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16 entrepreneurs were given the platform to realise their ambitions by exhibiting and pitching for significant investment to develop their innovative ideas and push them out to a wider market.

The merging of the pioneering medical and tech industries has created a wealth of opportunities, which is something the inaugural Med Tech Investment Showcase explored yesterday (2 March) in London.

Healthcare innovators have the power to improve and save lives by developing products such as prosthetic limbs and wearables for conditions such as respiratory attacks and hip fractures.

Taking these innovations to the next level by securing funding is a fundamental requirement for success. This is the aim of Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and SETsquared, who have joined forces along with the AHSNs from across the south, to help entrepreneurs change lives for the better by holding this showcase event.

The ingenuity of these innovators means there is now a range of products and designs that will positively impact on an individual’s quality of life – and in some cases could even save them.

Some of the businesses who pitched at the showcase include:

  • Open Bionics – which turns children with limb disabilities into bionic superheroes
  • Fourth State Medicine – which has created a wrinkle-busting plasma pen which can also be used to treat ulcers, burns, bed sores and military wounds
  • Jupiter Diagnostics – which has developed a method for faster and cheaper blood testing, using a low-cost handheld reader delivering results in ten minutes
  • Propagator Ltd – which is developing a suite of digital products to improve the lives of the 15m patients in the UK with long-term conditions and save costs for healthcare providers

The businesses pitched to 100 angel, venture capital and corporate investors at the showcase led by Wessex AHSN, with global leading university incubator SETsquared.

Nicola Blackwood, Minister for Public Health and Innovation said: “It’s fantastic to see Wessex AHSN and others playing such a proactive role in identifying and supporting the type of innovations that can deliver tangible improvements in productivity and patient outcomes.

The event illustrates exactly why we see AHSNs as such a crucial part of the system in driving innovation throughout the DNA of the NHS – ensuring that patients and health and care services benefit from the latest advances in medical science.’’

Frank Ratcliff, senior project manager – wealth and enterprise at Wessex AHSN, said: “The Med Tech Showcase was a great success and demonstrated the work that both Wessex AHSN and SETsquared are doing. We want to support UK companies to grow, while getting better outcomes for patients, and better value for money for the NHS. We support companies with products at any stage –  from ideas on the back of an envelope, right through to full-scale use, and today’s event was an important part of that support process.”

Daniel Jones, of online investment platform SyndicateRoom, said: “The start-up companies I saw exhibiting and pitching were very innovative. The technologies have a huge range of applications outside of the med tech sector as well, and are addressing large markets – which makes them very interesting.

“It’s also such a great opportunity for these companies to pitch to such a wide variety of investors.”

The investors were specifically looking for products and services that can save the NHS money while also offering a broad commercial appeal – with excellent prospects to make a financial return.

The showcase was also supported by AHSNs from the West of England, Kent Surrey and Sussex, and the South West.

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