Great ideas can come from anywhere. They often come from personal experience and an understanding that things can be done differently. Those working in healthcare settings are well placed to see where innovation can support their colleagues and improve services.
The challenge is often knowing how to take this idea and develop it into a workable, evidence-based solution with the potential to deliver outcomes in real-world practice.
Health Innovation East partnered with Cambridge Judge Business School Entrepreneurship Centre and Idea Space to deliver a Venture Creation Weekend for clinicians and allied health professional innovators.
The programme included an orientation weekend to support aspiring entrepreneurs to explore the possibilities and, with the input from experienced mentors, take the first steps towards creating a new venture with the potential to redesign the future of health.
The programme covered key themes related to the innovation landscape including medicine, technology and the built environment. Delegates were matched with potential founding team members in a supportive, safe but challenging space to explore and validate their ideas.
Through workshops and mentoring sessions, teams were guided through the process of capturing an idea’s potential and value, developing and experimenting with innovative business models and preparing their first pitch.
After the orientation weekend, the budding innovators were able to access Venture Creation Labs – a mix of informal online and/or face to face mentoring and peer review sessions – designed to help the teams build momentum and develop the skills and networks they need.
The inaugural Venture Creation Weekend supported 30 delegates and created eight teams. Each team left with a clear and compelling way forward for having the identified small but meaningful action steps.
A survey of delegates found all respondents rated the workshop sessions ‘5/5 – Excellent’, and all believed that “the right amount of time and support was given”.
“The learning experience alongside thought leaders at Cambridge’s global epicentre of innovation and excellence was invaluable. Bringing together both early-stage and commercialising concepts broadened my thinking about the roadmap ahead and maintained my focus on the end-user.” – William Mark, entrepreneur and trainee doctor
“Throughout the two days you’re getting real-time feedback from the Health Innovation East team and the business experts from the Judge. For me, it was that fast iteration whilst you’re still at the idea stage that made the experience challenging but also so useful. The bringing together of external innovation and funding organisations also furthered my network, and horizons, within the Cambridge ecosystem. In summary it was a great weekend that I’d thoroughly recommend.” – Stanley Dale, academic and Venture Creation Weekend attendee
One aim of the Venture Creation Weekend is to be the first step in each delegates’ innovation journey. This proved to be the case as many entrepreneurs have continued their journey:
“Learning through experience is the best way to learn and that’s what practically the program offered: lessons on fundamentals in venture creation, on-the-spot coaching and valuable feedback on pitching. I was very lucky to take on my learnings and put them forward to the Accelerate Cambridge Program to continue working on my entrepreneurial journey.” – Ibrahim Emam : BioSpeak solutions
If you would like to find out more about future Venture Creation Weekends and other innovator masterclasses, you can register for our mailing list now. To discuss this programme, contact Philip Shelton, Principal Advisor – Commercial Lead, Health Innovation East by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.