On 1 st February, the Innovation Forum Manchester kicked off its series of IMAGINE IF! 2018 pre-launch events with “Business Essentials for STEM Start-Ups”. For this event, three experienced speakers were able to share their professional expertise and real case studies highlighting opportunities and challenges in the industry. The event was opened by Anastassia Bolotkova, President of the Innovation Forum Manchester, who emphasised the purpose of the Innovation Forum. It is worth mentioning that Innovation Forum is growing considerably across the globe, with new branches being established in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Dublin, Euskadi and Kuala Lumpur.
Peter Brown, who was recently awarded “Best Manchester Mentor” by
Business Growth Hub and RBS Entrepreneurial Spark, gave tips regarding the major steps of setting up a business: having a vision, investing in yourself, choosing your co- founders, hiring the best people and having an innovative idea. Furthermore, he gave us his insight into financing options, and what investors look for in a start-up. Lastly, he emphasised the importance of getting support from various entities to overcome the challenges associated with the lack of entrepreneurship knowledge.
John Bridgeman, Director of Cell Therapy Research at Cellular Therapeutics, discussed the challenges and opportunities for translational science in academia and industry. From his personal experience, he was able to educate participants about the difference between academia and industry in terms of contracts, funding, protection technology or publishing work. Additionally, he talked about the challenges of developing successful cancer therapeutics in academia, and the utmost importance patent protection has when trying to commercialise your idea.
Last but not least, Dom Raban, Managing Director at Corporation Pop, was able to showcase his own case study about engaging with the NHS. One of his projects includes an app for child patients that helps reduce the stress associated with hospitalisation by increasing familiarisation with staff, environments and procedures. His take home messages about engaging with the NHS were to co-design with users, find a key opinion leader who can support you, make a strong business case, but also be prepared for the long game.
Their talks were followed by a Q&A session where participants were able to directly raise questions, and seek advice and answers to crucial questions they had. The evening was closed by a networking event, where our participants had a further opportunity to engage with and talk to our speakers. We are proud that the Innovation Forum’s communication and network can help communities work towards driving innovation.
We thank our very kind sponsors and we are looking forward to organising as successful events in the future. We would like to thank our speakers for such engaging presentations, and of course, all the guests who attended the evening! We look forward to seeing you at our future events!
Our next event, “Pitch in a Pub” will be on the 15th March 2018. We look forward to seeing you there! You can find out more about this event at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pitch-in-a-pub-tickets-42723543268