Nurturing the next generation of MedTech entreprenuers

Ben Wicks

Previous employee

Earlier this month, I attended the Panacea Stars Bootcamp, a 4 day event for emerging technology entrepreneurs that was held in Oxford. I was invited by the Bootcamp organisers to come and talk to their medical technology entrepreneurs about direction setting and concept development.

Early on the Saturday morning, as I drove across to Oxford, I found it hard to believe that 20 years had passed since I wrote up my PhD and took my first job as an R&D scientist for diagnostics company Celsis in Cambridge. Less than a year into my PhD I had realised that academia wasn’t for me; instead I was hungry to apply the science I’d learned to developing products.

…the sessions had been so engaging, so productive and devoid of inhibiting formality.

The entrepreneurs in Oxford were all equally passionate about science and business, specifically about creating products and services to make healthcare better. They sat attentively and most stayed awake during my talk. After lunch I had the privilege of spending several hours coaching and mentoring the management teams from two of the companies. They were young, energetic and passionate, and the time I spent with each of the teams flew by in a blizzard of questions and relentless desire to learn more. The experience was energising and humbling, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Driving back to Cambridge I was reflecting on just why the sessions had been so engaging, so productive and devoid of inhibiting formality. My conclusion was that we all shared a common love for science and business, underpinned by an inquisitive hunger to find out more. It’s great to play even a small part in helping Panacea Innovation to nurture a new generation of ever-more talented entrepreneurs.

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