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Innovation

Putting pioneering life sciences SME MolMart back on track…

Greater Manchester-based MolMart launched its pioneering prenatal genetic testing products, following support from GC Business Growth Hub’s innovation team.

 


Experts in developing bespoke solutions to detect rare diseases in children and adults, MolMart was launched in 2016 by molecular geneticist Markella Mikkelson, who specialises in prenatal genetics, and her business partner Harry Kontos.

The pair wanted to bring innovative, cutting-edge technology to the field of genetic testing and GC Business Growth Hub were on hand to support their ambitions.

Director Markella Mikkelson tells us how support from the Hub has helped Molmart with this groundbreaking product development.

 

 A Commitment to Making a Difference

Recognising that to be successful in progressing through validation and on to market launch they would need the right support, Markella approached the Hub.

“At MolMart, we are committed to making a difference to individuals’ health and the health of their families,” said Markella. “We want to help people to make important decisions at crucial stages in their lives, for example when they are having children. Our products will help, by providing them with the knowledge to informed choices at critical times.”

“But I’m not afraid to say when I need help and don’t know what to do next. The Hub has many specialist business advisors that knew exactly what is suitable for our company, whatever stage we were at.”

“I could have spent a long time looking for resources, support and funding, but their advisors were able to signpost us to what was right for our business.”

 

Getting Ideas Moving…

Innovation has never been more important. From our experience of supporting the innovation projects of over 2,600 businesses in Greater Manchester since 2015, we know that being innovative leads to stronger turnover performance, better productivity, and a higher level of competitiveness.

It’s often difficult to get new ideas moving. And that’s where the Hub is proud to be able to help businesses like MolMart to overcome the barriers, identify the opportunities for collaboration, and accelerate their route to market.

Markella shared with us “When I first started an SME, I often felt like I had to reinvent the wheel; however, I soon realised this isn’t the case. It helps to find the right people to speak to, like the team at the Hub, who can guide you through the process.

“The advisors have so much specialist experience – and, as entrepreneurs, we need to tap into their knowledge and expertise to help our businesses grow.”

 

How the Hub Helped

Since 2019, the Hub has supported Molmart through:

  • The Innovation Voucher funding scheme, designed to bolster business innovation by encouraging new research and development activities. MolMart secured £5,000 to help fund a product validation project with the University of Manchester’s School of Health Sciences. 
  • The MATMED programme, which brings healthcare innovations to market more efficiently via transnational collaboration throughout North West Europe. MolMart has been connected with key players in the fields of medical devices, advanced materials and regenerative medicine, to explore new opportunities to collaborate with researchers. The MATMED investment programme is supporting the company’s next stage funding rounds. 
  • The Boost4Health programme, a northern European life sciences network that ran until 2019. This enabled MolMart to connect with a specialist in non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) platform in Denmark and provided €15,000 to fund further studies.

 

If you’re an SME in Greater Manchester that has the ambition, capacity and drive to grow, the Hub’s specialist Digital Innovation Advisors are here for you. They’ll help you identify the key things needed to become innovative and guide you on your own journey.

 

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