Brisbane start-ups wow global investors

Brisbane MedTech businesses have won international recognition, and piqued the interest of investors, after securing top prizes at a shark-tank style pitch challenge in San Francisco.

Two members of Brisbane Economic Development Agency’s (BEDA) MedTech Accelerator cohort – Field Orthopaedics and Max Kelsen – took out gold and bronze in the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge at the Redefining Early Stage Investment Conference (RESI), powered by Life Science Nation.

The challenge, run during the famed JP Morgan Health Week, attracted more than 500 global investors - providing significant exposure to early-stage ventures seeking strategic partnerships.

Teneriffe-based company, Field Orthopaedics impressed the panel of seasoned investors and industry experts to secure the top prize for their innovative surgical screws and nails for treating complex fractures.

Meanwhile, Max Kelsen, headquartered in Spring Hill, claimed bronze with its machine learning solutions that are transforming the way scientists store, analyse and work with data to fast-track vital research.

Microbio, creator of a rapid test for sepsis – a reaction to infection that claims millions of lives – also received a special mention prize.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said it was fantastic to see home-grown talent making an impact overseas.

“We’re seeing a new wave of innovation roll over the city, with local talent driving advances that could save lives, improve patient outcomes, and make healthcare faster and more convenient,” Cr Schrinner said. 

“The outstanding success of our local start-ups, in a competitive global market, is a testament to the quality of the research and development that’s happening here in Brisbane.

“Getting recognised as a leading innovation hub is important for the future of our local economy because it will attract more businesses, create more jobs and help Brisbane get even better.”

Brisbane Economic Development Agency CEO Anthony Ryan said the extraordinary success of the cohort was proof Brisbane is setting the pace for innovation in Australia.

“Brisbane has a long and successful history driving world-class innovation with leaders like Professor Ian Frazer, founder of the Gardasil cancer vaccine, paving the way,” Mr Ryan said.

“We hope these connections result in fresh investment, to help bring these amazing products onto the market sooner, while supporting jobs and better resources to grow this vital industry in Brisbane.”

Field Orthopaedics CEO Patryk Kania said support offered through BEDA’s MedTech Accelerator would help the company take the next steps in its commercialisation journey.

“We now have a framework for approaching capital raising and have benefited from exposure and mentorship from both international and local industry leaders,” Mr Kania said.

“Being an early-stage company is not easy, so to be supported by BEDA with a program like this has been invaluable.

“As a young company, we aspire to commercialise and internationalise our current and future products so they can benefit patients globally. We hope the recognition from San Francisco will help us achieve this.”

Max Kelson’s Digital Health Lead and Product Manager for PROPeL, Navid Toosi Saidy said the company was now well positioned to expand its presence in the US and unlock access to global markets.

“BEDA’s MedTech Accelerator has given us the boost to develop our product pitch for visibility on the global stage,” Dr Toosi Saidy said.

“We are incredibly humbled by the enthusiastic reception our technology received.”

Leading Brisbane MedTech companies - Clinials, De Motu Cordis, Laronix, Microbio and Midnight Health were also awarded finalist seats and were successful in attracting global investor and partner interest. 

BEDA’s MedTech Accelerator supports the growth of local industry by empowering business leaders to globally scale and acquire funding through strategic pathways.

The cohort will continue to engage with strategic partners and investors with, eevi and TickerCardiology also due to join the RESI BIO conference in Boston later this year.

Program facilitator, US-based Life Science Nation CEO Dennis Ford said Brisbane was growing its global reputation as a modern city supporting key growth industries like MedTech.

“We’ve seen a growing number of Brisbane businesses producing innovation of high efficacy and calibre and the global community is taking notice,” Mr Ford said.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with BEDA to help bring more Brisbane-made products to the global market.”

Scientist at Vaxxass Brisbane