Last night I was at the Royal College of General Practicioners (no, this isn’t a career change). I was actually there to pitch as a finalist in the MedTech competition run by MedCity and the Design Council. It felt like a sped up version of Dragons Den, minus the cash; not my standard Tuesday evening, but maybe it should be.
MedTechSouthEast has been designed for medtech entrepreneurs to help us develop effective, usable and commercially successful health technologies that can support older people or those with debilitating medical conditions to lead more independent lives. The 10 winners will take part in an intensive accelerator programme led by design experts and medtech industry leaders. The MedTechSouthEast accelerator programme will give teams a practical, thorough understanding of how to use design to fast-track the commercialisation of their innovations. We will also learn how to better plan, prototype and effectively communicate our products, maximising impact and managing risks.
A judging panel led by Roger Highfield (science journalist, broadcaster and DEA at the Science Museum) selected 10 winners from the companies who pitched, and I was honoured to be one of them. The most valuable outcome is that I will now receive exclusive mentoring from one of Design Council’s leading Design Associates to develop and commercialise the walking aid kit.
To add to this unusual evening, I picked up an Evening Standard on the train journey home to see an article about my project in there!
The BPMA Design Awards is an annual competition which seeks innovation for the promotional products industry. The brief outlines the need for commercial viability and brandability of the design and the main requirement is that it is suitable for low-cost manufacture.
The nine competition finalists met at the 3M innovation centre to discuss their concepts and take a look at some of 3M’s most successful designs. The designer’s concepts were exhibited at the 2013 Trade Only National Show which was the perfect opportunity for networking with manufacturers and seeking potential sponsorship and clients.
The competition then took the final designs to Marketing Week Live 2014, which was another valuable opportunity for the designers to share their concepts and prototypes with the public and engage with businesses who would potentially market their products. The competition as a whole is a brilliant way to learn first hand about the steps involved with taking a product to market and it provides the finalists with some great networking opportunities.