Sep 27, 2022

Make your MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 application stand out

Make your MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 application stand out

Thinking about applying to the MedTech Actuator Origin Program? Here are some top tips on how to make your application shine from Shanna Lam – Project Officer at MedTech Actuator.

As a biodesign alumna and an ex-founder I know first-hand how complicated the journey ahead can seem. It does take a village to bring health innovation to market. Luckily, we at MedTech Actuator have done this before and are here to help. Below are a few ideas on how to make your application shine! 

Now that you’ve come up with an innovative health venture and are ready to take the first step to become a startup founder, you might be asking yourself – what’s next?

MedTech Actuator Origin is an early-stage innovation program that turbocharges the development of emerging human health technologies and solutions across Australia and it is the perfect place for emerging founders to start. 

“This is the best first step you can take if you are interested in the MedTech innovation space. The Origin experience will provide you with mentorship, networking and connections. Also, the practical pitching advice you receive will help you in getting further investment or just getting people interested in your idea”, says Wiliam Symington, co-founder of Anura Medical, on his program experience. 

Applications are currently open for the 2022 program and they close on October 7 at 11:59 pm AEST. If you’re excited to join in then you’ll need to nail the application in order to be successfully selected. Below are key areas where you can strengthen your application to put your best foot forward for the program. 

1. Make sure you’re eligible!

First, double-check the eligibility criteria to make sure the program is the right fit for you:

  • You have a research project, idea or innovation in human health;
    • And, for this project, the idea or innovation has to be in its early stages of development;
  • You are highly motivated to learn about innovation commercialisation, as well as Australia’s health, medical and biotechnology startup ecosystem;
  • You are able to attend all program (in-person in Melbourne and online) activities scheduled (Oct 25-27, Dec 1); and,
  • You have at least one team member based in Australia.

2. What is the problem you are trying to solve?

The origin experience will help you better define and develop the elements described below, so don’t worry about having it perfect. 

First, tell us what you know about the problem you are solving, who has this problem, and why you’re motivated to solve it. 

Some of the questions you can think about: 

What are the current hospital workarounds, or the daily impacts it has on the patient? 

Who are the people it affects? It may impact not only the patients, doctors, and hospitals, but also family members, insurance companies, and the government.

Customer Validation

In your applications, we want to see a simple description of your idea with key features and benefits (how the person’s experience will improve).

A good first step would be to figure out who are the users and beneficiaries of your innovation – clinicians, patients, and payers. Next, getting a better understanding of their perceptions about the problem, gaps and potential solutions could be the key to understanding the market.

Below are some thoughts from one of our founders on customer validation.

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.

We are not expecting you to conduct dozens of formal customer interviews but we want to make sure you understand how this problem is currently being solved and why your solution would be better. 

3. What is your solution?

Once you’ve validated your problem, now is the time to revisit the solution – what proof do you have that this problem needs to be solved and that your solution will be used? Also, does your solution really address the problem? Has your solution solved one problem but created another? Is it too difficult to adjust to?

Can you communicate this in the most simple terms? You can use the Value Proposition Canvas or The Mom Test to match your solution to the pain points your end users face and communicate this in a concise way.

You can even go back to your customers and see how they react to your solution. Check to make sure your potential customers are not cornered into praising your innovation when you talk to them.

Practical tips for the application:

  • Be concise, don’t use too much technical jargon and tell us how the solution addresses the problem identified.
  • Don’t just tell us how great you think your solution is, tell us who else thinks it’s great, how many people you’ve spoken to and what feedback you’ve received. Back your solution with evidence where possible.

Don’t worry about having it perfect, in the program we will help you better define your problem and solution and learn more about the market. 

4. Passion

Being a startup founder is hard, and can be overwhelming at times. Health ventures could sometimes take years to enter the market and secure a revenue stream, so motivation, focus and a strong support system can’t be underestimated. 

We want to know what drives you to pursue this project, and what does it mean to you? How can we know that you will be committed in the long run? Why are you or your team the right people to take this product to market?

“Challenging the existing market and making the device available to patients is what drives me forward,” says Lorace Zhang, CEO of Vysum. 

Read more about last year’s Origin pitch competition winner, Vysum, and their origin story here

In your application, be sure to tell us:

  • What makes you passionate and committed to this project, innovation or idea?
  • Why you and why your team?

Here to help with your next steps

Applications to MedTech Actuator Origin close on October 7 at 11:59 pm AEST.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to book a call with the team or me.  We’re here to help.

Or, come along to some of our upcoming events:

Starting a company can be overwhelming and exhausting. But they don’t need to be – connection, community and relationships of support are what make 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, Jay-Nik, and others!

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