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ICURe Discover helped me understand the commercial potential of my technology

ICURe Discover helped me understand the commercial potential of my technology

Sylwia Barker, a research fellow at the University of Southampton, tells us about her experience on the Innovate UK-funded ICURe Discover programme and how it’s impacted her outlook for the future of her business idea, microVita, who are developing a biotech solution for drug testing and evaluation using living tissues.

“It can typically take over $1bn and ten years of research to bring a single drug to market. This is largely due to a lack of reliable data, especially at the early stage of the drug development process. microVita aims to solve this issue by providing a comprehensive biotech solution that delivers high-value data from living tissue samples. Our technology simulates a physiological environment where we keep that tissue alive and obtain quantitative metabolic data. This data can lead to the early identification of disease biomarkers and result in more effective decision-making and improved outcomes in the preclinical stage of drug discovery.”

What were your main takeouts from the ICURe Discover programme?

Deepened my understanding of the product–market fit

“Through the programme, I met with large pharmaceutical companies, which enabled me to gain a better understanding of how our technology can fit within the market. It gave me a taste of how our technology can be used and how we can turn this idea into a reality. It helped identify what features we must develop for this to be a commercially viable product.”

It’s okay to be out of your comfort zone

“Doing the customer interviews was something I’d never done, and it was quite daunting but I ended up actually quite enjoying them! It gave me confidence in the fact that I can run the business side of our technology.”

How to articulate the business idea

“The fact that ICURe Discover is a programme designed for Technology Transfer, it meant that it had specific advice that could be used immediately. I quickly learned the distinction between the ‘features’ and the ‘benefits’ that our technology brings, helping me to communicate the business in a more meaningful way.”

Would you recommend the ICURe Discover programme?  

“Yes, absolutely! I’ve already been recommending the programme to my colleagues. It’s been so beneficial to gain an understanding of what is required to validate our technology with the market. It’s great that it’s a part-time programme too. It requires a lot of work, but for me, it’s a good bridge, which has now led on to the ICURe Explore programme, which will enable me to take the commercialisation of this technology much further.”

“Most importantly, it has also instilled confidence in me. I’m now ready to have even more business conversations about microVita.”

Find out more about ICURe Discover

 

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