Medical device start-up NIMo has taken first place at the SPARK Co-Lab 2017 Design Course Pitch Night in Australia, for its wearable technology to self-manage chronic disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
NIMo was one of six teams presenting at SPARK Co-Lab’s second annual Pitch Night, presented by Accelerating Australia.
NIMo’s goal was to create a biomarker-based solution to bring relief to chronic illness patients. With newly-acquired financial and professional support that comes with winning the event, NIMo now hopes to quickly bring its invention to market.
“The standard of innovation on display was high, but the team behind NIMo were worthy winners. Through their efforts, they embody everything that SPARK Co-Lab stands for – collaboration, curiosity, and above all a laser focus on finding a solution to real life medical challenges, in this case inspired by the personal experience of one of their own team members,” Kath Giles, SPARK Co-Lab director, said in a press release.
The six teams presented new solutions for different medical issues. Wearable technology was a central theme of the night, with the three winning teams presenting wearable solutions.
“It was a wonderful event showcasing not only the fantastic work of the teams, but also the amazingly collaborative nature of the biomedical ecosystem here in Perth, nationally and internationally,” said Kevin Pfleger, associate professor and chair of Accelerating Australia’s executive committee.
To participate in SPARK Co-Lab’s Design Course, NIMo founders Amy Finlay-Jones, Robert Pass, Marthe Smith, and Alex Wu spent six months on the project, but they said that the benefits in mentorship, networking, knowledge, and business opportunity were worth the effort.
The SPARK Co-Lab Design Course aims to foster collaborative skills in developing new devices that solve unmet medical needs. In 2017, it was jointly funded by MTPConnect and Accelerating Australia, a nonprofit consortium of universities, companies, and healthcare providers.
The aim of the consortium is to boost biomedical entrepreneurship across Australia with experiential training courses, brokerage, and shared resources. The Design Course is one of the consortium’s flagship experimental training programs.
This year, SPARK Co-Lab received over 90 applications for 30 available positions. In 2016, five medical device start-ups were established as a direct result of the Design Course. A new course, called the Actuator Series, will be launched in 2018 with support from the City of Perth. It is designed to provide early-stage researchers and entrepreneurs with a guided pathway to securing licenses or funding for their discoveries.