Cicada MedLab x IDE

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IDE Design & Entrepreneurship Group Leader, Willem Van Der Bijl visited Cicada Innovations in Sydney to discuss their new initiative: MedLab. Cicada MedLab is a four month mentor- driven accelerator for early start MedTech businesses. Cicada will choose six candidates and provide them with $50K for 5% shares, as well as $200K in partner benefits. We spoke to Willem to discuss MedLab and the important role it will play for early stage MedTech ventures.

All MedTech businesses have to start somewhere. How important are the services MedLab is offering for start-ups looking to grow their business?

In 2016, Cicada partnered with NSW Health to create the Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program: a mentoring program aiming to equip Medtech start-ups accross NSW with commercialisation skills. Cicada are building from these foundations with the MedLab accelerator program- a more permanent, supportive service for star-tups. The resources MedLab are offering will not only offer businesses a head start in the industry, but will prepare them for success in global markets.

How will the program support MedTech Startups?

I think the program is a way for start-ups who have an idea to receive the relevant support and push to find new networks and develop their business, the services Cicada are offering are clear and applicable. The six chosen candidates will have the opportunity to take the first steps forward in putting time into their company or investing freely without having to participate in difficult pitching processes. The Candidates will get a head start in the game, get their foot in the door of the MedTech industry.

What role will IDE play in the Cicada MedLab process?

MedLab have asked IDE to aid in mentoring the six companies. We have introduced Cicada to our mentors: Richard Sokolov, founder and director of IDE, as well as Design & Entrepreneurship Leaders Eric Siu and Chris Krainer. The importance of IDE mentoring is that no matter who the six chosen companies are, IDE can offer the knowledge or skills they may need at any point in the process, we have a multidisciplinary team. We can help businesses with the product development plan,  provide design, useability, engineering or electronics expertise. Our entrepreneurial services will allow us to help start-ups in building their company, building a structure.

IDE group are further contributing through guest speeches, we have proposed a number of topics from product development planning and risk management to prototyping. IDE will also play a role in selecting the candidates that will embark on the MedLab journey.

What were your main takeaways from the MedLab introduction event?

I was most interested to see which start-ups showed interest: there were a number of companies that have already formed that just needed that extra push, as well as single persons with an idea.

This will also benefit our team at IDE, who will gain first-hand experience with new entrepreneurs and that we can partner with on their commercialisation journey.
If you are interested in participating in MedLab, see the website for more information and to submit an application: