Published: 24 May 2021
Three MedTech firms funded by the NIHR and SBRI Healthcare put their best feet – and products – forward at a special collaborative showcase designed to help them attract future investment.
SurePulse, Alphabiomics and Dynamic Health Systems were among the small- and medium-sized (SMEs) companies shortlisted to present their inventions in front of an elite audience of industry experts at the online event hosted by We are Pioneer Group (WAPG) in partnership with NIHR, SBRI Healthcare and Innovate UK.
The pitch exercise was designed to mirror the challenge SMEs with promising MedTech, Diagnostic and Digital Health products face when seeking private investment.
The SME’s presentations were the culmination of The Investment Readiness Programme, which gave training and development advice to businesses who had received funding from the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme and AI in Health and Care Award, SBRI Healthcare or Innovate UK, and who were considering raising future investment of between £100,000 and £2 million.
Platform for success
SurePulse, a Nottingham University spin-out and joint venture with the Simpatica Group, has developed products to optimise the monitoring of newborn babies, while fellow i4i Connect grant recipient AlphaBiomics invented a diagnostic tool to improve the treatment of patients with chronic inflammatory disease. Dynamic Health Systems, which received funding from SBRI Healthcare, launched a digital platform that sets patients personalised health goals and, through data sharing, builds intelligence for clinicians and care teams to focus on those in need.
James Carpenter, SurePulse Chief Executive, said: “The Investment Readiness Programme allowed us to go through our pitch in detail to work out what an investor actually wanted to see and look at it from their perspective.
“This gave us more confidence in preparing and delivering our pitch, thinking like an investor, and tailoring our pitch and presentation to answer any questions to suit.”
AlphaBiomics Chief Executive Anthony Williamson added: “We have learned so much from connecting with and listening to fellow entrepreneurs, the challenges they face and the creative solutions they find to move their businesses forward.”
New joint Director of the NIHR’s i4i and SBRI Healthcare programmes Professor Mike Lewis said: “The pitches delivered at the Investment Readiness Programme Showcase demonstrated the superb quality of technological innovation and entrepreneurial expertise that NIHR, SBRI Healthcare and Innovate UK support.
“The programme is a great platform for gathering innovators and investors, providing an excellent opportunity for funders to work collaboratively to support companies with promising technologies to attract follow-on funding. The ultimate aim being accelerating innovation into the NHS and wider market for increased patient benefit.”
Held on 22 April, the event concluded with an afternoon panel discussion with guest speakers Elliot Street from surgical device manufacturer Inovus Medical and Jane Theaker from the research and diagnostics company Kinomica. They were joined by Dr Claire Brown, Investment Director of WAPG, the largest innovation ecosystem, integrating venture development, investment and real estate for the life sciences industry, and shared valuable insights into what investors look for.
This was the third time the NIHR and SBRI Healthcare have run the Investment Readiness Programme Showcase with Innovate UK and a first time collaborating with WAPG.
Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi, Venture Development Manager at WAPG said: “Our partnership with NIHR, SBRI Healthcare and Innovate UK is based upon a shared goal of supporting life science innovation; the Investment Readiness Programme is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through a collaborative approach.
“Early stage investment is notoriously difficult to secure, so creating links between funders and founders is essential. We were thoroughly impressed with not only the calibre of the participants but the progress that each company made throughout the programme.”