2024 TBAT Innovation Challenge

Workshop 4

Commercialisation Workshop – Successfully heading to market
Wednesday 26th June – 1.00pm – 4.30pm


This free-to-attend ONLINE workshop, which will run as part of the Innovation Challenge, is designed to delve into business strategy and marketing from the perspective of supporting your business growth. We will discuss problems, challenges and highlight opportunities to reduce the effects of business strategy and marketing barriers – supporting you on your journey to commercialisation and being a disrupter in the marketplace.

This event is one of four interactive workshops, designed to support growing SME’s through the highs and lows of how to successfully innovate, grow and succeed.  All of the workshops are open to the public and free-to-attend, with no requirement to apply to The Innovation Challenge. If you would like to find out more about the application process, please click here.

This informative and interactive Commercialisation workshop will consist of short presentations, Q&A’s, comfort breaks throughout and a panel discussion towards the end.

Take a look below at our workshop speakers and the topics they will be covering.

TBAT Innovation Challenge Headline Sponsor

Shakespeare Martineau Logo

Workshop Speakers

Sam Stephens Innovation Challenge Speaker

Sam Stephens, Director – TBAT Innovation


After establishing TBAT in 2002 as a consultancy catering to the SME sector, Sam led the company’s evolution into the innovation-centric enterprise it is today. TBAT now specialises in supporting companies throughout the entire new product and process innovation cycle. Sam began his career as a graduate and manufacturing engineer at Rolls-Royce Aerospace before transitioning to Rolls Royce and Associates as a Development and Project Engineer. Currently, Sam heads up the Business Development and R&D Tax Credits side of the business.

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Ed Wright - Innovation Challenge Workshop Speaker

Ed Wright, Partner – Shakespeare Martineau

Licencing Out

Ed works with clients from all sectors on wide-ranging non-contentious contractual, IP, data protection and competition law issues. These sectors include healthcare/life sciences, sport, technology, media and communications. Ed primarily advises on the creation, ownership and exploitation of IP.  This includes licensing, R&D/technology transfer and agency, distribution, reselling and franchising arrangements. Ed also specialises in drafting and negotiating agreements governing IP licensing and the supply of goods and/or services.

Ed regularly presents and writes on topical contractual, commercial, data protection, IP and IT/software matters and is also recognised as a leading individual in Legal 500 2020.

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Mariam Smith, Managing Director – Datalink Electronics Ltd

MBO Success Story

Mariam joined the company in 2010; she is a Management Accountant and has an MBA from Loughborough University. She joined the Board as Finance Director in 2019 and became the company’s Managing Director in January 2023. With over 14 years’ experience in the electronics manufacturing industry, including knowledge and expertise in low-medium volume and high technology sectors; Mariam went on to complete an MBO of the company in November 2023.

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Christian Kumar, CEO & Managing DirectorMedTech Makers Lab

Pitch Deck

Christian Kumar, a seasoned professional, transitioned from a successful career in investment banking to become a trailblazing innovator and lecturer. In 2019, he established the MedTech Makers Lab, pioneering pathways for global medical technology innovations to thrive in the Midlands. Christian imparts his expertise as an innovation management instructor at six universities spanning five countries and facilitates acceleration labs throughout the EU. His teachings cover strategic road mapping and funding strategies, empowering companies to navigate the dynamic landscape of innovation. With a passion for transforming ideas into reality, Christian Kumar continues to shape the future of MedTech and innovation worldwide. 

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Huw Sparkes, Investment Manager – Midven

Mini IRP (Investment Readiness Programme)​

Huw is a venture capital investor at Midven, supporting high-growth SMEs based in the West Midlands investments of up to £1m. He joined Midven from Birmingham-based venture studio, Novo Ventures, and has since invested over £11m from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and West Midlands Co-Investment Fund. He is a board observer with 10 of the Firm’s portfolio alongside being a mentor at BEC (Birmingham Enterprise Community), and has spoken at events hosted by The World Economic Forum, Innovate UK, and the National Cyber Security Centre.

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Liam O’Neill, PR Consultant – CrowdPull

Public Relations 

A trained journalist who started out his career at a national newspaper before moving into the world of PR and marketing, Liam has worked with some of the largest automotive and technology brands in the business – notably working in-house and agency side with Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Ferrari, Lamborghini, AEHRA, Spotify, and RockarTech

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Alistair Wilson, Founder and CEO – Septest Limited

Case Study & Innovation Challenge 2023 Winner

Alistair is a seasoned innovator with over two decades of expertise across Medtech, Biotech, and Pharma. His journey began as a formulation scientist, specializing in inhaled drug delivery devices and pharmaceutical development. Alistair then managed clinical trials at a prominent CRO before venturing into medical devices, notably co-developing a diabetic test strip platform producing 3 billion test strips a year, and then inventing an aseptic connector for COVID-19 vaccine production. Alistair’s experience as a sepsis survivor, combined with his expertise in diagnostics drove him to establish Septest Limited, a Medtech startup developing a groundbreaking lateral flow test for sepsis.

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Mukesh Bulsara, Partner – Coadax

How to Maximise the value of your IP & Business

Mukesh is a Chartered Accountant and Partner at Coadax, providing Mergers & Acquisitions, corporate finance and strategic advice. Mukesh has over 25 years’ experience of advising companies on acquisitions, sale of businesses, management buy-outs and valuations, across all industries including the healthcare, pharma and life sciences and technology sectors in the UK and abroad.

Interacting daily with companies, lawyers, banks, accountants and other business professionals, Mukesh has the necessary skills and experience to conduct successful outcomes for his clients and is also a Board Director of Leicestershire Business Voice.

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