MedTech SuperConnector (MTSC), the startup business accelerator led by Imperial, is recruiting researchers for a technology-led venture programme.
MTSC offers postdocs and exceptional PhD candidates with an early-stage medical device, diagnostic tool or digital healthcare solution the opportunity to get their technology to those who will benefit from it the most.
MTSC is inviting early career researchers with an interest in applying to the programme’s latest cohort to a workshop on Wednesday 10 July at 17:30 in the Enterprise Lab on Imperial’s South Kensington Campus. The workshop will give applicants the opportunity to learn more about the programme, ask questions and meet other enthusiastic med tech entrepreneurs.
The deadline for applications is Sunday 21 July 2019.
MTSC helps early career researchers from eight partner institutions develop business-focused and entrepreneurial skills, at the same time as realising the commercial potential of technologies from their research group. A place on Cohort 3 will provide salary replacement for eligible researchers to take eight months away from the lab to develop a business venture in healthcare, as well as entrepreneurship masterclasses, specialist advice and business mentoring, access to co-working spaces, incubator / accelerator facilities and industry networks, as well as an allowance of up to £45,000 for travel & consumables.
In just over a year, MTSC has established itself as a significant player in the UK’s community of entrepreneurial healthcare researchers
says Dr Simon Hepworth, Director of Imperial’s Enterprise Division. “This innovation programme is designed to help you build a product that meets an identified demand, by supporting you to get out of your lab, and perhaps your comfort zone, and into your market. This is a great opportunity to develop your own skills and join a vibrant and expanding multidisciplinary network of academic and business specialists, including researchers at partner institutions from previous cohorts who are already becoming successful entrepreneurs.”
Benefits for Principal Investigators (PIs)
All applicants must secure support from their PIs to take part in the programme. PIs benefit from the scheme in a number of ways, including new ways to demonstrate the impact of their research, opportunities to fast-track technologies coming out of their labs, and increased commercial awareness in their research group. The accelerator also provides a budget for prototype development and salary replacement for researchers released onto the accelerator.
Impact from MTSC
Ventures from Cohort 1 include an AI platform for assessing musculoskeletal disorders, paper sensors to detect sepsis in hospital patients, and a better way of controlling robotic limbs by using muscle vibrations. They have gone on to compete successfully for funding, with Unhindr, which produces the world’s first AI-adjusted prosthetic device, being featured by MedCity as Company of the Month in April 2019.
Unhindr has also benefited from MTSC support after Cohort 1 had formally completed, with CEO Ugur Tanriverdi being matched with consultant vascular surgeon Joseph Shalhoub from the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as part of a collaboration with the Royal Society of Medicine to pair MTSC ventures with ‘super-user clinicians’.
“This partnership enables us to work together to bring basic science closer to a transitional arena, and that’s very exciting”, says Tanriverdi, who is also a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering. “Joseph is now our clinical advisor and is helping us prepare for clinical trials as well as academic research. It is a fantastic opportunity to have an experienced advisor who is also a surgeon involved.”
MTSC launched in 2018 with funding from Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund. Led by Imperial College London, partner institutions include Queen Mary University of London, Bucks New University, Francis Crick Institute, Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Veterinary College.
MTSC forms part of Imperial’s expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem to support staff and students in translating their research into tangible benefits for society, building on the College’s Techcelerate programme for postdocs to pursue business ideas. MTSC shares its novel approach to acceleration through a real-time knowledge exchange programme, including evidence-based analysis, tools and resources.