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18 innovative Aussie medtech startups vie for a piece of $1 billion investment pie


Eighteen entrepreneurial Australian medical technologists recently revealed their world-first healthcare innovations at the 2017 Cicada Innovations Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program (MDCTP), in front of funding heavyweights with collective $1 billion funds under management looking for the next wave of world-leading medical breakthroughs.

Run in conjunction with the NSW Office for Health and Medical Research, the Program already boasted 32 graduates who in just 18 months went on to create 9 new companies, raise $15 million in private and public funding, and achieved 6 career changes from academia to industry.

Graduates of the 2017 program, along with NSW Medical Device Fund finalists, are now eligible to apply for an upcoming closed-door Shark Tank-style investor pitch event, where medtech VC’s and Angels with collective $1 billion funds under management will review investment opportunities, including Brandon Capital, OneVentures, and BioScience Managers.

Cicada Innovations 2017 graduates
Cicada Innovations 2017 graduates

What is the MDCTP program aimed at?

“The MDCTP was designed to bridge the gap between medical device research and its commercialisation in NSW, but the groundbreaking nature of the innovations being accelerated by the Program means it will have real impact for healthcare on a global stage,” said Petra Andrén, CEO of Cicada Innovations.

“In this sense, the Program is helping to put Australian medtech on the map, by tapping into Australia’s groundbreaking research from our world-leading universities, research institutions, and clinical visionaries to improve quality and longevity of life globally.

“It’s no surprise we’ve begun to receive interest from some heavy hitters in the Venture Capital and Angel investing scene, as there is simply no other program in Australia generating these types of results,” concluded Petra Andrén.

Cicada Innovations MDCTP 2017
Cicada Innovations MDCTP 2017

What has this program produced in the past?

Past MDCTP graduate projects have included Project Geldom, a hydrogel condom developed to minimise the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases by enhancing sensation for users, and which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

One of the 2017 graduates, Trimph, has developed a world-first dental glue that will be the first bone graft substitute on the planet that can be applied in liquid form, halve patient recovery time, eliminate the need for subsequent invasive surgeries, and which requires no specialised preparation or additional surgical expertise by medical professionals.

Others are seeking to cure prostate cancer, launch a neuro-prosthetic exoskeleton to allow paraplegics to walk unassisted, and increase the chances of selecting healthy eggs in IVF treatment, to name a few of the graduates’ achievements.

Graduates will be assisted in product development by some of Australia’s leading medical device design firms, be guided in IP strategy and filing by one of Australia’s largest IP firms, Davies Collison Cave, and have access to leading regulatory specialists.

They will also receive the opportunity to join the Cicada Innovations incubator, and receive travel scholarships to validate their business model in overseas markets.

The MDCTP Showcase was held at Cicada Innovations in Eveleigh, Sydney on 31 May.