Author: Benjamin Chimukangara - 2019-10-01Tweet
This exciting, two weeks course in Australia, included about 35 participants from across the globe, with Ben Chimukangara and Thulile Nhlapo from KRISP, Durban. The course involved intense classes from various experts that ranged from scientists, to business entrepreneurs, and intellectual property (IP) lawyers.
This course provides postgraduate students and early career scientists with an understanding of how biotechnology projects (including medical devices, food science & general medical science) and companies are created, established, managed, advertised and funded in order to develop the students creative, innovative and entrepreneurial skills. This year's 7th Annual Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Course was held at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney, Australia, between the 26th of August and the 6th of September, 2019.
The participants were grouped into nine teams of at most 4 people and each team was tasked with coming up with a new and innovative idea of a company, by identifying a problem, the solution, milestones to development of a product, handling IP, a marketing strategy, description of competitors, seeking investment, prediction of the returns on investment, and an exit strategy.
Towards the end of the course, each team presented their company and product in a 15 minute pitch to the SPARK Global Meeting attendees, as if pitching to a large multinational company or venture capital firm.
Ben's group presented on developing an assistive device that helps children with cerebral palsy associated dysphagia, and Thulile's group presented on a new strategy for rapid treatment of Tuberculosis. Both Ben's and Thulile's groups received special recommendations on their group presentations from a team of experts that acted as judges for the final pitches.
'The Bio-innovation and Entrepreneurship course was a very productive and life transforming experience, that taught me how to come up with innovative ideas and develop them to become a product or service. The most important, take-home messages for me was that, you should start with the end in mind, and always be ready to pivot.' - Dr. Benjamin Chimukangara
KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).