MedTech’s Got Talent

In it’s 5th year, MedTech’s Got Talent is Australia’s largest medical device accelerator program. The program is a unique entrepreneurship challenge supporting emerging entrepreneurs to develop and refine skills in pitching a business concept, developing a technology roadmap and launching commercialisation activities for their medical technology innovations. There is no charge to participate, and participants tap into real resources (money, expertise, network) to ideally position themselves for start-up success.

The Actuator

The story of The Actuator reaches back to 2005, with its foundations proudly rooted in STC Australia – a deep tech, state-based incubator located in Melbourne, that went on to become Australia’s most successful deep-tech commercialisation centre. Over a 12-year period, STC successfully enabled the commercialisation and exit of 54 companies, raised over $400 million in capital, created 800 jobs and worked strategically with over 1000 Australian startups.

Building upon this history and unrivalled track-record of achievement in stimulating high-tech and medtech ecosystems, drawing on and strengthening our successful team and capability, and augmenting our proven approach, The Actuator was launched in 2018.

The Actuator, a not-for-profit entity, is Australia’s premier medtech commercialisation initiative – priming, augmenting and developing our state-based innovation ecosystems through a nationally-focused strategy.

The Actuator employs a unique, powerful and differentiated approach that:
• is industry-led;
• activates players across the entire innovation spectrum;
• augments local ecosystems; and
• fosters an unwavering technology commercialisation focus.

Wherever an idea or venture is on the commercialisation pathway, The Actuator has a program designed to smooth its journey and accelerate its development, setting a new standard for medtech commercialisation, and catapulting Australia into its rightful place at the head of the global innovation race.

Meet our Actuator Rockstars

Our rockstar team are passionate, seasoned entrepreneurs, with significant experience in catalysing and supporting new MedTech ventures. They have a proven track record in nurturing fledgeling entrepreneurs into successful MedTech companies, so are certainly well equipped to take your startup from napkin sketch to seed investment.

Dr. Buzz Palmer (CEO)

Buzz is a passionate technologist, and one of Australia’s leading and most visible voices in entrepreneurship and MedTech innovation. He is a dynamic business leader with a stellar track record of entrepreneurial success in medical technologies and biotech. Buzz enjoys mentoring early stage companies execute on their strategy and venture investment...but be willing to buy him lots of tea.

Dr. Vishaal Kishore (Deputy-CEO & CSO)

Vishaal is an expert in health system innovation and transformation. He is Professor of Innovation & Public Policy at RMIT University – where he works on major healthcare and urban innovation initiatives. He also regularly advises governments, NGOs and corporates in respect of strategy, public policy and innovation.

Harvard-trained, Vishaal has served as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health & Human Services; Director for government strategy within EY’s management consulting practice; and an M&A lawyer at Mallesons and Freehills.

Sabeen Shaikh (COO)

Sabeen Shaikh is a visionary and strategic business leader, who is well-known and highly-accomplished on the global platform. She is the Chief Operating Officer of The Actuator and brings a wealth of experience from the corporate side of the medical device industry. Sabeen is passionate about disruptive technologies and healthcare access to underserved populations, as well as partnerships for innovative approaches in the market.

Sabeen mentors various global start-ups and her personal passions include social entrepreneurship projects in the Asia-Pacific region. She continually furthers herself via executive education with institutions that include Harvard and INSEAD.

Johnny Mang (CIO)

Johannes Mang is a strategic business and product executive with over 14 years of experience in the interactive entertainment industry, the last 6 of which in GM and COO roles covering both live services and new product development. He has a background in strategy consulting and scientific research and holds a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics and an MBA from INSEAD.

Kaushalya Gunatilaka (Head of Business Development)

Kaushalya is passionate about improving the healthcare of humans and likes to be at the forefront of innovation in the sector. She works closely with industry experts to understand the latest opportunities and challenges, and implements strategic, effective and innovative solutions.

Jamal Elsheikh (MTGT Program Manager)

Being a founder of an award-winning start-up, Jamal is known to be a social entrepreneur and a visionary business leader. He holds an MBA degree from Monash University and a degree in Mechatronics Engineering from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Prior to joining the Actuator, Jamal spent over 7 years working for major corporations such as Philips and GE. Today, Jamal offers expert optimization insights and conducts business analysis processes for start-ups.

Sebastian Gomez (Finance Manager)

Sebastian had experience working for several companies in areas such as finance and strategy.
He is passionate about new technologies and disruptive technologies that can have a positive impact in people’s lives. He holds an MBA from Monash University and a post graduate degree in corporate finance.
He loves sports and social development projects.

Michelle Kleynhans (Head of Programs)

Michelle is a passionate technology nerd who loves working with startups that are solving global MedTech challenges. She is always up with the latest trends, and loves a good chat/brainstorming session - especially if good food is involved!

Meet our 2018 Melbourne Rapid Fire Round Mentors

Mentoring from the best product developers and commercialisation experts in industry.

James John

Senior Consultant, Planet Innovation

Adrian Crouch

General Manager, Procept

Richard Stephens

Business Development, Hydrix

Joe Barber

Commercialisation Advisor, Accelerating Commercialisation & Angel Investor

Rod Wiebenga

Head of D+I, Melbourne

Dr Nic Woods

Health Industry Executive, Microsoft

Joelle Hawa

MTGT Program Manager, The Actuator

Meet our 2018 Sydney Rapid Fire Round Mentors

Mentoring from the best product developers and commercialisation experts in industry.

Rosalyn Harcourt

Customer Solutions Partner - Enterprise Medical, Johnson & Johnson Medical

James Macnaughtan

Director New Ventures, Cook Medical

Prajni Sadananda

Manager - Business Development & Strategy, Medtronic

Paul Moutzouris

CEO & Director, Ingenuity Electronics Design

Benjamin Ford

R&D Manager, Ingenuity Electronics Design

Richard Sokolov

Director, IDE Group

Dr Greg Roger

CEO, Vestech

Dr Buzz Palmer

CEO, The Actuator

Meet our 2018 National Gala Finals Judges

The gatekeepers to up to $10,000 and a spot in our 6-week pre-accelerator.

Dr Dan Grant

Dr Dan Grant is the CEO of MTPConnect with more than 25 years experience in the pharmaceutical, higher education and medical research sectors. Dr Grant was previously the Pro Vice Chancellor for Industry Engagement at La Trobe University. He was the Senior Director and Head of Pfizer's External Research and Development for ANZ/Singapore.

Denise Brotherton

Denise Brotherton is a senior Tax partner based in Melbourne. Denise leads EY’s Melbourne Life Science Tax team and is part of the EY Australia Health and Life Science leadership team. Her clients rely on her to have an in depth understanding of their business operations and stakeholder needs in order to provide proactive and relevant tax advisory and compliance services, including co-ordinating tax projects across multiple tax disciplines and regions.

Dr Greg Roger

Dr Greg Roger has a long history of medical device innovation including the Active Knee prosthesis and RCI Screw for ACL Reconstruction, both used worldwide over three decades. He founded and listed Allegra Orthopaedics Ltd and recently Vestech Medical, helping inventors and start-ups in the field of medical device innovation.

Dr Kate Cornick

Dr Kate Cornick is the CEO of LaunchVic, the Victorian Government’s startup development agency. Kate is deeply passionate about the role of innovation in our economy and society, and has considerable experience in technology innovation across start-ups, academia, corporates and government. Kate sits on a number of boards including the Victorian Government Innovation Expert Panel, The Charles Sturt University Council and the AIIA Victoria Council.

Matthew Clunies-Ross

Co Founder and managing partner of Artesian Capital Management and Artesian Venture Partners. CIO of European, pan Asian and Australian corporate bond trading strategies at Artesian Capital Management since 2003. Prior to working at Artesian was co head of bond trading and sales in London for ANZ.

Kathy Connell

As Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s Senior Director of New Ventures, Kathy has personally overseen 50 collaborations with Australian researchers, biotechs, entrepreneurs and governments attracting many millions of investment dollars to Australia. An inspiring leader and natural networker, Kathy has worked tirelessly to promote global business development for the Australian life-sciences sector. Kathy is also a passionate advocate for Diversity & Inclusion, and is generous in her mentoring, sponsoring and advising women in STEM.

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AC

Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AC is a General Medical Practitioner in Victoria, Australia. He has been President of the Australian Medical Association, the Chair of the Council of the World Medical Association and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare as well as an Health Reform Commissioner and former Head of Clinical Leadership, Safety and Engagement at the National eHealth transition authority. He sits on Boards including beyondblue, Brain Injury Australia, Cancer Council Victoria and still work in general practice and in his health innovation centre: www.cirquithealth.com.au

Mary Canning

Mary Canning started her career in the medical industry in 1991 with VitalAire Healthcare where she held various positions including Regional Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Manager and Director of Operations. In 2006, Mary joined Medtronic as Business Manager for the Sleep Therapy & Diagnostics division. In 2007, Mary moved into marketing as the Director of Marketing for Respiratory & Monitoring Solutions and expanded her responsibilities to the Medical Supplies, Gastrointestinal & Hepatology and Retail divisions. In August of this year, Mary joined the Diabetes division as Business Unit Director for ANZ. Mary holds a BSc in Psychology and a diploma of Respiratory Therapy.

Steve Barsh

Steve Barsh is a Managing Partner at Dreamit Ventures, a US-based early-stage venture fund. Steve has over 30 years of experience leading, launching, and working with entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and physicians. He has helped launch over 100 companies that generated over $1B in enterprise value.

Meet our 2018 Industry Mentors

Mentoring from the best in industry.

Caroline Carnegie

Partner (Corporate), K&L Gates

Elane Zelcer

Accelerating Commercialisation

Steven Wulff

Partner (IP), K&L Gates

Matt Godden

Managing Director, Australian Healthcare Solutions

Michelle Gallaher

The Social Science

Dr Greg Rogers

Founder & CEO, Vestech

Michelle Carr

MM Consultants

Nick Connell

Consultant, Brandwood Biomedical

Nairy Baghdikian

Director, Cogentum

Derek Carroll

Partner & Creative Director, Truly Deeply

Rachel van Ketwich

Grant Ready

Carolyn Crawford

F2F Communications

Meet Our Startups

These startups are doing cool things. And they are MedTech’s Got Talent alumni.


Adaptive Headphones

Synchron Med - Smart Stent

The first endovascular neural interface


Pathology specimen 3D scanner

MedCorp Technologies

Drug delivery and monitoring wearable


Re-imagining the Cochlear implant

Stat Innovations - Eyenaemia

Anaemia diagnostic app


A sensor system for walking frames to prevent falls for seniors


Clinical task platform


Cloud-based stethoscope and non-contact thermometer


Telepresence robot to help people with disability


Preventing cancer treatment side effects

Horus AI

Improving healthcare with artificial intelligence solutions


Sensor enabled nasogastric tube and monitoring system