The Clinic: Enabling health innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship
There’s an extraordinary space, located in the Health Sciences Library within the McMaster University Medical Centre, built with passion to develop, inspire, and mentor the next generation of health innovators and entrepreneurs.
The Clinic, a 3,000 sq ft innovation hub, was made possible by generous gifts from Michael G. DeGroote and Dr. Marnix and Mrs. Mary Heersink in partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The Clinic equips emerging health inventors with education, resources, and support to move innovations forward. The Clinic brings together students, staff, faculty, and entrepreneurs to explore innovative ideas with the potential to change the face of health care.
The Clinic’s offerings range from supporting undergraduates as they navigate entrepreneurship as a potential career choice, through to clinician entrepreneurs and researchers creating start-up companies from their labs and commercializing inventions.
The Clinic Program Manager Fiona Bergin says, “We recognize everyone’s journey from innovation to commercialization is different. Each inventor has the opportunity to customize their innovation road map to best support their unique needs and path to commercialization.”
The Clinic’s programs and mentoring network are led by a stellar team of McMaster faculty, all health innovators themselves, sharing the passion to coach and mentor other health innovators through their entrepreneurial journey to commercialization.
“We have gathered a strong team. Each person brings unique knowledge and skills contributing to the vision and mission of The Clinic,” says Dr. John Kelton, executive director, Michael G. DeGroote Initiative for Innovation in Healthcare. He adds, “Collectively, this team is committed to establishing McMaster University as a leader in health innovation and developing health entrepreneurs in Canada.”
Innovators coming through The Clinic can expect to grow their critical networks and connect with other health entrepreneurs, receive coaching and mentorship to work through any roadblocks, and get the support needed for next steps towards commercialization.
The Clinic includes a central collision space well equipped for innovators to make themselves at home to connect and network with other health entrepreneurs. Breakout rooms and a boardroom are available for private team meetings, with each space equipped with the latest technology to facilitate information sharing. The Clinic is powered by a leading automation system to facilitate the use of lighting, projectors, screens, and video conferencing hardware from a touch screen.
Although The Clinic space fosters learning and inspires entrepreneurial spirit, it’s the success stories coming out of The Clinic that are truly remarkable.
The Clinic’s inaugural 2020-2021 Residency supported McMaster homegrown, health innovators like Lianna Genovese, CEO of ImaginAble Solutions.
Lianna, invented the first prototype of Guided Hands™, developed in her first year of the Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences program at McMaster University. Her invention uses a 3D-printed ergonomic handpiece to enable people with reduced fine motor skills, due to a range of physical challenges, to write, draw, or use a tablet or computer.
To continue developing her invention and move towards commercialization, Lianna came to The Clinic in 2020 for coaching and mentorship. She started with the Health Ventures Program and followed with the 2020-2021 Clinic Residency. Connecting at The Clinic helped Lianna learn valuable insight to move her innovation forward and hit key milestones for her start-up company.
Lianna says, “The Clinic’s Residency program not only helped my company ImaginAble Solutions grow, but also helped me grow as a leader and CEO. I was surrounded by fantastic mentors who guided me and connected our team to industry leaders who answered all our burning questions,” she adds, “With the support from the Residency program, we transformed Guided Hands™ into an international award-winning product, facilitated pilots with occupational therapists, sold product across North America, positively impacting the lives of others.”
Lianna graduated in June and has received much well-deserved recognition, accepting several awards including the prestigious James Dyson Award.
Lianna currently works in The Clinic assisting with various program initiatives, offering a unique perspective to the team. She also hosts Connections @ The Clinic, networking events bringing together fellow health innovators, with projects in various stages of development, to hear about challenges, lessons learned, and successes from other health innovators. Connections @ The Clinic, and other mentoring events, provide the ideal networking opportunities for aspiring health innovators.
The future of innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship at McMaster is bright.
The Clinic is currently taking applications for the 2022-2023 Residency. To learn more about Residency or how The Clinic’s coaching and mentoring network can help you move your health innovation towards commercialization, visit healthinnovation.mcmaster.ca.Health Innovation