Julie Von Grum, Director at CROW Clinical, joined to present the CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award.

Now is the time for women to step up, to have a voice and confidence to go out start new ventures and raise capital”, Julie Von Grum, Director, CROW Clinical.

The CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award was presented to April Van Der Kamp, CEO, DFU Solutions, acknowledging the impact and progress she has made as a leading female founder and CEO in the space. This award comes with an AUD$10K cash prize to recognise her contribution and efforts as an extraordinary female founder in our community. 

April started her journey with MedTech Actuator as a MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar in 2021 before embarking on her journey in the MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 as the CEO of DFU Solutions, a BioTech startup developing safe, effective, convenient bacteriophage-based treatments for infected wound care.

Read more on April’s experience with the MedTech Actuator programs. Congratulations April, you inspire all the women in STEMM!

CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award winner: April Van Der Kamp with Julie Von Grum, Director, CROW Clinical

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. Read more about the evening and sponsors in the event brochure.

Special guests

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

  • Mr. Yasuyuki Murahashi – Director-General, JETRO Osaka
  • Rebecca Davies AO – MedTech Actuator Board Member; Director, Heart Foundation
  • Michelle Gallaher – MedTech Actuator Board member; CEO – Opyl

and others.

Showcase Sponsors

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

  • MinterEllison
  • Bupa
  • CROW Clinical
  • Hydrix
  • Biodesign Australia
MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022 Sponsors

Partners

We would also like to thank our Foundation and Product Development partners for their constant and continued support of 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 2023!

Do you have a medical innovation that you’re ready to bring to market? MedTech Actuator’s Accelerator is here to help and expression of interest is open. Over 12 months, the program will equip your team with the skills, network and resources needed to successfully navigate the commercialisation pathway. Become a part of MedTech Actuator’s next Accelerator cohort!

MedTech Actuator Origin and Accelerator are supported by the REDI initiative, powered by MTPConnect, funded by the MRFF and LaunchVic.

MedTech Actuator Origin Japan 2022 is sponsored by JETRO and co-organized with JETRO, OCCI and OBDA.

MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022 Lineup Announced

The annual MedTech Actuator Showcase brings together leaders and representatives from both the Australian and global health innovation ecosystems. The night will connect and celebrate the achievements, impact and progress of MedTech Actuator entrepreneurs and founders.

At the Showcase, MedTech Actuator Origin and Accelerator Cohort 7 startups will pitch to an audience of over 300 individuals to win $30,000+ in prizes across 4 categories. This event will also feature inspiring speeches from industry leaders, an insightful fireside chat with fast-growing MedTech startups, and opportunities to connect with ecosystem stakeholders.

Meet the four MedTech Actuator Accelerator startups pitching

MedTech Actuator’s flagship 12-month Accelerator program annually selects health startups investing up to  $200,000 in equity-based funding. The program encourages access to over 200 industry experts from across Australia and the globe, to accelerate their growth towards the market. 

At the showcase, hear from four Cohort 7 Accelerator startups innovating in phage therapy,  respiratory function, lumbar punctures and eye drop delivery.

Anura Medical Enabling preventative health care through innovative lung monitoring. 

DFU Solutions Improving outcomes for diabetic foot ulcer patients.

Vause Medical An accessible improvement to lumbar punctures in newborns

Vysum Enabling easier eye drop delivery and glaucoma management.

Meet the four MedTech Actuator Origin Finalists

MedTech Actuator Origin is an early-stage innovation program that turbocharges the development of emerging human health technologies and solutions across Australia and Asia-Pacific. 

32 Qualifying teams joined MedTech Actuator in Melbourne for an intensive sprint, where, over three days, they learned from industry experts, pressure tested their innovations, networked with a cohort, gained exposure to the startup ecosystem and health innovation, and pitched at the semi-finals. 4 Origin finalists innovating in dental, IVF,  dermatitis and endometriosis we selected in the semifinals.

AcuDent AcuDent is developing a medical device to revolutionise the detection of severe gum disease.

ENVI ENVI is improving endometriosis imaging by using ultrasound with inbuilt guidance and 3D reconstruction.

Innova IVF Innova IVF is creating simple, affordable chip technology to measure the energy of embryos in real time for IVF treatments.

Osaka Heat Cool Osaka Heat Cool helps to tackle the symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis (AD), allergies, and other skin diseases by stopping itchiness using thermal illusion on the skin.

At the Showcase, an exclusive black-tie event, 300+ senior representatives from 30+ key ecosystem organisations including governments, global corporations, universities, product development and startup support companies, and the inspiring health innovators, startup entrepreneurs and future stars of the Asia-Pacific health ecosystem will come together to showcase the MedTech startup ecosystem.

Join us at the MedTech Actuator Showcase and experience the power of the global MedTech ecosystem here in Melbourne. If you are interested in attending or sponsoring the event, please reach out to Matthew Frith, Chief Commercial Officer at MedTech Actuator.

MedTech Actuator Origin and Accelerator are supported by the REDI initiative, powered by MTPConnect, funded by the MRFF and LaunchVic.

From fighting cancer to founding ChezLeon: Cheryl Pollock’s story

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and MedTech Actuator would like to acknowledge the impacts of breast cancer and the importance of creating awareness about it. 

MedTech Actuator startups work to improve and save the lives of people through health innovation. This month we are shining a light on ChezLeon, a MedTech Actuator startup that designs & manufactures patented DP-TX Massage Wear that helps relieve pain and reduce swelling from fluid blockages. Fluid blockages can be caused by a wide range of conditions including lymphoedema, mastitis, oedema, heart & vascular conditions, major surgery, injuries and post-breast cancer treatment. By treating the blockage rather than the swelling, DP-TX products help patients regain their freedom and quality of life.

The journey from fighting cancer to founding ChezLeon

 Cheryl Pollock came up with the idea for her startup ChezLeon after going through cancer treatment and dealing with lymphoedema herself. 

After undergoing cancer treatment involving the removal of all my lymph nodes in both groins, I started to experience pain and swelling caused by the blockage to the lymphatic system.  I tried everything on the market and found that the current treatments were unsatisfactory and were causing more issues”, Cheryl Pollock, CEO and Founder of ChezLeon Pty Ltd.

With a background in mechanical engineering, construction and studying remedial massage and the lymphatic system, she realised that the current treatments were not addressing the problem which is the blockage caused by the surgery and lymph node damage.

The current treatments for lymphoedema focused on the outcome – the swelling; they were not suitable for everyone, particularly in the hot Australian climate. Using her engineering skills, Cheryl designed a clothing insert using differential pressure to gently massage the site of the blockage providing immediate relief. ChezLeon DP-TX massage bra inserts for Breast Cancer, gently massage the area of the blockage, helping to break down scar tissue and to move the fluid around the blockage. It helps drain the limbs or prevent build-up in the limb or associated area. Soon Cheryl was approached by other patients suffering from various fluid blockage conditions asking for help. Seeing patients dealing with pain and swelling for several years and finding immediate relief by wearing the product is what drove Cheryl to do more. 

“I was able to help women with golf-ball size swelling and pain due to lymphoedema lead a pain-free life with the ability to return to work and regain their quality of life”, adds Cheryl.

ChezLeon DP-TX massage inserts

Bringing the product to market

The startup journey has been challenging for ChezLeon, particularly in finding a manufacturer, and a supportive community. Existing manufacturers were reluctant due to a lack of capability and skills. After spending months finding the right manufacturer locally, in the end, ChezLeon had to rely on outsourcing manufacturing for the product.

Being a solo female founder in her 60s, it has been a hard road to find funding for ChezLeon. Due to the nature of its product, bridging the funding gap between the Minimum Viable Product (testing) to commercialisation (market launch) has been complicated due to the costs involved. 

In spite of these challenges, ChezLeon is breaking through these barriers and making significant progress in bringing high-impact health products to market. Cheryl advises startups on a similar path to focus on their passion and the impact their product can have on patients when facing difficult times in their commercialisation journey.

I started as a patient and then worked with patients gaining a real understanding of what they were experiencing and what they wanted.  I developed my products with and for the patients.  They gave me the passion and determination to get through hard times, they picked me up and kept me going.  Being a medical start-up is one of the most difficult paths to go down. Without passion and people to motivate you, it would be extremely difficult. Deeply understand what your patients need by listening to their pain and addressing the cause; you will find helping them the most rewarding and grateful experience”.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator Experience 

 ChezLeon joined MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 5 in 2020 with the hope to gain networking, support and funding opportunities. Since then ChezLeon has been able to get private investment and get sample runs manufactured and trialled with hospitals such as Liverpool &  Campbelltown Hospitals, GenesisCare – Gold Coast, Breast Cancer Physio-Gold Coast and Oncology Recovery Service-Sydney. The company is also engaged in the planned clinical study of head and neck Lymphoedema at  Mater Hospital Newcastle.

“I recommend joining the MedTech Actuator Accelerator early to set the foundation and map out the pathway as this will save a lot of time and energy in the long run. The MedTech Actuator gives you a great foundation to navigate the difficult pathway through the development of medical products. Their connections and networks give you access to specialists in their particular field worldwide so you get the latest information from the source”, Cheryl.

Cheryl at the MedTech Actuator’s Morning with Women in Health Entrepreneurship event.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Chery Pollock, CEO and Founder, ChezLeon Pty Ltd

“Everyone’s cancer journey is different. From my experience, going through cancer treatment is very scary, as you go through a range of emotions. It’s as if life stands still, nothing matters except your family and getting through this. Then you are told that due to the treatment you could end up with lymphoedema, a debilitating swelling of a limb/s with no cure. ‘You have just survived a death sentence only to be given a life sentence’. 

As with cancer, early detection is the key to a successful outcome, the same applies to lymphoedema. Early intervention, and taking a preventative approach help with the long-term management of fluid build-up. As it can take from 3 to 30 years for swelling to develop enough to be diagnosed, patients need to take a proactive approach to manage their condition from day one.  From breaking down scar tissue to encourage lymph growth and strengthening lymphatic pathways to self-massage, exercise, skincare and deep breathing.  Also understanding their condition, their body and what works for them.  There is no miracle cure, no one-off treatment, it is a condition that has to be managed for the rest of your life therefore any treatment has to be maintained.  The most important thing is to have a positive attitude, have some fun and laugh as often as possible.  This not only helps you but also those around you who are on the journey with you”, Cheryl on breast cancer awareness. 

Learn more about the lymphatic system, lymphoedema and how to manage it on ChezLeon’s website and follow their journey as they create awareness about Breast Cancer.

Expression of interest is now open for MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2023.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is supported by the REDI initiative, powered by MTPConnect, funded by the MRFF and LaunchVic.








Meet the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars

The MedTech Actuator and Menzies Foundation are delighted to announce the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars.

Each year, MedTech Actuator and the Menzies Foundation award 10 high-potential researchers and clinicians a MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship to aid their commercialisation journey. This scholarship supports participants’ pathway to impact-driven careers that fuse science, research, and entrepreneurship.

Scholars are pursuing post-graduate degrees at Australian universities across Australia and undertaking research projects in human health. Through the MedTech Actuator Menzies  Scholarship program, the cohort will learn about commercialisation and research translation, as well as Australia’s health, medical and biotechnology startup ecosystem.

“This cohort is filled with extraordinary, diverse, and high-potential Scholars ready to accelerate their research and begin the commercialisation journey in Australia and across the world,” – Liz Gillies, CEO, of the Menzies Foundation.


Introducing the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars



The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars 2022 are passionate about developing healthcare innovations that will improve and save lives. Their expertise spans orthopaedics, neurology, genomics, immunology, mental health, biomechanical engineering, tropical diseases and more.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Scholarship recipients include:

  • Dr Andrew Lewis Foster, PhD Student, Queensland University of Technology, Research Fellow, Jamieson Trauma Institute, and Orthopaedic Principal House Officer, Redcliffe Hospital

Project: Developing an antibiotic hydrogel for the locally applied treatment of surgical infection

  • Angus Weekes, PhD Student and Sessional Academic, Centre for Biomedical Technologies, Queensland University of Technology

Project: Off-the-shelf vasculature: Biofabrication of non-immunogenic decellularised human vascular grafts

Project: Revolutionising the accuracy of the CRISPR-Cas system through guide design.

Project: Exploring language development in infants by measuring brain connectivity using functional near-infrared spectroscopy

Project: An AI-aided mental health prediction platform

Project: Developing a heart-assist pump to improve the quality of life of patients with heart failure

  • Oyime Poise Aula, PhD Student, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and the University of Queensland

Project: Developing molecular point-of-care tests for neglected tropical diseases

  • Shiva Pedram, Research Fellow, the University of Wollongong

Project: Developing remote mental healthcare support using Virtual Reality

  • Urwah Nawaz, PhD Candidate, the University of Adelaide and University of New South Wales Junior Computational Scientist, Pending AI

Project: Developing a low-cost lateral rotation mattress that has the capacity to adjust patient positions

  • Zachary Rochecouste, Bachelor Student, and Researcher, Mending Broken Hearts Program, the University of New South Wales

Project: Creating a total artificial heart

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship Experience

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship encourages the next generation of health leaders to build strong foundations in entrepreneurship, technology translation and commercialisation. This program supports the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers.

Recipients embark on a four-month scholarship, gaining knowledge from leading industry experts, working alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receiving mentorship from MedTech Actuator. 

They will be immersed in the health ecosystem learning about pathways to market, business models, navigating Australia’s healthcare ecosystem, idea validation, intellectual property, pitching, professional development, and funding for early-stage ventures.

Stay up to date with their progress 

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars 2021 benefited greatly from this scholarship and have accelerated their commercialization journey through our programs, including MedTech Actuator Accelerator and MedTech Actuator Origin.

Sign up for our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to follow the journey of Scholars. 

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




Announcing 7th Cohort of the MedTech Actuator Accelerator

We are incredibly excited to introduce you to teams that make up the MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 7. Over the next 12 months, startups will be provided intensive support to help them develop the skills, networks, and resources needed to successfully navigate the complex BioMed commercialisation pathway.

Powering through the comprehensive application process involving first interviews, due diligence, and the Innovation Assessment Board pitch, startups in Cohort 7 (2022-2023 program) are now primed and ready to kick off their Accelerator journey. 

Throughout the program, startups will connect to the extensive MedTech Actuator health innovation ecosystem. Over 100 speakers, over 150 business, clinical and investment mentors, and our impressive alumni network will contribute their expertise to help these startups grow. Over $1M has been allocated to help teams in Cohort 7 bring their innovation to the market faster, and to prepare them for early-stage investment rounds. 

 Cohort 7 startups come from all across Australia, with teams joining from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. 80% are innovating in the MedTech space – a significant increase from the last two years dominated by HealthTech, and more than 50% of startups in the cohort are female-led. 

Cohort 7
MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 7

“We are thrilled to support new startups pursuing their innovative ideas to improve the lives of patients. The cohort is bringing a great variety of products this time ranging from healthtech marketplace to bacteriophage-based products and to a new generation of medical devices which we are particularly excited about,” says Maria Pelipas, Head of Programs 

Meet the MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 7 bringing innovation to the Health ecosystem in Australia :

  • InflaMed: Managing chronic inflammation in the palm of your hands
  • Healtharium: Making it easier to find, buy and sell healthcare software.
  • DFU Solutions: Improving outcomes for diabetic foot ulcer patients.
  • Anura Medical: Enabling preventative health care through innovative lung monitoring. 
  • AU-MDXD: Delivering technology-based mobility rehabilitation at the point of care and home
  • Gravida Health: A guiding hand to improve the induction of labour.
  • Vysum Technologies: Improving glaucoma treatment compliance and management for better vision.
  • Vause Medical: An accessible improvement to lumbar punctures in newborns
  • Symex Labs: Empowering couples to manage their reproductive health through continuous hormone sensing  
  • Misti: Protection from childhood infection via lung delivery of treatments
  • ACUTRODE: Helping doctors treat the seizures that they can’t see

The MedTech Actuator™ is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that curates a globally connected ecosystem of MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech innovation and investment. We do this by activating, accelerating and investing in startups.

  1. Activate – We prime and build capacity in the ecosystem, through our early-stage innovation pitch competition, the MedTech Actuator Origin and partnerships with hospitals and universities.
  2. Accelerate – We accelerate ventures and technologies through our flagship Accelerator program, and our international programs, access APAC and Global Navigator. We do this in collaboration with the network of ecosystem partners covering the entire commercialisation pipeline, from product development, regulatory specialists and clinical trial specialists to manufacturers and investors.
  3. Invest – We connect and curate opportunities to invest and co-invest for our ecosystem partners.

Stay updated and follow our founders’ journey by subscribing to our newsletter below or following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Marta Orlowska

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Marta Orlowska

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar Marta Orlowska is transforming her impact by investigating the molecular and metabolic basis behind time-of-day dependent heart attacks.

Marta Orlowska is a PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering at the Queensland University of Technology and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She holds a First class Degree diploma in BSc (Hons) Microbiology and Biotechnology from Edinburgh Napier University with experience in biomedical engineering, as well as microfluidics and microfabrication.

Analysing  metabolic fluctuations caused by the circadian rhythm to eliminate heart attacks

Marta is looking at time-of-day dependent factors that affect circadian rhythms and cause metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Circadian rhythm is a near 24-hour oscillation of all the natural processes happening within our body.

The primary function of circadian rhythm is to maintain bodily homeostasis. Therefore, disturbances lead to diseases whose severity and occurrence can be time-of-day dependent. The reasons behind this correlation are unknown and current models cannot address it, as they are unable to eliminate any of the two aforementioned factors.

Marta analysing cell cultures as part of her PhD research

“My project is looking to address this knowledge gap. Through the individual exclusion of the circadian rhythm factors, we are trying to find causes behind time-of-day dependent cardiovascular pathologies and how preventative methodologies and treatments against this correlation would help”.

Marta has been passionate and deeply interested in the cardiovascular system since her childhood. Having people close to her impacted by chronic fatigue and circadian rhythm dysfunction has given her a deep sense of purpose to create preventative methods and treatments against ischemia, one of the biggest causes of mortality globally.

“This project gives me the chance to undertake a number of my passions, including performing innovative research in my field using cutting edge technology, commercialising new discoveries and giving back to the community. It gives me a deep sense of purpose as I can be a part of innovative preventative methods and solutions,” says Marta.

Marta performing experiments in the lab as part of her PhD research.
Marta performing experiments in the lab as part of her PhD research.

Science, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship recipients embark on a four-month scholarship, where they gain knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receive mentorship from MedTech Actuator. 

“I am excited about becoming an entrepreneur and commercialising technology to change the world. I’m eager to build on the skills and knowledge gained from my time in the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and continue to network and expose myself to more opportunities in the ecosystem,” says Marta.

The scholarship encourages the next generation of emerging health leaders to build strong foundations in commercialisation. In doing so, this program supports the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers.

Marta was able to overcome project design challenges with guidance from the program, leverage product design sessions and her network to forge an improved final design. After completing multiple prototype designs, Marta strengthened her design vision and built a bioreactor with multiple application options.   

“I had no previous experience with commercialisation processes, so learning about the whole journey and different options to finance a project was essential. The most beneficial aspect of this program is the network of like-minded individuals who are at different stages of a similar journey. Everyone is really keen to help out and be there for you, which transforms this program into a life-changing experience,” adds Marta.

The scholarship program exposes awardees to the ecosystem through intensive learning, networking, mentorship and coaching so that you learn about the journey behind translating research into a healthcare startup before embarking on it. 

”Every person along my research journey has contributed to my life, career and successes. I have been lucky to get a great mentor through the IMNIS program as well as hands-on supervisors throughout my academic career,” says Marta.

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship
Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship 2022

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. 

“Learn as much as you can about your product and the end goal. Be ready for anything that can come your way, as this pathway is not linear and there may be lots of hurdles, but it is worth it,” advises Marta for those starting this journey.  

Applications are now open for the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the program and apply now.

You can also join MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on July 6. Register here.

Hear from previous Scholars:

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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






MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: April Van Der Kamp

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: April Van Der Kamp

2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar April Van Der Kamp is successfully fusing science, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship. 

When it comes to scientists doing their life’s work, April comes to mind. As a founder of DFU Solutions and a PhD Candidate at Flinders University, April is building a scientific career founded in impact, commercialisation and innovation.


Phage therapy to treat diabetic foot ulcer infections

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a serious and common complication of diabetes which are frequently infected by Staphylococcus aureus. Coupled with the rise of antibiotic resistance, diabetic foot ulcer infections are increasingly difficult to treat. This commonly leads to foot amputations which are correlated with a 5-year mortality of up to 70%. 

After losing a family member and looking at inefficiencies in the treatment of infected DFUs, April chose to pursue a PhD at Flinders University and founded DFU Solutions with her PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Peter Speck, to bring innovative treatments that harness bacteriophage therapy to market. 

“The passing away of loved ones due to complications associated with DFUs that are a preventable disease is a sad story. After experiencing first-hand how traumatic this can be, Peter and I are passionate about developing treatment options to improve patient outcomes and putting an end to this common story,” says April.

“We strive to improve patient outcomes with effective treatments targeted towards infection clearance.”

April Van Der Kamp in lab
April Van Der Kamp carrying out research as part of her PhD.

Science, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship

April was selected as a 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, leveraging the program to dive into research translation and commercialisation. With the opportunity to network with a cohort of Scholars, see entrepreneurs grow in MedTech Actuator Origin, and receive mentorship from industry leaders, April engaged with the industry and channelled her focus into her research. 

“I am so grateful for being a recipient of the scholarship and becoming a part of the MedTech Actuator family.”

As a part of the scholarship, across an industry-led intensive sprint and mentorship, scholarship recipients gain an extensive overview of entrepreneurship, the startup ecosystem and the commercialisation process as well as a one-off, $1,000 stipend to aid the commercialisation journey. Topics covered include pathways to market, business models, navigating Australia’s healthcare ecosystem, idea validation, intellectual property, pitching, professional development, and funding for early-stage ventures.

Through the program and its benefits, April was able to understand what it takes to successfully launch a startup and get a product to market. As a result of mentoring and leadership development, April overcame her biggest challenge, that is, doubting her capabilities to succeed. 

“I applied for the scholarship using the mantra “when in doubt, apply”. I thought the worst thing they can say is no and the best thing that could happen is I learned from experience. And I’m still learning. You don’t need to have all the answers and all the confidence to get started,” says April.

Aid your commercialisation journey with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship 2022

Through this scholarship and the MedTech Actuator community, April launched DFU Solutions. Prior to the program, becoming a founder was not a reality.

“I feel accomplished presenting DFU Solution’s one-minute pitch and to have expanded my network. By moving outside of my comfort zone and gaining new experiences beyond academia, I’ve gained a refreshing perspective of entrepreneurship and the landscape that startup founders must navigate throughout their journey.”

The Scholarship experience aims to support the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers. For April, the support from her supervisor and MedTech Actuator helped her take the jump into becoming a founder and following her passion.

“Other members from MedTech Actuator startups, such as Hatisens and the like, are such great support network in that they provide advice and guidance. This made a really big difference in my journey,” says April.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups.  

Applications are now open for the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the Scholarship here and apply now.

You can also join MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on July 6. Register here.

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Rowan Page

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Rowan Page

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar Dr Rowan Page is transforming his impact by developing a wearable light sensing device to guide people toward healthier light exposure patterns together with the team at Circadian Health Innovations.

Dr Rowan Page is an early-career researcher and the Director of the Industrial Design program in Monash University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. Rowan’s research and practice are focused on the design of smart wearable devices for health and medical applications. Through design practice, his research helps to translate fundamental medical and technology research into commercially viable outcomes.

Melding industrial design and research

Constantly blown away by technologies being developed at Monash University, Rowan knows how innovations can have a real impact on people’s lives but can see how difficult the development processes at universities can be. He has seen several projects where the quality of early-prototype research devices makes it difficult to collect data, from real people, in real-world contexts.

“The existing devices are fragile, too big, uncomfortable, hard to use, or people are embarrassed to wear them. Bringing industrial design into research early enables us to also bring consideration of human factors and end-user needs into projects early, enabling researchers to collect better and more reliable data.”

A wearable light sensing device

Rowan is carrying out the light pin device project as an Industrial Designer working in close collaboration with Circadian Health Innovations, sleep scientists, mathematical modellers, and creative technologists.

“The light pin device we are working on is the perfect embodiment of pairing world-leading research expertise, incredible electronics and technology development, and early design involvement.”

Light pin device
The light pin device: An embodiment of early design involvement & research expertise

The device enables our partners to amplify their research in circadian and sleep science and has also revealed numerous consumer applications from supporting shift work, to jet-lag management. To complement the wide application of this device, the team has also been approached by NASA and elite sports teams interested in performance optimisation.

 

Science, Research Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship recipients embark on a four-month journey, where recipients gain knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receive mentorship from MedTech Actuator.

Light pin device app
The light pin device also comes with an application to track the light score.

“The biggest challenge to overcome at the moment is the worldwide shortage of electronics components. As a small start-up, it is difficult to operate in these complex global supply chains. The scholarship program provided us with a great product development mentor who was able to connect us with excellent local manufacturers. Additionally, navigating the transition from the university to the industry had us thinking carefully about IP, funding, and how we scale up in a very different environment.”

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship encourages the next generation of health leaders to build strong foundations in commercialisation. In doing so, this program supports the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers.

Mentoring during the program enabled Rowan to start producing devices for sale.
Mentoring during the program enabled Rowan to start producing devices for sale.

“The program connected us with great manufacturers by pairing us with a product development mentor. This was a key milestone in enabling us to organize our first small run batch of manufactured devices. Allowing us to move beyond prototypes and start producing devices for sale. We also had great exposure to investors and the wider ecosystem outside of the university.”

For Rowan, mentorship with Procept was incredibly valuable, as was the advice received from MedTech Actuator CEO, Dr Buzz Palmer and the team. Alongside the 2021 Scholarship, Rowan and team members from SensiLab at Monash University, A/Prof Sean Cain, Dr Andrew Phillips, and Elliott Wilson, took part in MedTech Actuator Origin, taking their innovation through to the semi-finals.

 

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship
Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship 2022

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups.

“My advice to future Scholars is to make the most out of the experience and the learning opportunities that it provides. Even if your current project is not at the right stage for this journey yet, you never know when the knowledge that this program gives you will be useful in the future.”

Applications are now open for the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the program and apply now.

You can also join MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on July 6. Register here.

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Anushi Rajapaksa

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Anushi Rajapaksa

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar Dr Anush Rajapaksa is fusing science, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship by developing rapid, life-saving drug delivery for children with infectious respiratory disease.

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa is a Senior Research Officer, at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and more recently a graduate researcher within GSK, Melbourne. Anushi leads large, international, interdisciplinary research projects as the inventor of several newborn technologies. She is also the Founder of a not-for-profit organization, Think Projectthat helps to facilitate the transfer of STEM solutions to low resource settings. She has recently founded “Vitality by Dr Anushi” to cultivate her love of nutrition inspired by nature.

Turning needle phobia into an idea

Anushi says that she was on a personal mission to design ways to deliver vaccines and other therapeutics to the lungs non-invasively due to her phobia of needles. Anushi discovered and developed a new technology in the form of a nebulizer that enables a liquid vaccine to be inhaled, rather than injected.

“Growing up, I had a significant needle phobia. You could almost say that I was on a personal mission to invest in a career to explore alternative ways of medication delivery – vaccines in particular. Delivering medications to the body through the lungs seemed like a no brainer to me”, says Anushi

Anushi working in the lab developing novel, non-invasive solutions for drug delivery.
Anushi working in the lab developing novel, non-invasive solutions for drug delivery.

A new frontier in pain-free therapies

Anushi’s research has focused on RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), the most common cause of acute, lower respiratory infection in young children under 5 years of age. Preterm infants are at significantly increased risk of severe RSV disease. There is no RSV vaccine and the only preventive treatment is passive protection with Palivizumab, an RSV-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb). However, this is costly (A$7,500 per course) and requires repeated injections throughout the RSV transmission season. In Australia, its use is restricted to only preterm infants with complications such as severe pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease.

“The aim is to develop a novel, non-invasive solution and solve the problem by delivering a first-in-class, low-cost device that is effective in protecting our children.”

Science, research commercialisation, and entrepreneurship with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship encourages the next generation of health leaders to build strong foundations in commercialisation. In doing so, this program supports the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers.

As a 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Anushi was exposed to the ecosystem, built strong foundations in commercialisation and took home the MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award in MedTech Actuator Origin.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship Experience

As a part of the Scholarship experience, recipients overcome their knowledge gaps with the support provided during intensive sprints and 1:1 coaching.

“The biggest struggle I have overcome is facing my own doubts and the unknowns regarding advancing my area of scientific passion and working through them one by one. It is a unique journey worth taking as it has certainly been transformative and personally rewarding to me. I may not have all the answers yet, but realising some fundamental questions that need head-on attention is a very good start,” says Anushi.

“I felt right at home with the friendly and resourceful team at the MedTech Actuator. It was the right amount of challenge and inspiration to take action on a vision I had been working on for over a decade. I am confident that the skills and experiences I gained through this unique program will help me make advances.”

Scholars receive access to the MedTech Actuator Origin intensive sprint and see, first-hand, what it takes to launch a healthcare venture. Anushi’s vision is to position her research to best serve a community that needs it the most through commercialisation. Whilst undertaking the Scholarship, Anushi also took The Think Project through MedTech Actuator Origin.

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, The Think Project, with Georgia Downing and Charles Aitken, Gild, and Tim Tyndale, Quitta.
Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, The Think Project, with Georgia Downing and Charles Aitken, Gild, and Tim Tyndale, Quitta.

When embarking on a four-month scholarship, recipients gain knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receive mentorship from MedTech Actuator.

“I would like to thank my team, Mr. Sanjeeva Rajapaksa, Prof. James Friend, Ashica Sood, Mayomi Samarawickrama  Mallawaarachchi, Shamal Wijeweera and Ashleigh Allan, for their support in realising our vision. I also want to recognise the support provided by Dr Buzz Palmer and my mentor Richard Sokolov and the MedTech Actuator Team for numerous discussions and advice throughout the program and beyond,” says Anushi.

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship
Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship 2022

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. 

Applications are now open for the 2022 program. Find out more about the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and apply today.

You can also join MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas for the Ask Me Anything session for any questions related to the scholarship. Register here.

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











Harnessing telehealth to power a connected global health ecosystem

MedTech Actuator startup Neev Tech Labs is transforming how patients around the world experience and access healthcare through telehealth innovation

The Neev Tech Labs virtual care platform, Connect2MyDoctor is powering a connected global health ecosystem – supporting the response to challenges including delivering healthcare while preventing the spread of COVID19, and rising chronic illness.

Connect2MyDoctor is a HIPAA compliant and ISO 27001 certified virtual care platform that enables healthcare providers to deliver care in efficient and patient-centric ways. The comprehensive platform spans on-demand care; consults between rural hospitals and large tertiary care centres; care for in-patients in isolation and regular care; home care; and remote patient monitoring including medical device integration to capture real-time data.

The idea for Connect2MyDoctor was sparked in 2012 when, soon after moving with his family from Dubai to Australia, the daughter of Neev Tech Labs CEO Pramod Kutty needed to see a medical specialist.

“We were not used to the long wait period and tried to find help in the meantime through Dr Google and doctors overseas to understand more about the problem. I thought, there should be a better way to do this,” says Pramod.

This experience and Pramod’s subsequent market research led him to launch Connect2MyDoctor in 2016. Neev Tech Labs is now headquartered in Melbourne and has teams in India, Dubai, and Bahrain, along with a growing network of advisors.

Healthcare providers, hospitals, insurance companies and corporates around the world are turning to Connect2MyDoctor in growing numbers to improve and save the lives of individual patients and to create systems-wide change. The virtual care platform is deployed in 35+ multi- and super-speciality hospitals in India, the Middle East, Turkey, Azerbaijan and others. There are currently 2,000+ doctors across 50+ specialisations on the platform, supporting patients in 15+ countries. Connect2MyDoctor will soon open an office in Dubai and will also expand into the African subcontinent.

In a reflection of the difference the platform is making, Connect2MyDoctor was selected as the preferred telehealth platform of a leading healthcare association in India. This has opened access to a member base of 10,000+ hospitals. Connect2MyDoctor has also launched work with the Federal Authority of Human Resources, UAE and their mental health partner to provide 300,000+ employees and their families with access to mental health specialists from the comfort of their homes.

Neev Tech Labs was recently accepted into Hatch Quarter’s MENA Bridge for Startups global bridge program – designed to give exceptional Australian companies the tools and connections to enter and succeed in the booming Middle East and North Africa “MENA” markets.

Connect2MyDoctor wins Micro Business Award

Connect2MyDoctor wins Micro Business Award at India-Australia Business and Community Awards 2022. The annual IABCA Awards initiative looks to strengthen and celebrate the organisations, social enterprises and business leaders from across the globe who are advancing the India-Australia relationship.

Connect2MyDoctor wins Micro Business Award at India-Australia Business and Community Awards 2022. Photo credits: IABCA

“We feel privileged and honoured to have won this prestigious recognition from IABCA. It is a testament to the ground-breaking work we have done in the area of telemedicine and virtual healthcare. The importance of online healthcare has grown significantly during the pandemic and we are happy to have contributed our bit by enabling high-quality virtual healthcare access for the needy. In our next phase, we focus to deploy our new modules – cARe – 3D/AR module for patient education, OmniROM for remote rehabilitation, HomeDoc our home care module with Remote patient monitoring globally. As the preferred telehealth partner of the Association of Health Providers of India (AHPI), which has over 10,000 hospitals in its network, we are looking to further expand our horizons and address the health requirements of the patients in a virtual and efficient manner.” Says Pramod Kutty, Co-Founder and CEO of Connect2MyDoctor.

The MedTech ActuatorTM is proud to support Neev Tech Labs on their journey. The company joined the MedTech Actuator in 2019 to support market validation of Connect2MyDoctor; to connect with global industry and mentorship; to be guided through commercialisation models and capital raising.

“The MedTech Actuator helped us validate our business models and opened doors,” says Pramod.

“For any MedTech startup, the MedTech Actuator is the perfect kickstart for access to teams, industry leaders, mentors and pre-seed funding.”

Follow the journey of Connect2MyDoctor and learn more about the platform in this Economic Times story by Pramod Kutty.