Innovative healthcare entrepreneurs gather at Hartham Park

Budding healthcare innovators from the West of England learned how to take their cutting-edge technology and business ideas to the next level when they met at in Corsham last month.

Four-day West of England Healthcare Innovation Programme for health professionals, health and life science academics and small businesses, was delivered by university business incubator SETsquared in partnership with the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN).

The intensive course took place at The Corsham Institute, based at Hartham Park and provided 14 healthcare ventures with the skills to take their innovative proposals to business realisation.

Delegates took part in sessions that covered customer analysis, funding strategies, building a business case and market analysis. In addition the AHSN addressed a specific module around working with the NHS.

Each applicant was required to bring a clear business proposition or innovative idea that has an application in the healthcare sector, and can bring substantive results.

The course opened up new opportunities for innovators who are passionate about taking their business proposition forward, and to commit to delivering it for their organisation – which could be a health and social care provider or commissioner, SME or social enterprise.

The course concluded in each entrepreneur pitching their innovation to a panel of judges, which included the likes of Deborah Evans from the West of England AHSN, Gill May from Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group, Guy Rooney from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Mike Jackson from Webstart, to receive real time feedback on their proposals.

Colin Austin, from P.S.P.S. U.K. Ltd who took part in the West of England Healthcare Innovation Programme, said: “This course well exceeded my expectations. All the information given to me during these four days will be crucial for the next milestones of my business and to ensure its success. West of England AHSN and SETsquared provided me with great insights and support.”

Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, said: “We’re delighted to be able to deliver this world class training programme again in Corsham with the West of England AHSN.

“The calibre of innovators that we’ve seen this time has been as high as ever and we were very impressed with each of the participants’ passion for bringing substantive benefits to the healthcare sector.”

Elizabeth Dymond, Deputy Director of Enterprise from the West of England AHSN said “As we know, selling into the NHS can be quite hard for SMEs, but we’ve helped them understand who their potential customers may be within the NHS and whether their propositions are ready for this. I’m looking forward to continuing our support to our participants and seeing how their products mature.”

SETsquared, the world’s number one university business incubator, joined forces with four Academic Health Science Networks in the South and West of England in 2014 to set up the revolutionary new programme that could see more effective and better value healthcare technologies benefitting patients quicker than ever.

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