The Western Innovation Fellows (MIF) have won a cash prize of $5,000 by landing the runner-up position in the 2021 MSK Innovation Competition.
First launched in the spring of 2019, the MSK competition aims to cultivate innovative ideas that can be pitched to investors and promote an entrepreneurial spirit. The stage of development is not restricted for entrants and anyone on the commercialization path is welcome to participate. The competition is open to all London-based entrepreneurial musculoskeletal experts. The initiative is hosted by the Bone and Joint Institute and the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at Western.
This five-stage competition includes an innovation workshop, submission of initial proposals, selection of teams, a mentorship program for selected participants and a final pitch event. The fellows did extensive research into the user experience of their technology and studied the market potential for the device.
The final pitches were overseen by a panel of judges comprised of a business development expert, an industry executive and a medical professional from the Southwestern Ontario innovation ecosystem.
The team of fellows pitched their project, teleMDview, a technology they are currently developing that provides tele-rehabilitation clinicians with a simultaneous multi-view of their patients. The goal of the device is to provide more accurate and efficient assessments of patients by telehealth professionals.
The presentation to the judges was delivered by Gordon Ngo, though the entire cohort of fellows pitched in to make it a success. They worked together to create a pitch that clearly articulated the value proposition and what makes their solution so unique. The fellows also refined their business model and identified the strengths and weaknesses of their team. Their pitch also explained how they have supplemented any gaps with an advisory board.
”We have picked up valuable knowledge by participating in several competitions during the MIF program. One example includes being cognizant of the critical areas of focus for pitch competitions and developing competition-specific strategies,” said Saumik Biswas, “this has allowed us to be successful in a number of pitch competitions during the program.”
“As well, actively networking and establishing collaborations after the competition can do wonders for a project too.”
The team will use the cash prize to help fund their next batch of prototypes, which will be used in upcoming validation studies with select clinicians and their patients. This is the last pitch competition for the fellows for now, however they are going to continue to explore further funding opportunities in the coming months.