Being part of Accelerating Australia means that we get to go to many different Entrepreneurial and Life Sciences educational programs across Australia. The educational programs that are now available through MTPConnect are absolutely fabulous. At SPARK Co-Lab you learn about Design thinking as a MedTech innovator, MIME Spark about early stage commercialisation in Life Sciences and The Bridge Program teaches industry standards from a large pharma perspective. I absolutely love to see how these programs create experiential learning opportunities, as well as flow from industry to academia and vice versa.

Last night Kristen and I attended CERI’s Module 2 “Concept to Creation”, a program that helps researchers with an entrepreneurial mindset to identify the path to market for their ideas. Legend John Beech (former CFO of Orbital Engine Corporation, TEC chair and many other things) showed that age was no limit for creating excitement and a “can do” attitude. John is a fervent proponent of the Lean Canvas and especially Ash Maurya’s approach to Running and Scaling Lean.

As usual in CERI programs, John challenged the participants to break the mold. He asked us to step away from the need to know every detail before venturing on a business journey. And it’s true, as scientists, we tend to focus immediately on questions of feasibility when we start a new project. Although this works to our advantage in research environments, we still have a lot to learn about an uncontrolled environment such as the market. John showed us how to think of business as our next research project. Fill in a canvas and make assumptions, then go out and test it. By all means, focus on challenging your assumptions and you have the right mind set to progress. That night, in two hours, 25 businesses were created and all of them were amazing ideas. What are we waiting for? Let the revolution begin.

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John Beech


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