“I had always worked for big companies with deep pockets and now I was in a startup. I felt I had a lot to learn about the entrepreneurial process: idea generation, raising capital, and scaling the company,” says Tamara Mills, who left life sciences company Anteo Diagnostics to run De Motu Cordis, a medtech startup developing an advanced drug delivery system for critical care patients.
She decided to apply to the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, an intensive, week-long new ventures leadership program, and after a rigorous admissions process, was admitted.
During the Bootcamp in Brisbane, Australia, she learned the Disciplined Entrepreneurship process pioneered by Bill Aulet, Managing Director for the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, among many other innovation frameworks, which helped her validate her business ideas.
During the Bootcamp, she founded the team EZBT, after meeting other entrepreneurs who were passionate about helping those who suffer from Diabetes. EZBT would go on to become Glucotek, a startup improving the lives of diabetic mothers and their babies by providing a wearable device that continually monitors its wearer’s blood glucose levels.
“I was 30 weeks pregnant at the time and I faced problems as a result of having gestational diabetes — high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy. The big problem with gestational diabetes is the invasiveness of the blood glucose measurements and diet control — not knowing what to eat and when,” Tamara says.
“During the Bootcamp, I met four entrepreneurs who were also passionate about this — including two diabetics, a biomedical engineer who had worked on blood testing devices, and a computational bio-scientist who had published diabetes research in the journal, Nature.
“Together, we developed wearable technology which transmits data on the wearer’s blood glucose levels to a mobile app. Using machine learning, the technology predicts responses to food before a mother eats it. The mobile app then provides recommendations on what she should eat, and portion sizes.”
Through the Bootcamp, Tamara also broadened her network of mentors, who can help her access finance. “They are very approachable. I have continually reached out to them for feedback and support throughout my entrepreneurial journey.”
Since the Bootcamp, Tamara has continued building an industry group for healthcare technology entrepreneurs in Brisbane, which is trying to encourage entrepreneurship in the area. In addition, she is working to establish a medical innovation fund to support healthcare entrepreneurs gain access to seed capital.