Developing an artificial kidney and its components will require agile and collaborative thinking. At the February 17 webinar, experts in investment and serial entrepreneurship discussed taking innovations from the lab to the marketplace and the unique considerations involved.

The speakers included:

  • Jeff Dunkel, Chief Strategy Officer of Government, Regulatory, and Strategic Initiatives, Mindset Medical
  • Vinit Nijhawan, Managing Director, MassVentures

Following the discussion, the speakers answered questions from the audience. Replay the webinar and read on for highlights from the live event.

What advice would you give to teams in the Artificial Kidney Prize?

“Most big innovations are starting to come from the intersections of disciplines. At a very high level, I love the intersection of computing and biology. It’s starting to create all kinds of interesting medical devices, diagnostics, and even therapeutics that are bringing solutions to unmet needs.”
Vinit Nijhawan

“I always think you need to start at the end point and then work your way toward the question. It can be incredibly complex just figuring out what the problem is. Now that we understand that, how do we get to the solution?”
Jeff Dunkel

What are three things that can set innovators apart during early stages of development?

“Especially for those in the early research phase, focus on your science, technology, and intellectual property. Those are the three things that you just have to hammer down. Number two is stay grounded — we have to learn how to get up, and we trip and fall. Finally, you have to figure out a balance between how to push and when to push, and when to be patient.”
Jeff Dunkel

“Being very clear about your go-to-market strategy is an important component for these early-stage science/engineering projects. The second is getting your intellectual property right, making sure you have data and the go-to-market strategy. The team is also very important. One of the reasons we were successful in launching so many of these spin-outs is that we found or we matched entrepreneurial champions with the innovators and the scientists.”
Vinit Nijhawan

Explore teaming opportunities in the global competition

Success in the Artificial Kidney Prize will require a breadth of expertise, and KidneyX encourages entrants to consider collaborating with each other or expanding existing teams. The KidneyX solver community brings together experts in blood filtration, miniaturization, sensors, and more. Members receive regular updates with the full list of solvers and their contact information.

Enter Phase 1 by March 24

Phase 1 of the competition advances innovative component or integrated solutions that replace, regenerate, or compensate for loss of kidney function. This first phase seeks demonstrated scientific and technical proofs of concept with detailed development plans. Submissions are due by 4:59 p.m. ET on March 24, 2021.

Subscribe to the KidneyX newsletter and follow KidneyX on Twitter to receive updates on the Artificial Kidney Prize and other KidneyX prize competitions.

Sign up for the KidneyX newsletter