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SPARK Co-Lab actuates a new series at a brand new startup location

Charlie Gunningham
Charlie Gunningham

With its roots at Stanford University (who gave us Google, Yahoo! Instagram, Snapchat & Coursera among others) SPARK Co-Lab has launched a free weekly series to help medicos commercialise their research

Driving past the newly renovated IQX building in Crawley, you can sense something is afoot. For those of you who got a sneak peak at the building last year, and saw the plans, it was clear the University of WA was making a bold move.

Established in 2016 by Brandon Capital’s Kath Giles and brothers Peter and Adam Santa-Maria, SPARK Co-Lab provides programs aimed at helping medical researchers commercialise their ideas. It is based on the same concept at Stanford University, where Associate Professor Peter Santa-Maria spent some time a few years ago.

In 2018, the “SPARK Co-Lab Actuator Series” includes free weekly interactive talks – taking a break during school holidays – aimed at providing medical researchers and early-stage entrepreneurs with a guided pathway to securing a license or investment funding.

Four events have already happened, with three of the next four occurring at the IQX (Innovation Quarter UWA) Building itself. While the building is newly restored and rebranded, the building itself is a local landmark, being the former Masonic Hall on the corner of Stirling Highway and Broadway. Built in 1935, it has a distinctive Egyptian art deco facade with traditional masonic columns.

IQX has been designed to facilitate connections and collaboration between researchers, students and industry.

SPARK Co-Lab actuates a new series at a brand new startup location
Artist’s impression of the soon to be finished IQX in Nedlands

The ‘X’ in the name refers to its location at the crossroads of an emerging ‘innovation corridor’ along Stirling Highway and Broadway – with CERI, Bloom nearby, plus some of Australia’s best medical and scientific research centres at the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre.

Supported by the City of Perth, the Actuator Series will be run free of charge, and will be open to anyone with an interest in strengthening WA’s medical and biotech innovation capabilities, from students and researchers to startup veterans.

While the curriculum of the Actuator Series has been designed to complement the SPARK Co-Lab design course, completion of the design course is not required to take part in Actuator, and nor is participation in the Actuator Series a prerequisite to apply to the design course. Participants will benefit from exposure to industry-leading mentors, and form networks to help their research become realised, with the aim of building an ecosystem and forming bridges between universities, industries and investors.

Next SPARK Co-Lab Accuator Series events

Thu 29 Mar 5:30pm – Regulatory Affairs Strategy for Medical Devices
IQX UWA – Innovation Quarter Co-Working Space, 8 Broadway, Crawley

Thu 5 Apr 5:30pm – Regulatory Affairs Strategy for Pharma
IQX UWA – 8 Broadway, Crawley

Thu 12 Apr  5:30pm – Engaging Investors for MedTech Entrepreneurs
Ernst & Young, Perth

Thu 3 May 5:30pm – Assessing the Market: Determining the Market Opportunity
IQX UWA – 8 Broadway, Crawley

Events continue after this, every week, except for school holidays.

For BOOKINGS – see Eventbrite



Find out more about IQX and Spark Co-Lab.

SPARK Co-Lab actuates a new series at a brand new startup location

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Charlie Gunningham

Charlie Gunningham

Former co-founder, GM, CEO Business News and Accelerating Commercialisation adviser. Charlie has spent 20+ years in Perth's startup scene, as founder, mentor, adviser, writer and investor. There's nothing he likes more than helping early stage tech startups ... and drinking coffee, shiraz or playing in a blues band. Email Charlie here.
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