The first steps towards raising commercialization funding

The offspring of the 2018 Biodesign Finland project, the VertiGoggles project, took in September the first step towards raising funding for commercialization. VertiGoggles targets to make better tools for vertigo diagnostics. The technology is based on analyses of involuntary eye movements called nystagmus. We believe, that by recording and analyzing eye movements of dizzy patients, VertiGoggles can tell the clinician whether the vertigo is due to inner ear dysfunction, stroke or something else.

Once again I need to praise the organized processes in Aalto in applying for commercialization funding. In order to apply the funding inside Aalto, the team needs to first fill in the invention disclosure in good time, in this case already in June. The innovation and entrepreneur specialists and professionals within Aalto send information package, that includes, for example, powerpoint slide templates for preparing for pitching. The pitching is practiced in advance, first time in June, and the team gets immediate feedback about the idea and its presentation. The team has a possibility to deepen its knowledge and focus the idea for several months and the next internal rehearsal was arranged in August-September. The HR department provide support in budget planning and earlier years’ champions give advices on which issues should be in focus.

The idea is once more pitched to the Aalto’s innovation and entrepreneur experts and once again you get feedback and possibility to discuss about your idea. Even at this moment the team has still  few weeks time to sharpen the focus areas before formally approaching the funding agencies. No wonder that Aalto and its innovation teams have raised funding for over 60 Business Finland TUTL applications during the last 6 years. Based on some statistics these projects have delivered over 30 startups of which some have grown businesses with size counted in millions.

Biodesign Finland team of 2018 has had the privilege to get trained to this process of refining and breeding ideas into innovations. I have firm confidence, that the VertiGoggles will sooner or later receive funding to commercialize the technology.

Sakari Lukkarinen, PhD (Tech)

The Author is a Biodesign Innovation Fellow of the 2018 project and an IT technology expert