SPARK Melbourne pitch at BIO-Asia/Taiwan Conference

Assoc. Prof Laura Downie's SPARK team was selected to represent SPARK Melbourne at the inaugural SPARK Global pitch session in Taiwan in July 2019. Team member Dr Ruth Park-Jones attended on behalf of the team working on  a point of care medical device for dry eye diagnosis.

Attendee Report 

A SPARK Melbourne delegation attended the inaugural SPARK Global pitch session in Taiwan. Not only did this provide an opportunity to engage with a cohort from the international investment community, it presented a great forum to showcase the benefits of SPARK mentorship through well-developed, investor-ready pitches on Australian technologies.

The pitch session, held as a satellite meeting to the inaugural BIO-Asia/Taiwan conference, was very well attended by representatives of the Asia-Pacific investment sector, selected specifically for their interest in medical technologies. Several leads were identified and are now being followed up. The pitches sparked a vigorous discussion on several topics, including regulatory pathways, and some very useful insights and feedback was provided from the floor.

The corresponding conference, for which attendance was provided complimentary to SPARK pitch teams, was the first time that BIO Taiwan has partnered with the BIO family of conventions, including BIO-Europe, BIO-Asia and BIO), attracting a significant cohort of industry and investment partners. This year, the conference included one-on-one partnering which was fully utilised to discuss the team's technology and other relevant MDHS technologies. 18 partnering meetings were held with key stakeholders from carefully selected companies, to explore partnering opportunities, appetite for funding/support and feedback on the team's technology as well as 8 MDHS technologies in the BD pipeline. Connections were made and are now being fostered, and the team is following up on specific areas of interest expressed by potential partners in these meetings.

Overall, this meeting was productive and a successful endeavour with respect to uncovering new opportunities for partnership and investment. As the only representative of the first SPARK-Melbourne cohort, this was also a great opportunity to showcase the success of this initiative.

Ruth BioAsia

Dr. Ruth Park Jones at SPARK BIO Asia/Taiwan