Siraj aims at enabling affordable MedTech Innovation with InnAccel
Affordable and appropriate medical devices and diagnostics are an integral part of any effective healthcare system- however it continues to be a critical unmet need for billions of low-income consumers living in countries like India. In a bid to address these needs InnAccel was founded by Mr Siraj Dhanani, Founder, CEO of InnAccel.
Having spent many years in the US pharmaceutical and financial sectors, Mr Siraj returned to India in 2002 and worked for a year with a leading genomics company, Strand Life Sciences, after which he decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge, and set up PharmARC. InnAccel’s is Siraj’s second venture and India’s first, and only, technology acceleration platform driving medical technology innovation for global emerging markets. Siraj told Techspirit: “We are solely focused on enabling the development and commercialization of world-class medical devices and diagnostics that can profitably serve large, critical, healthcare needs in Indian and global emerging markets.”
InnAccel is the result of an idea that evolved from a very rudimentary thought. He said: “It had always been a fancy of mine, that if I ever exited PharmARC, I would set up a lab where students and engineers can come and create physical technology products. Well, after the PharmARC exit to IMS, I started visiting technology incubators in the US and learning about the entire history of product and technology innovation. You know, in India (definitely in Bangalore), when we say technology, we always mean information or digital technology. So the idea evolved to focusing on MedTech as the physical technology area to enable. I was lucky to meet A Vijayarajan, Founder CTO when I was beginning this exploration, and we together evolved the idea that you now see as InnAccel.”
InnAccel has definitely faced some challenges on the way, but I wouldn’t call them hardships. Engaging with academic institutions has been a very long, drawn-out process in some cases, which slowed us down somewhat. Access to quality teams to accelerate has been another challenge- however, one that is improving each year as more individuals explore MedTech entrepreneurship, and learn about InnAccel as the one-stop shop for making them successful, he said.
Meanwhile about his future plans, Siraj said, in another five years, we plan to have a national network of Accelerators (preferably in partnership with academia or government), where we deploy our Acceleration platform and seed-capital, to drive MedTech innovation for emerging markets. Just like the US is the global source of MedTech innovation for Western markets, India can be the global leader in MedTech innovation for emerging markets- and we intend to play a leading role in that. By 2020, we plan to initiate development on at least 50 MedTech products addressing critical, unmet, needs in India and the emerging world- and by 2025, have at least 25 products launched in the Indian market that touch 25 million lives.
Our success stories are still being written by our teams that are working on some cutting-edge devices for large and critical needs. The first set of products would enter clinical testing in mid-2016 and you will see them on the market in 2017, Siraj further stated.