Innovation Academy Student Wins Netherlands Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship Award

Posted on: 03 August 2012

Innovation Academy and Bioengineering PhD Student at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Stephen Sheridan, was awarded first prize in the annual Entrepreneurship and Technology Venturing Summer School Enterprise ‘Pitch’ competition at Twente University in the Netherlands recently. Stephen won the award based on his presentation of his novel business model outlining the creative application of the technology behind his research.

Stephen’s bioengineering research is in the field of vascular tissue engineering, creating bypass grafts custom built from a patient’s own cells to bypass blocked arteries in the heart. His winning business concept is the provision of a ‘pre-clinical laboratory test bed tool’ for the development of catheter based vascular medical devices. This represents a physical and functional replica of an artery in which novel devices in the early stage of the Research and Development cycle can be evaluated for safety and efficacy, without the need for costly and inefficient animal trial data on the device performance. This tool can accelerate the route to market for such medical devices with a lower risk of device failure, therefore bringing efficiencies of cost, quality and time to the medical device industry. While this research is a rapidly developing field, it is still some way from clinical success. 

All participants in the competition final of the action based entrepreneurship education workshop, had to pitch their business plan using the skills they had learned over the week to an expert panel of investors, who work collaboratively with Twente University Venture Lab. Run by the Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship and Technology Venturing Summer School takes on  graduates and those changing career direction, who are interested in starting or accelerating their own high-tech business.