Life Science Nation & Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) Equals RESI Success

23 Feb
Miriam Kent
Interview with Miriam Kent, General Manager, Business Growth, Trade and Talent, Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA)

By Caitlin Dolegowski, Marketing Manager, LSN

Caitlin Dolegowski

Life Science Nation (LSN) worked with the Brisbane Economic Development Agency and their MedTech Accelerator cohort in a hybrid Entrepreneurial Education program that culminated at RESI JPM San Francisco. We talked with Miriam Kent, General Manager, Business Growth, Trade and Talent at BEDA to learn more about their take-aways from the education course and RESI conference and hear what is next for the MedTech innovation coming from Brisbane.

Caitlin Dolegowski (CD): Introduce us to Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) and discuss your focus in the life science industry and how the MedTech Accelerator cohort came to be? 

Miriam Kent: General Manager, Business Growth, Trade and Talent at Brisbane Economic Development Agency: As Brisbane’s champion, BEDA works to enhance and promote the city’s reputation globally, drive visitation, and attract investment and talent in key growth industries.

We support domestic and international investors with full market entry and expansion strategies, while supporting local businesses to scale globally and grow through our accelerator programs.

BEDA’s MedTech Initiative is designed to elevate our exceptional local talent, to attract international investment, and fast-track life-saving medical products to the market.

Brisbane has a strong track-record for innovation thanks to our world-class research institutes and universities. We’re supporting the next generation of companies to stand out in a globally competitive market, to foster fresh developments and discoveries.

CD: BEDA brought a MedTech Accelerator cohort to work with Life Science Nation (LSN) in a hybrid (virtual and in person) educational program and wrapping the program at RESI JPM San Francisco, can you tell us about the startups that attended? 

MK: A rapid test for sepsis, a bionic voice box, and an inhaler for anaphylaxis are just some of the life-changing healthcare innovations produced by the Brisbane cohort.  We were extremely proud to see two Brisbane companies take out gold and bronze in the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge.

Field Orthopaedics impressed the panel of seasoned investors and industry experts to secure the top prize for their innovative surgical screws and nails for treating complex fractures.

Meanwhile, Max Kelsen, claimed bronze with its machine learning solutions that are transforming the way scientists store, analyse and work with data to fast-track vital research.

Leading Brisbane MedTech companies – Clinials, De Motu Cordis, Laronix, Microbio and Midnight Health were also awarded finalist seats and were successful in attracting global investor and partner interest.

CD: Congrats to the BEDA cohort who did very well in the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge at RESI JPM San Francisco, taking 1st and 3rd place! What aspects of the LSN educational program were most useful to help get the companies ready for JPM Week and pitching at RESI? 

MK: While these businesses are experts in their fields, knowing how to pitch their idea and who to pitch to on a global stage can be a challenge for some early-stage ventures looking to secure investment. With the support of Life Science Nation, our cohort members have been able to create strategies and connections to advance their global fundraising campaigns in a pivotal international market.

Throughout the program, the cohort has also benefited from mentorship from peak bodies like Life Sciences QLD, industry leaders like Vaxxas and ASX-listed Microba, as well as advice from local investors and venture capital groups.

CD: The educational program also featured executives from leading MedTech firms such as Stryker and Philips; how do you think their contributions shaped the success of the cohort at RESI JPM? 

MK: Insights shared by global leaders like Stryker provide invaluable context and underline the importance of a refined and strategic funding campaign.

Stryker’s recent investment in Brisbane’s Herston Quarter health precinct will help drive medical technology, innovation, and collaboration to improve patient outcomes and solidify our city’s capability and reputation as a global science and research leader.

CD: Did the mix of virtual content over several months and in-person tutoring at the start of the JPM Week work well? 

MK: The mix of virtual and in-person content ensures we can deliver an intensive, comprehensive learning experience, in a convenient way for leaders with busy schedules.

It is exciting to see the discussion and collaborations across continents.

CD: What is next for BEDA’s MedTech Accelerator cohort? 

MK: The feedback we’ve received has been hugely positive and we look forward to working with a new cohort for year two of our MedTech Accelerator in 2023.

The outstanding success of our local start-ups, in a competitive global market, is a testament to the quality of the research and development that’s happening here in Brisbane.

We’d like to thank Life Science Nation for partnering with us to support this vital industry.
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