MedTech Actuator Origin Semi-Finalists Announced

Twenty impressive teams recently battled it out at the MedTech Actuator Origin Rapid Fire Rounds, pitching their ideas to improve and save lives through health innovation. Ten teams took out top place and are now progressing to the Semi-Finals.

The ten emerging stars will experience industry-led mentoring and education, turbocharging their ideas and taking them closer to making their entrepreneurship ambitions a reality.

Contestants include clinicians, researchers, and students who are working on MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech innovations that patients need and clinicians want. They’re pioneering in diverse fields spanning respiratory disease, heart disease, sleep, mental health, epilepsy, brain tumours, stroke, lumbar punctures, glaucoma and more.

What’s at stake?

The teams will join MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars next week for a three-day intensive sprint exploring the Australian healthcare ecosystem and how to take their startup to market.

Industry mentors, MedTech Actuator alumni and ecosystem leaders will share their knowledge and insights with the teams, pressure test their projects and guide them in refining their business models.

The experience will culminate in the MedTech Actuator Origin Semi-Finals next Wednesday evening where teams will compete for a place in the MedTech Actuator Showcase. At the Showcase teams will have the chance to win $15K prize money, fast-tracked application to MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator – and in-kind support valued at $5K.

Welcome To Our Semi-Finals Contestants

We are excited to announce the ten teams participating in the MedTech Actuator Origin intensive sprint and Semi-Finals. We wish each of these rising stars all the very best in their pitch and beyond in their endeavours to improve and save lives.

  • Anura (CAHM) | Jessica Anderson, William Symington, Elamathi Arivukkan Venugopal, Phoebe Lewis, Rebecca McCormick | Anura is developing CAHM, a wearable device that monitors lung function during daily activities to facilitate early treatment for respiratory disease flare-ups, preventing severe illness and hospitalisation.
  • Cardiopin | Farhad Goodarzy, David Kaye, Andi Partovi | Cardiopin is developing a novel, in-home monitoring system for congestive heart failure, using easy-to-access biomarkers like voice recordings and weight measurements.
  • Circadian Health Innovations (The Melanopic Eye) | Rowan Page, Elliott Wilson, Andrew Phillips | Circadian Health Innovations are developing the Melanopic Eye, a light sensing wearable that guides people to healthy light for better sleep, mental health, and general wellbeing.
  • Nuroflux | David Almeida Cardoso, Sam van Bohemen | Nuroflux is a wearable, continuous brain-monitoring device for stroke patient management.
  • SimpleSense EEG | Sebastian Corlette | SimpleSense EEG is making high-quality electroencephalogram possible for any patient, at any time.
  • SoundMind | Pete Field | SoundMind is focused on improving your sleep performance so you can reach your greatest human potential.
  • Spira Health (Aeolus) | Joseph Po, Tony Pang, Jason Jin, Jake Harris | Spira Health is developing Aeolus, a device that trains the muscles of the throat and is designed to empower people with obstructive sleep apnoea to proactively improve their sleep, allowing them to make the most out of their day.
  • Think Global Project | Anushi Rajapaksa, James Friend | Think Global Project has developed a novel acoustic nebuliser for rapid lung delivery of life-saving biomolecules against infectious respiratory diseases in children.
  • Vause Medical (LumVi) | Trinh (Mara) Quach, Shelby Marie Holland, Alexandra Wigley, Amanda Druk, Michelle Callow | Vause Medical is developing LumVi, a medical guidance system that helps clinicians choose the correct puncture point during a lumbar puncture.
  • Vysum | Lorace (Tianshu) Zhang, Darren Tan, David Lin, Isaac Ho, Aryan Motevali | Vysum aims to develop a handheld device to make eye drop administration more convenient for glaucoma patients, improving treatment compliance and preventing blindness.

About MedTech Actuator Origin

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

Meet Makenzie – Program and Community Coordinator

MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator Makenzie Thomas brings her passion for entrepreneurship, startup ecosystems and supporting founders to delivering MedTech Actuator Origin, and the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and Fellowship programs.

Makenzie’s international experience spans Europe, Australia, and Canada – working in project management, marketing, business innovation, academic research, and creative and cultural entrepreneurship.

MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021.
Makenzie with Maria Pelipas – MedTech Actuator, Emily Casey – What The Health and Bonnie Zhang – TRAM, University of Melbourne at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021.

Makenzie draws on this international experience to deliver MedTech Actuator Origin – an idea pitch competition – and the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and Fellowship programs – supporting researchers alongside the Menzies Foundation to transform their impact.

“My role covers everything from rolling out application campaigns to participant experience, to program delivery. I also look after our community and its activities,” says Makenzie.

“From one day to the next I could be writing communications, drafting social media visuals, developing program strategy, jumping into workshops, providing pitch feedback to founders, working with our network of inspiring speakers – it is quite a mixed bag!”

Cheering on founders

Working with founders is a real highlight for Makenzie in her role.

“They’ve got such a unique energy that becomes the foundation upon which they build their startups.

One thing I love about my role is that we’re right there with them, celebrating the small wins, cheering them on as they pitch (over and over) and guiding them in the right direction.

It takes so much to go from idea to successful startup and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

The ecosystem, accelerator programs, like MedTech Actuator, and their own personal networks are essential to success.

Being a part of this world and being able to have an impact across a number of founder journeys is my why. It’s the reason I’m here at MedTech Actuator.”

On the horizon

Makenzie says that there’s a lot happening in the MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech space, especially in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region.

“I’m entering this corner of the entrepreneurship world with fresh eyes and I know that the ecosystem is growing and seeing some big wins. I’m really excited to learn from MedTech Actuator, the innovation ecosystem and the amazing founders coming through our programs.

The ecosystem is channeling a lot of this energy into supporting and nurturing female founders as well. The State of Australian Startup Funding 2021 report published by Cut Through Ventures and Folklore noted that from 2020 to 2021, funding events involving at least one female founder rose by 1%, leaving a whopping 81% of deals for all-male founding teams.

It’s disappointing, to say the least, but it is a huge challenge facing the whole industry and it stems from a number of systemic issues. Considering that MedTech Actuator supports and works closely with so many inspiring female founders, we’ll be doing more to amplify these stories, share the wins, demand space for women at the table, and open our calendars to early-stage female founders, researchers, and clinicians so that these numbers can continue to shift in the right direction.”

Meet our team

Get to know how others in the MedTech Actuator team are supporting Asia Pacific’s next wave of health innovators:

MedTech Actuator Origin is back – apply today!

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur with a MedTech, BioTech or HealthTech startup idea? Apply now for the 2021 MedTech Actuator Origin!

All superheroes have a beginning and so do startup founders. Transform your idea or research with MedTech Actuator Origin – a two month early-stage entrepreneurship competition that will help you translate your concept into an impact orientated health venture.

Whether you’re a researcher, scientist, clinician, student or garage inventor, MedTech Actuator Origin is looking for passionate entrepreneurs to transform healthcare. Apply today!

The MedTech Actuator Origin experience

Delivered in-person and online, MedTech Actuator Origin is open to Australian health entrepreneurs and will run from October to December 2021. Our experts will pressure test your idea and expose you to the world of startups through:

  • Workshops – gain insight into what it takes to protect your idea and learn how to craft a prize-winning pitch.
  • Rapid Fire Round – pitch your concept to a panel of industry leaders and peers, putting your idea and pitching skills to the test.
  • Mentoring – receive tailored mentorship from industry experts who will help you bring your MedTech, BioTech or HealthTech innovation to market.
  • Access to the MedTech Actuator knowledge hub – commercialisation 101 curated content for researchers and medical professionals turned entrepreneurs.
  • Sprint Intensive – access a 3-day sprint intensive where you’ll dive into the world of entrepreneurship and commercialisation, including workshops, founder stories, panel discussions, activities, and heaps more!
  • Pitch Competition – bring together all your ideas in a short, 3-minute pitch to a select panel of judges to earn one of three places at the MedTech Actuator Showcase, a $15k cash prize and over $5k worth of in-kind prizes.
  • MedTech Actuator Showcase – pitch your idea to the ecosystem at the MedTech Actuator Showcase, a black-tie gala event for investors, industry-leaders, corporate partners and global MedTech companies.

The Origin winner will take home $15k in cash and have the opportunity to be fast-tracked through the application process for the MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator – moving your product even closer to market.

Meet Amy Yu – MedTech Actuator Origin alumna

Photo of Amy Yu in MedTech Actuator superhero tee, Melbourne lane way by night.
Amy Yu, MedTech Actuator Origin alumna & Ventora Medical CTO.

“Ventora Medical spun out of the BioDesign Innovation program at the University of Melbourne. As soon as we graduated in 2018, we entered MedTech Actuator Origin. For Ventora, MedTech Actuator Origin really was the first point of validation from the MedTech entrepreneurial community in Melbourne. We were lucky enough to get through each round and be selected as a top five finalist.

You don’t know what you don’t know, and MedTech Actuator Origin taught us just that. At the bootcamps we took that all in, like sponges, and learnt so much from MedTech Actuator. This was backed up by networking with people who helped us achieve all of those unknowns and hit milestones.”

– Amy Yu, MedTech Actuator Origin alumna and Ventora Medical CTO, Forbes 30 Under 30

Key dates

  • Applications open: 6 Aug – 30 Sep
  • Finalists announced: 1 Oct
  • Online MedTech Actuator Origin Workshops: 7 Oct
  • Rapid Fire Round Pitch: 21 Oct
  • Mentoring and Sprint Intensive preparation: 22 Oct – 15 Nov
  • Sprint Intensive: 15 Nov – 17 Nov
  • Semi-finals Pitch: 17 Nov
  • MedTech Actuator Showcase and Finals Pitch: 9 Dec

Apply now

Are you ready to transform your idea and build your origin story – or do you know someone who is? Find out more about MedTech Actuator Origin and apply today.