Making it possible for seniors to live better longer.

MedTech Actuator alumnus Gabriel is developing technology that delivers more proactive and integrated care to the elderly at home, hospitals and aged care facilities by helping family, clinicians and carers to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right support.

“We founded our family business together as Dad is getting older, and didn’t want to be a burden on us as he ages,” says Gabriel Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Maria Crews.

Maria, her brother, and father looked around the world and found that there was no complete, reliable system that would provide the level of care and protection that they wanted for their father, and that he wanted for himself.

“So we set out to create the ultimate solution,” says Maria. Gabriel helps to prevent serious complications experienced by the elderly including falls, bedsores and eloping from buildings.

In one trial, Gabriel found that an aged care resident had spent two hours alone on the bathroom floor after a fall and eventually managed to return to bed.

“When we spoke to the site, they had no record of that fall having occurred – but now we can provide real-time tools to understand and respond with the care that is required.”

Maria recognises that people can be hesitant to ask for help and that the elderly are no exception, fearing that it may lead to life in an aged care home.

“That’s why everything that we do is not only proactive, it’s also passive. The person doesn’t have to do anything, nor do their family, clinicians and carers – we do it all for them. And we’re doing it in a way that protects and preserves their dignity.”

This inspired the name, Gabriel. “It’s like having a guardian angel looking out for you. The system keeps an eye on you or your loved one, patient or resident, and looks after everything for you.”

Maria’s MedTech Actuator experience and networks are helping to bring Gabriel’s technology to people around the world faster.

“The MedTech Actuator built our understanding of navigating the MedTech landscape – from regulatory environments, to rules of engagement, networks, key players and the right people to talk to,” says Maria.

www.ourgabriel.com

Inaugural 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships announced.

Ten high-potential health, medical and biotechnology researchers have been selected to each receive a 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship – supporting them to develop a career that fuses science, research, and entrepreneurship.

The researchers and scientists are about to embark on a 3-month scholarship, where they will gain knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Asia Pacific’s best emerging entrepreneurs and have access to exclusive industry events.

Passionate about innovating to improve and save lives, the scholarship recipients are working in diverse fields spanning obstetrics, neonatal care, assistive reproductive technologies, emergency care, paediatrics, orthopaedic surgery, sexually transmitted infections, personalised precision medicine and more.

Scholarship recipients include:

  • Martina Barzan – Research Fellow, Griffith University
  • Sohyb Basir – Emergency Doctor & GP Trainee, Mater Health
  • Chia-Chi Chien – Chief Scientific Officer, Research Fellow, OminiWell Pty Ltd
  • Julie Dao – PhD candidate, Monash University
  • Alinta Furnell – Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) (Medical Biotechnology & Microbiology), UNSW Sydney
  • Ethan Grooby – PhD candidate, Monash University
  • Debolina Majumdar – PhD candidate, RMIT University
  • Hope Newman – Master of Reproductive Science student, Monash University
  • Luke Visscher – Doctor, QLD Health; PhD candidate, QUT
  • Ritesh Warty – PhD candidate, Monash University

Scholarship recipients will complete online learning and an intensive sprint alongside Asia Pacific’s best emerging entrepreneurs competing in the MedTech Actuator Origin international pitch competition. Recipients will also watch entrepreneurs pitch in Rapid Fire Rounds and the Gala Finals and will be welcomed into the MedTech Actuator’s Asia-Pacific-wide network that spans the entire commercialisation pipeline.

The industry-led intensive sprint and online course will provide scholarship recipients with a strong foundation in commercialisation. Topics will include intellectual property, pitching, startup 101, finance for beginners, business modelling, design thinking, path-to-market, and market analysis.

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

Sign up to our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow the journey of scholarship recipients – and to find out how to be a 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship recipient.

Pronto Bottle raises $175K crowdfunding on Birchal in midst of COVID19.

Form-i-Baby has reached their crowdfunding target on Birchal in the midst of the COVID19 global pandemic, raising AUD$175K and welcoming 140 new investors to advance Pronto Bottle – a world-first self-sterilising baby bottle.

The technology will make bottle feeding safer for babies, save precious time for parents and keep millions of bottles out of landfill every year.

The impressive raise will allow Pronto Bottle to finalise a new and improved prototype and proceed to lab testing, and testing with parents and key opinion leaders. Behind the scenes, the Melbourne-based startup is now raising a larger round of $675K to support subsequent tooling, manufacture, and launch.

Founded by award-winning entrepreneur Shannon Gilleland, the bottle was recently compared to Apple with Alex Zaharov-Reutt from iTWire saying, “If Apple had a baby, Pronto would be it.”

The durable bottle uses the latest ultraviolet light wave technology to self-sterilise at home and on the go, freeing up around an hour every day on bottle preparation and reducing the bottles a family needs down to just one.

Form-i-Baby have invested heavily in market research, prototyping, and testing since the concept was first born. The company has been working on building relationships with manufacturers, distributors, sales, and marketing agents, with discussions now in progress for joint venture opportunities across Australia and Asia.

Shannon joined Asia Pacific’s MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech accelerator, MedTech Actuator in 2019 to gain personal mentoring and technical knowledge on the MedTech industry. Through MedTech Actuator, Shannon gained expertise in manufacturing, marketing, strategy, IP, commercialisation, and leveraged support on fundraising and investor relationships.

Shannon says that the bespoke industry masterclasses, and personal mentorship throughout and after the program have supported her startup journey.

“The intense masterclasses from professionals who have worked in MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech industries, and this unique skill set, would be very difficult to source elsewhere,” says Shannon.

“The close mentorship provides honest feedback on your direction, skills, progress, expertise and weaknesses, ensuring you never get to walk around with your ‘startup blinkers’ on.”

“The immense network of industry contacts that you can tap into is something you wouldn’t be able to access unless you were in the industry yourself for 20+ years, and even then, it wouldn’t be as diverse.”

Applications are now open for MedTech Actuator 2021. If you’re ready to radically accelerate your innovation to improve and save lives, find out more and apply.

Apply now

Next generation tissue building & regenerative medicine for neural repair.

Inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow Associate Professor Jeremy Crook is developing a world-first neural repair medical technology to improve the lives of people living with neural tissue damage as a result of illness or trauma.

Neurons or nerve cells are key players in our brains and nervous system. Everything that we think, feel, and do requires the work of neurons and their support cells. Our complex neural networks make it possible for information to flow between different areas of our brain, spinal cord and connect to the rest of our body. Without them, we could not receive sensory information from the world around us or control our muscles and organs.

When nerve cells are damaged, whether as a result of trauma, stroke, tumour, or other illnesses, individuals often face long-lasting or lifelong physical and personal challenges.

But Australian researcher Associate Professor Jeremy Crook is working to change this with next generation tissue building and regenerative medicine for neural repair. Jeremy was recently appointed as one of two inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows to help take him and his team there, faster.

“As a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow I will focus on translating our work on electric tissue engineering to a healthcare outcome,” says Jeremy.

“The fellowship is an opportunity for me to learn from leading experts in MedTech commercialisation, as well as connect with others in the broader ecosystem. By increasing our commercialisation focus now, I hope to accelerate translation of our world-first wireless electroceutical for neural repair.”

The fellowship complements recently awarded funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council to further develop their technology through pre-clinical testing. The work was also recently awarded the inaugural Research Australia 2019 Health and Medical Research Frontiers Research Award.

“Our work has now progressed to an advanced propriety electrostimulation platform for 3D bench-top tissue building and within-body tissue repair,” says Jeremy.

Jeremy is Chief Investigator for the Synthetic Biosystems theme of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong – home of the Centre and the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute.

Jeremy and his team’s research integrates technology, stem cells, biomaterials, 3D bioprinting and bioelectrics, and strengthens Australia’s position as a global leader in tissue engineering and electroceuticals for advanced research and medicine.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships are valued at $70,000 each and will provide Jeremy with tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, a $20,000 stipend and access to the MedTech Actuator™ – Asia Pacific’s MedTech catalyst.

Jeremy says that he is excited to learn what it takes to bring a medical technology innovation to market.

“The fellowship will be important for achieving my aspirations to translate what began as an idea conceived by myself and team member Dr Eva Tomaskovic-Crook into a clinically useful medical technology,” says Jeremy.

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

Sign up to our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow Jeremy’s journey – and stay in the loop on how to be a part of the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship.

MedTech Actuator applications now open

Applications are now open for MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech Catalyst.

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

Through MedTech Actuator’s intensive mentorship, industry collaboration, up to AUD$200K initial capital injection and capital raising support, you can achieve in 15 months what can typically take 3 years or more.

Embedded in the MedTech Actuator™ ecosystem, you’ll radically advance your technology development, raise seed capital, and build critical business and management skills. From here you’ll be primed and ready to grow your venture even further – including raising series A funding, commencing clinical trials, gaining regulatory approvals, and moving to at-scale manufacturing, and market launch.

Integrated across Asia Pacific, the industry-led MedTech Actuator will open an unrivalled network to you, including 85 partners and 75 mentors from some of the largest names in health innovation spanning:

  • multi-national corporations
  • hospitals and clinicians
  • investor groups and VCs
  • professional service partners
  • universities and research institutions
  • product development firms.

You’ll join an alumni network of the brightest emerging startups from across Asia Pacific. Our networks are your networks as you scale up, prepare for exit and beyond.

In 2020 amidst the COVID19 pandemic, we saw MedTech Actuator startups secure impressive capital raises with high profile investors and deliver successful equity crowdfunding campaigns that pushed beyond their raise target.

If you’re a clinician, researcher, student or other changemaker with big plans to radically accelerate your medical, health or biological technology prototype or proof-of-concept in 2021, find out more about MedTech Actuator and apply here.

Apply now

Researchers join inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship

Congratulations to Dr Chris McCarthy and Associate Professor Jeremy Crook on their appointment as inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships are valued at $70,000 each and will provide Chris and Jeremy with tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, a $20,000 stipend and access to the MedTech Actuator™.

The fellowship unlocks the potential of Australia’s world-class research and researchers, particularly in the areas of human health, medicine, and biotechnology. Through the fellowship, researchers will fuse their background with new commercial expertise from industry’s leading minds to improve and save lives.

Chris is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Swinburne University of Technology, an Honorary Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute and has worked at the forefront of pioneering technology. This includes Bionic Vision Australia and a robotic aid for paediatric rehabilitation – now deployed at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Jeremy is an Associate Professor and Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong and Chief Investigator and Deputy Theme Leader of Synthetic Biosystems in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science.

As a fellow Chris will advance CueSleeve, a haptic training device for improving eye-hand coordination in individuals with visual and neuro-cognitive disorder. Jeremy will be advancing a wireless electroceutical device for neural repair.

“As an academic researcher, I love solving problems but get most satisfaction in seeing theoretical solutions translate to real outcomes. This fellowship will give me the mentorship, focus and structured support I need to truly realise this for CueSleeve,” says Chris.

Jeremy says that he is excited to learn what it takes to bring a medical technology innovation to market.

“The fellowship will be important for achieving my aspirations to translate what began as merely an idea conceived by myself and team member Dr Eva Tomaskovic-Crook into a clinically useful medical technology,” says Jeremy.

Chris and Jeremy will initially embark on six months of mentorship, working with experts within the MedTech Actuator and along the commercialisation pipeline.

During the second six-month phase, Chris and Jeremy will take part in a tailored version of our flagship, industry-led accelerator. They will learn how to navigate key commercialisation milestones, 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.

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

Sign up to our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow Chris and Jeremy’s journey – and stay in the loop on how to be a part of the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship.

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships now open

Applications are now open for 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships – each valued at $10,000. Ten junior researchers will each receive tailored education, access to exclusive industry events and a $1,000 stipend to support them in exploring their commercialisation goals.

Scholarships are available to high-potential junior health, medical or biotechnology scientists and researchers who may be undertaking their honours, masters or PhD – or even starting to work in their chosen field.

The three-month scholarship will run from February to April 2021 and can be undertaken remotely while studying and working – requiring a small time commitment in month one and two and attendance at a three day immersion intensive during month three.

Scholarship recipients will experience unparalleled networking opportunities and gain insights into the possibilities in a career that fuses science, research, and entrepreneurship.

Scholarship recipients will complete their immersion intensive and online learning alongside Asia Pacific’s best emerging entrepreneurs competing in the MedTech Actuator Origin international pitch competition. In the final month of the scholarship, recipients will see the entrepreneurs pitch in MedTech Actuator Origin Rapid Fire Rounds and Gala Finals and network with the largest names in global MedTech corporates, clinicians, ecosystem VIPs and investors.

Beyond these unique insights and networking opportunities, the immersion intensive and online course will provide scholarship recipients with a strong foundation in commercialisation. Topics will include intellectual property, pitching, startup 101, finance for beginners, business modelling, design thinking, path-to-market, and market analysis.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship will support the scientific community’s commercialisation capacity by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to junior scientists and researchers.

If you are a junior scientist or researcher – or you know one – you can find out more about the scholarship and apply here.

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

Apply now

Baby bottle that self-sterilises on the go

Equity crowdfunding expression of interest is now open on Birchal for Form-i-Baby’s world-first self-sterilising baby bottle. Pronto Bottle will make bottle feeding safer for babies, save precious time for parents and keep millions of bottles out of landfill every year.

The durable bottle uses the latest ultraviolet light wave technology to self-sterilise at home and on the go, freeing up around an hour every day on bottle preparation and reducing the bottles a family needs down to just one.

Pronto Bottle is incredibly easy to use. All it takes is rinsing and filling with water, then pressing a button and the bottle and water is sterilised all at once – ready to add formula, or empty and add breastmilk, to feed the baby.

Form-i-Baby was founded by Melbourne-based entrepreneur Shannon Gilleland who realised there was a real need for a better alternative through her own experience as a parent and through follow-on market research.

“I was sitting in the back of my car trying to prepare a bottle for my daughter, juggling a thermos of hot water to heat it, and the formula containers to fill it,” recalls Shannon.

“It occurred to me that it was ridiculous that the process hasn’t changed in 20 years.”

Shannon realised that while we have more technology to help us with some processes at home, nothing has actually reduced the number of tasks.

“Plus, as I became more eco-conscious, finding a way to reduce the influx of plastic into my life that came with having a baby, and especially as a bottle feeding parent, became a higher priority,” says Shannon.

With her initial idea in mind, Shannon interviewed and surveyed over 100 parents to find out how they travelled with their baby. She discovered that their biggest pain points were around the amount of time parents spent washing, sterilising, and preparing bottles.

Shannon went about developing a product that solved this problem to save parents time while at home and travelling.

“At the same time I was able to develop a product that provided a safer bottle feeding solution for babies. Pronto Bottle is sterilised directly before a baby feeds from it, rather than leaving a pre-sterilised bottle sitting around on a benchtop or in a nappy bag for up to 24-hours risking bacterial and viral exposure to the baby when they finally do feed from it.”

Shannon joined the MedTech Actuator in 2019 to gain personal mentoring and technical knowledge on the MedTech industry in areas including manufacturing, marketing, strategy, IP, commercialisation, as well as support on fundraising and investor relationships.

The 15-month, industry-led, venture-backed program aggressively funds and accelerates medical, health and biological technology startups, working alongside venture partner Artesian to support startups on their journey.

Since joining the program, Shannon has patented Pronto Bottle, raised funds, sourced board members, solidified commercialisation and business strategies, and developed her business network.

Shannon says that the bespoke industry masterclasses, and personal mentorship throughout and after the program have supported her startup journey.

“The intense masterclasses from professionals who have worked in MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech industries, and this unique skill set, would be very difficult to source elsewhere,” says Shannon.

“The close mentorship provides honest feedback on your direction, skills, progress, expertise and weaknesses, ensuring you never get to walk around with your ‘startup blinkers’ on.”

“The immense network of industry contacts that you can tap into is something you wouldn’t be able to access unless you were in the industry yourself for 20+ years, and even then, it wouldn’t be as diverse.”

Shannon says that depending what stage startups are at, the MedTech Actuator’s fundraising opportunities can provide the initial funds required to get through some of the riskiest first phases of product and company development.

Find out more about Form-i-Baby’s Birchal equity crowdfunding campaign at www.birchal.com/company/prontobottle.

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from MedTech Actuator startups, subscribe to our newsletter at www.medtechactuator.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

CSF Warning: Always consider the general CSF risk warning and offer document before investing.

MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships now open

Applications are now open for 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships – each valued at $70,000. Two high-potential medical or scientific researchers will each receive tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, a $20,000 stipend and access to the MedTech Actuator™.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship is designed to unlock the potential of Australia’s world-class research and researchers.

“We know that there is great work being done by researchers in Australia – particularly in the areas of human health and medicine. We want to support this talent by giving researchers access to commercialisation expertise so that they can share their work with the people who need it most – patients and clinicians,” says MedTech Actuator CEO, Dr Buzz Palmer.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship will support the scientific community’s commercialisation capacity by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to researchers.

“The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship will provide high-potential scientists with a grounding in the elements of commercialisation, but most importantly it will provide access to our dense network of partners – a network that spans hospitals, product development firms, multinational MedTech corporations and investors,” says Dr Palmer.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship can be undertaken while working. Initially, fellows will embark on 6 months of mentorship – working with experts within the MedTech Actuator and along the commercialisation pipeline.

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 milestones 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.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship is a partnership between the Menzies Foundation and the MedTech Actuator. “We are passionate about investing in our country’s future science leaders and giving them the runway to ensure that their research has an impact in the world.  We look forward to sharing their entrepreneurial journey,” Menzies Foundation CEO Liz Gillies said.

To be eligible for the Fellowship, researchers must be working in the areas of health, medical or biotechnology research and have approval from the employing institution to be absent 2-3 days per month for 6 months (July 2021 – December 2021).

If you are a career researcher – or you know one – you can find out more about the Fellowship and apply here.

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.

Apply now

Wearable bionic ear to offer accessible hearing transformation.

Australian startup Augmented Bionics has secured $650,000 in a round led by UK-based VC fund IP Group and included MedTech Actuator™ VC partner Artesian.

This new support will help to advance their non-invasive bionic ear for people with severe to profound hearing loss.

Every year nearly 1.5 million adults worldwide are diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss – the vast majority of whom receive no hearing help or only have access to technology that does not meet their needs. But Augmented Bionics is working to make it possible for individuals around the world to access non-surgical, safer, more affordable, and easy to use hearing support.

Fitted by a hearing audiologist, the non-invasive bionic ear is worn just like headphones and aims to activate the auditory nerve through magnetic waves from outside the body. This makes it possible for individuals with profound to severe hearing loss to hear and comprehend speech, and to hear sounds from their environment. This is currently only possible through costly surgical alternatives that just a handful of the world’s population with severe to profound hearing loss can access and afford.

Augmented Bionics CEO, Viraj Agnihotri’s first elevator pitch for the technology took place back in 2016, quite literally, in an elevator.

“After speaking to all the hearing clinics across Brisbane, I knew there was a big need for a non-surgical alternative. But I needed 3D models of the human head and simulation and computation software to design the device,” recalls Viraj.

“I didn’t have access to that or know how to use them, so I started hustling for someone in the engineering faculty to help me out and was recommended to a professor. He was a very busy person, and I literally found him in an elevator: we were on level one, I had until level six to convince him.”

The chance encounter connected Viraj with valuable new contacts and resources that would help bring his innovation closer to reality.

Since then, Viraj has established a strong team to advance the technology. Viraj has a background in mechatronics engineering, bioengineering, business, and innovation. His cofounders include Mahanthesh Chandra, an electrical engineer, and Nicholas Jabbour, a biomedical scientist.

The team joined the MedTech Actuator™ in 2018, a 15-month, industry-led, venture-backed program that aggressively funds and accelerates medical, health and biological technology startups alongside venture partner Artesian.

Since joining the MedTech Actuator™ the team have demonstrated their prototype’s effectiveness, received ethical clearance for human research to commence proof-of-concept testing with commercially available magnetic stimulation devices, and secured $650,000 in a round led by IP Group to continue advancing their technology.

“The MedTech Actuator’s support on all aspects of medical device commercialisation and access to investors through pitches have been very beneficial,” says Viraj.

“I would recommend the MedTech Actuator to every MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech entrepreneur that I come across.”

To learn more about Augmented Bionics and follow their journey go to www.augmentedbionics.com.

To stay up-to-date on the latest news from MedTech Actuator™ startups, subscribe to our newsletter at www.medtechactuator.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.