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Medical device start-up NIMo (Non-Invasive Monitoring), creators of a wearable technology solution for the non-invasive self-management of chronic disease, has taken first prize at the SPARK Co-Lab 2017 Design Course Pitch Night, presented by Accelerating Australia.

With their focus on a biomarker-based solution to bring relief to sufferers of chronic illness such as inflammatory bowel disease, NIMo was one of six teams who presented at SPARK Co-Lab’s second annual Pitch Night event, competing for a prize pool of financial support and professional services to help them further their efforts to bring their inventions to market.

Runners up Biacor presented AbYWinTM, a proprietary diagnostic tool to identify early stage infections after orthopaedic joint implants. The six teams presented new solutions for a range of medical issues, which also included bowel cancer detection, the prevention of pressure sores, rehabilitation compliance after joint replacement surgery and the diagnosis of movement disorders. Wearable tech was a key theme of the night with three of the six teams showcasing wearable devices.

Top prize winners NIMo walk away with $5,000 in-kind services from Wrays, $3,000 in-kind services from Ernst & Young, regulatory advisory sessions with Anthea Downs, scholarships to CERI courses, tickets to AmCham events, tickets to AICC events and 50% off AICC memberships. Second prize winners Biacor will receive $2,000 in-kind services from Wrays, $2,000 in-kind services from Ernst & Young, regulatory advice and CERI scholarships.

SPARK Co-Lab’s Design Course is a program that gives researchers and innovators the skills to collaborate to develop a new medical device that will help solve a previously unmet medical need. In 2017, Accelerating Australia funded the SPARK Co-Lab Design Course in collaboration with MTPConnect. The SPARK Co-Lab Design Course is one of Accelerating Australia’s flagship experiential training programs.

This year, SPARK Co-Lab received more than 90 applications for the 30 positions available in its 2017 Design Course. In 2016, SPARK Co-Lab’s first Design Course resulted in the establishment of five medical device start-ups. SPARK Co-Lab’s new course offering, the Actuator Series, will commence in early 2018 with support from the City of Perth. It has been designed to provide medical researchers and early-stage entrepreneurs who already have great ideas with a guided pathway to securing a licence or funding for their discovery.

SPARK Co-Lab Director Dr Kath Giles said that NIMo was a deserving recipient of the Design Course Pitch Night prize. “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 a real life medical challenges, in this case inspired by the personal experience of one of their own team members.”

Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger, Chair of the Accelerating Australia Executive Committee, said of the Pitch Night: “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.”

The opportunity to be part of SPARK Co-Lab’s Design Course represents a significant commitment of time, focus and dedication over the six-month course duration, but NIMo founders Amy Finlay-Jones, Robert Pass, Marthe Smith and Alex Wu all agreed that the outcomes in terms of mentorship, networking, knowledge and business opportunity were worth the effort.

The six teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges from leading international life sciences consulting and investment firms BioScience Managers, Capital Technologies, Cook Medical and Parexel International. US Consul General for Perth Rachel Cooke provided the opening address.


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