I N N O V A C I Ó N
E N S A L U D
2nd edition of the Binational Health Innovation node launched
What is I-CORPS
I-Corps is a methodology developed by the U.S. National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency whose
goal is to foster progress in science and health.
This methodology is used to help researchers who wish to market their technology, by testing it on the potential market.
They are guaranteed a better - than-80% success rate for entrepreneurial projects , compared to others who follow a traditional method or path.
Therefore, I-Corps makes it easier to create technology -based startups.
EGADE Business School
Tec I-Corps Challenge
At the end of 2015, with backing from CONACYT, this method is added to EGADE Business School, through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. The main requirements for participating projects were a technology base and social impact.
The idea was not only to develop ideas and projects with potential but also to encourage a focus on community benefit.
The Tecnológico de Monterrey Office of Technology Transfer was central to the alliance formed, selecting eight projects that made up the first class.
There was also a team of associate instructors: 5 from the ITESM and 2 external, who were trained in the method.
The method is based on interviewing customers, suppliers, and experts, to identify the problems or needs that might be fixed by technology and the possible solutions through products and services, or some combination of the two.
For seven weeks , the team is in contact with potential customers, partners, and competitors, to learn how to manage uncertain situations about marketing a technological innovation.
The team begins with a hypothesis to be tested and develops a process that helps it make decisions based on market behavior.
The program is an interactive process that includes activities outside the classroom, including carrying out interviews, mainly with potential clients and industry players who help identify the problems and the current situation.
Fifteen interviews a week are expected, making up 100 by the end of the program.
The team members will be working from 6 to 8 hours a week.
The program began with a three-day workshop in the EGADE BS Monterrey facilities.
Later, 5 online sessions were held (Webex).
At the end, a two-day workshop was given in Monterrey, covering lessons learned.
NODO Health Innovation Startups Look to Commercialize their technology
During the closing seminar and the Binational NODO Health Innovation program’s graduation, the 22 participating teams presented their project findings and their plans to commercialize their technology within the medicinal, biotechnological and nanotechnological fields.
NODO wants to influence the startup generation and the application of scientific research in Mexico, promoting a practical focus among researchers aimed at innovating and resolving social issues.
Mexico City, 30th June 2017
The closing seminar and the Binational NODO Health Innovation program’s graduation, were held on the 29th and 30th of June. The entrepreneurial program dedicated to the creation of Startups within the health sector in Mexico using I - Corps methodology is a multi-institutional effort by the EGADE Business School at Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), the Independent University of the State of Morelos and the UNAM Biotechnological Institute. During the seven-week duration of the program, the 22 teams have validated the viability of their projects in the market by interviewing various potential clients about the commercialization of their innovations in the health sector.
Dr. Fernando Moya, the Project Leader and Director of the Executive MBA at the EGADE Business School, described the program as very satisfactory . “ This project is just beginning, and it is now time to start thinking of how we can grow it for these companies and products to help generate a knowledge-driven economy in the country”. He also underlined the benefit for the students at the EGADE Business School, who have the opportunity “to participate in highly technological undertakings and innovations, and to interact with researchers from all four institutions, which will contribute immensely to their training and increase their chances of success when bringing it to the market”.
Dr. Teresa de León, the Technical Secretary of the Technological Innovation Fund, and Director of the Technological Commercialization of Conacyt, explained that “ through the use of I - Corps, this Initiative aims to educate, train and raise the awareness of scientific personnel on the commercialization of technology. This is the beginning of a watershed that we hope to achieve, with scientific personnel beginning to talk about the market, industry, strategic allies and production processes.”
“ We hope that by these scientific personnel incorporating these elements that allow them to provide relevance to their technological developments, we will be able to better manage the risk of the projects that we receive in Conacyt or other existing funds and provide participants with the instrumentation they need to Increase the value of their initiatives to trigger high value business ideas said Dr. León.
Dr. Gerardo Corzo from the UNAM Biotechnological Institute, stated that the program had been very revealing. “Addressing a real - life situation has helped us to analyze the market from the customer’s perspective and opened up our business level. We have realized that, within the pharmacological development sector, there are areas of opportunity to create manufacturing organizations that are dedicated to taking on projects, evaluating them and proposing an infrastructure to generate a sellable product.
Each of the 21 participating teams is made up of a research professor, a research assistant, a post-graduate student and an I-Corps mentor.
Dr. Fátima López, the Head of the IMSS Technological Innovation Division, an institution which participated with 6 innovation projects across different therapeutic areas, said that “ the program has increased the researchers ’’ knowledge of unknown areas and they have learned about the value of their innovations in the market. This program complements the innovative strategy initiated by the IMSS almost 4 years ago, where one of the objectives was to look for an opportunity in the market and a confirmation of the research. Additionally, we have also identified the necessary steps to achieve successful licensing and industry interest in the acquisition of these technologies”.
Marta González, a participating student from EGADE Business School on the “ Intelligent White Stick” project, affirmed that “ I - Corps was a great opportunity to learn a methodology that really works. We learned to understand people , and that was really rewarding as it made us improve our product to have a worldwide impact”.
Mario , a researcher who is developing a respiratory illnesses diagnostic test ( Team 11 ) , stated that “ the experience of participating in the Binational NODO Health Innovation program was rewarding in both terms of learning and team work, as every team member played an important part in the development of the process. As researchers, we now know how to tackle issues from a business perspective”.
The program’ s graduation ceremony took place in the Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Congress Hall at their Santa Fe campus, concluding the validation process of the business models of the various projects in the medicinal, biotechnological and nanotechnological fields.
The program has I - Corps instructors appointed by the National Science Foundation in the United States along with EGADE Business School teachers, to help train and educate the teams on the methodology.
Beyond the conclusion of the program, NODO wants to influence the creation of startups and the application of scientific research in Mexico, promoting a practical focus among researchers aimed at innovating and resolving social issues.
The program has I-Corps instructors appointed by the National Science
Foundation in the United States along with EGADE Business School
CASES OF SUCCESS COHORT 2017
Smart White Staff for the Blind
Principal Investigator: Ana Gabriela Gallardo Hernández
Institution: Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS)
Student (S): Martha González Gorgonio (EGADE-ITESM)
Mentor: Roland Von Blücher
Device that attaches to the white canes that provides security to the blind and visually impaired in their movements.
Detects through three sets of ultrasonic sensors obstacles in the floor ( steps and irregularities in the floor ), at the height of the waist and up to the user's knees and in the area near the head.
Achievements after the I-Corps Program:
Development of the first functional prototype.
First prize in the category of " Go to Market " of the Pitch Workshop before Investors organized in the framework of the INCMty event. With this funding , 10 functional prototypes have been acquired to carry out validation tests.
Neuroprotective polymers for spinal cord injury
Principal Investigator: Dra Hermelinda Salgado Ceballos
Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS)
Investigator 2: Dr. Rodrigo Mondragón Lozano
Student (S): Luis Alberto Alvarez Becerra (EGADE-ITESM)
Therapeutic strategy consisting of pyrrole polymer with neuroprotective properties, preventing the cells of the nervous system from dying and with neuroregenerative properties , repairing the damage pro duced by a spinal cord injury.
Achievements after the I-Corps Program:
Preclinical trials in primates continue.
Second prize in the category of "Scientific and Social Impact" of the Pitch Workshop before Investors organized within the framework of the INCMty event. With this funding, progress has been made in preclinical trials in the second animal species.
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos Equipment
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jorge A. Reyes Esparza
Mentor: MBA Eduardo Durón Araujo
Entrepreneur: Jaime Aguilar Interiano
Investigator 2: LF Gabriela Marquina Carmona
Researcher 3: M in CCI Ricardo I. Sotelo Alemán
According to the world health organization, approximately 1% of the world's population is born with lactose intolerance, a higher percentage will present it transitorily during lactation and other stages of life, mainly in the elderly.
This disease is due to the deficiency of the enzyme lactase in the intestine.
The most common treatment is to stop breastfeeding and substitute lactose-free formulas.
During customer discovery it was found that the value offer is: Infants with lactose intolerance can be breastfed using a mixture of probiotics and microbial lysate, without affecting the defenses present in breast milk.
Achievements after the I-Corps Program:
Progress has been made in the selection of the microbial strain to be used, since a slow - growing one was previously being used, which was found not to be convenient for the objective.
The activity of " lactase " is being tested in an acidic medium, such as the stomach, and subsequently I will be tested in a medium to which the pH was restored.
Progress is being made in the formulation of the laboratory for the construction of a laboratory prototype.
Business name: WeaRobot S.A.P.I.
Dr. Ernesto Rodríguez Leal.
A manufacturing and robotics company dedicated to the design and development of exoskeletons.
Products and/or services:
Active exoskeleton to rehabilitate arm movements.
A non-invasive mechatronics device that generates joint movement using EEG and EMG signals, with specific applications such as motor - skills rehabilitation of extremities and / or movement of extremities.
Business name: ELVIA Nanofluids, S.A. de C.V.
A business that develops refrigerating and lubricating nanofluids.
For nano refrigerants , disperse , stabilized nanoparticles have better heat - conduction properties , while nano lubricants help reduce the amount of friction and wear.
Some industries where they are used are in electricity transformers
, autos, and metal-mechanics.
Products and/or services:
OIL LUBRICANT FOR AUTO AND INDUSTRIAL USE , WITH ADDED DECORATED GRAPHENE.
The technology consists of an oil lubricant with graphene nano-flakes decorated with metallic, ceramic, or polymeric nanoparticles. The nanolubricant improves the lubricant’s thermal , rheological, and tribological properties when used as a fluid base.
The disperse nanoparticles help the oil detect and cover the tiniest imperfections on metal surfaces , creating a protective layer that reduces friction, wear, and fuel usage.
Dr. Ernesto Rodríguez Leal.
Governance / Participants:
CEO: Edgar David Ramón Raygoza
PhD Student in Engineering Sciences (DCI) CTO: Dr. Carlos Iván Rivera Solorio
CTO Associate Professor: Dr. Enrique Giménez Torres, external professor
Presenting NODO, an Institutional Alliance to Support
Startup Creation in Mexico’s Healthcare Sector
The Binational Healthcare Innovation NODO is launched , a strategic alliance between EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Mexican Social Security Institute ( IMSS ) , the University of the State of Morelos, and the UNAM Biotechnology Institute, to support Mexican startups based on cutting-edge research in healthcare.
Sponsored by the Conacyt , this groundbreaking program in Mexico is based on I - Corps , a method developed by the U.S. National Science Foundation to support researchers who want to market test their technology.
For six months , the 21 projects led by researchers from the partner institutions will carry out 100 interviews with potential customers, so they can learn more about market needs and take a decision about the feasibility of their projects.
Mexico City, April 4, 2017 –Leading research institutions have officially launched the Binational Healthcare Innovation NODO, to support the creation of technology-based healthcare-sector startups in Mexico. The strategic alliance between EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), the University of the State of Morelos, and the UNAM Biotechnology Institute is taking part in the Conacyt “Binational Nodes” contest.
Fernando Moya, the project leader; Teresa de León, the technical secretary of the Technology Innovation Fund and the director of Conacyt Marketing and Technology; Fátima López, the director of the IMSS Technology Innovation Department ; Verónica Rodríguez, rom the University of the State of Morelos; Gerardo Corzo, from the UNAM Biotechnology Institute; Luis A. Márquez, the director of the Full-time MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the director of the EGADE Business School , Mexico City Campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center; and Pedro López Sela, a certified I-Corps method instructor, took part in the event.
At the launch, Dr. Fernando Moya, the director of the EGADE Business School Executive MBA program, explained that this program is the result of previous experience with the I - Corps method, such as the EGADE Business School “ TEC Challenge : I-Corps” program in November 2015, and the pilot program by FUMEC in May 2015. “The I - Corps is a method from the U.S. National Science Foundation, whose goal is for research to go beyond universities and have an impact on the economy. The researchers leave the lab and have contact with the customers and users of their inventions, so that they can test their market feasibility,” he said.
“The spirit of this program is for research projects to have an economic impact, to turn into businesses. We want to help to create more startups, to bring the concept of innovation to life, and to change the mentality of researchers about solving problems that affect people,” added Dr. Moya.
To do so, this program exposes the researcher along with a team made up of a mentor with business experience , a research assistant, and an EGADE Business School graduate student to methods used in the School. The participants begin with a hypothesis to be tested and develop a market-based decision-making process. “ Following the Learn Launchpad method, they start to fill out the business model canvas to define the value proposition,” he explained.
For seven weeks, the 21 participating teams , who lead projects in areas such as nanotechnology , biotechnology, or medicine , carry out at least 100 interviews with potential customers to learn more about market needs. By being in contact with potential customers, partners, and competitors, the participants learn to handle uncertain situations about marketing a technology innovation.
At the end of the program , the teams take an informed decision about the feasibility of their projects and the creation of their new startup, with evidence obtained from the market; they explain why they will or will not move forward with their project.
Instructor Pedro López Sela noted that the program changes the research culture , helping researchers understand that their work must have a market application.
“Today, we have a success rate higher than 60 % of projects that continue down the path toward entrepreneurship, and more than 1,000 projects have participated in the program in the U.S . , ” he said López Sela highlighted the importance of engagement between teams.
“The knowledge transfer between the teams and the open communication channels with other actors create shared learning.”
Meanwhile, Luis A. Márquez commented that an ecosystem is developed so that the tested project can be connected to financing. “ We understand how important it is to support the entrepreneur to keep creating value along the entire chain. We work with the interests of backers such as angel investors or venture capital funds so that they can invest in these types of projects,” he explained.
The technical secretary from the Technology Innovation Fund and the director of Conacyt Marketing and Technology, Teresa de León, noted that the NODOS initiative can “ polish ” the entrepreneurial projects, make sure they are tested and that they have a more- adequate risk management, so that when they ask for funds, they are more certain about their developments.
She added that the Conacyt has three mechanisms to support businesses in their innovation projects the Technology Innovation Fund , the Innovation Stimulus Program, and the Fiscal Stimulus Program.
Finally, Fátima López, from the IMSS, noted that, “ This program gives researchers the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills ; the projects we choose are here because we believe that they solve a huge problem.”
In this program, which ends in June, the teams face the real world, where they learn to deal with potential customers through face-to- face nterviews and experience the possibility of knowledge transfer about the products and services they offer to benefit society.
Innovation in Healthcare NODO Teams
Launch I-Corps Program
Mexico City, May 14, 2017
The Inaugural Workshop of the Binational Innovation in Healthcare NODO, a venture program backed by the Conacyt to foster the creation of startups in Mexico’s healthcare sector, took place in the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Santa Fe Campus Conference Room from May 11–13. NODO uses the I-Corps method developed by the U.S. National Science Foundation to back researchers who hope to test market their technology by understanding market needs through a series of interviews with potential customers.
Leading research institutions — the Mexican Social Security Institute, the University of the State of Morelos, and the UNAM Biotechnology Institute — together with EGADE Business School , Tecnológico de Monterrey , make up 22 cross - disciplinary teams , each with a researcher and assistant, a student, and a mentor.
Dr. Fernando Moya , the head of the Binational Innovation in Healthcare NODO, welcomed everyone and told some success stories of startups that had used the method in the past, highlighting the importance of tapping into the synergies shared by the members of each group.
Edmund Pendleton, an I-Corps instructor, talked about how important the method is in helping scientists learn about and identify business opportunities derived from their academic research. He added that this method offers hands - on learning about how to transfer knowledge and research successfully to products and processes that benefit society.
Teresa de León, the technical secretary of the “Technology Innovation Fund” and the director of Technology Marketing at Conacyt, addressed the program participants, motivating them to develop business skills.
On the first day of the workshop, each team presented a project and the team members. On the second day, the participants held the first interviews, and on the third day, they presented the first findings and hypotheses and received training from the instructors.
What do the I-Corps researchers expect?
The researchers hope to have a better understanding of the pros and cons of the project presented , moving beyond academic barriers and having a real impact, with a value-added product approach that meets society’ s needs and concentrates on solving Mexico’s different health issues.
Dr. María Crystal Columba, from the University of Morelos, noted that, “Researchers on their own do not have the tools to design a potentially marketable project, so they need the backing that the NODO team can offer them.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Verónica Rodríguez López, from the Pharmacy Department at the University of Morelos, stated that, “ The interviews with potential customers help us find out if there is a need that our product meets, and help us improve the product.”
According to Flor Escalante Leyva and Gerardo Corzo, from the UNAM Biotechnology Institute, the idea is to “spread research findings not only to academic circles but also among the general population, with easy-to-grasp wording and ideas.”
The students’ business outlook
EGADE Business School students bring o the projects their business outlook , their entrepreneurial and innovative approach, and their experience and knowledge acquired, especially on topics such as Business Model Design and Design Thinking. They also hope to learn more about the I-Corps and canvas methods and to learn to assess and test a new idea on the market, or to contribute to the impact of research on Mexico’s healthcare sector.
“I signed up for the program because of its real - life , meticulous method for testing a new product. I believe firmly in the phrase, ‘Fail Fast and Fail Cheap’. I hope to have more tools for making any idea a reality in the best way possible,” said Jaime Roberto Aguilar Interiano, an EGADE Business School MBA student. His classmate Javier Díaz Machín noted that, “innovation in the healthcare sector can have one of the largest impacts on society.”
According to the student Carlos Ángel , “We need to apply all the steps from the method, because success stories don’t come about by chance . They are processes carried out systematically and with discipline, and they are focused on fostering creativity and innovation.” Abraham Trigueros Salazar added that it was necessary to “ use the method to develop or polish the business proposition , to check if the goal market or customer is the right one, and to build the product marketing platform.”
The goal of the NODO is to have an impact on startup creation and on applying scientific research in Mexico, fostering in the researchers a hands - on approach for innovating and solving social problems.
EGADE Bussines School
Tecnológico de Monterrey
Mtra. Lilia Bárcena C.
9177-8000, ext. 7668
Dra. Adriana López Dominguez
Tel: +52 - 55-5627-6900 ext. 21214