Week 8

Week 8 was a week involving travel to Australia. It ended with a fantastic meeting in Melbourne


Monday started with our usual group meeting and planning session. It was then all hands to the phones, practising our pitches and doing some work on our software. If I don’t try to memorise the pitch, if I just speak to the slides I notice I can give a more relaxed and earnest presentation. I will speak to Geoff and Charlie about that.

We met with our NZTE representative in the late morning and discussed our plans for US sales.  Pal is very helpful but unfortunately leaving his current role. He has agreed to intrduce us to his replacement. We havent formally enrolled with NZTE yet but its a task that needs to be done.

We had our weekly catchup with Geoff and Charlie. They are pushing for me to memorise the pitch. Damn, tasks involving memory are my kryptonite.

One of the important tasks was following up to try to get our appointment with neuroscientist  Prof Mary Galea at Royal Melbourne hospital. This is a key meeting to begin our research led marketing in Australia and so far we don’t have an appointment with the very busy professor.

We had a meeting with a potential Chinese partner. That went well, although much of the meeting was in Chinese and the translation seemed like a summary of the actual conversation.


MBIE Launch

MBIE High Growth Agenda Launch

We’re still trying to get an appointment with Prof May Galea.  I don’t have an appointment but she has expressed a desire to meet. It looks like it might be Friday.  We don’t have an appointment for Perth either. Family matters will divert me to Perth next week but I am hoping to be able to advance the cause of MTech while I am there. Perth has its own spinal unit and could be a potential user of our product.

We had a meeting with the folk from Callaghan about the next phase of  development. Today we’re doing a demonstration of our product at the launch of MBIE’s high growth agenda. Ministers Steven Joyce and Amy Adams will be there. Its a big even for Callaghan and us.

Amy Adams

Amy Adams trying our our Virtual Wheelchair Demo



Steven Joyce trying the Virtual Wheelchair

Then it was onto moving computers and equipment down to EPIC. Once we were set up at EPIC we were able to demonstrate the product to anyone waiting for the dress rehearsal of the MBIE event. Two other lightning Lab groups are set up for the demo as well, Bamtino who have a gateway to artisans making bespoke furniture, and Pocket Physio who have an encapsulated physiotherapy support system with video instruction and programmes.

Apart from the Lightning Lab guys, HiveMind from EPIC presented a system for remote monitoring of beehives and those guys checked out our setup,

The event went smoothly. Steven Joyce and Amy Adams both tried the virtual wheelchair. Amy was particularly enthused  and saw the potential for other uses of VR.


Steven Joyce was no stranger to VR it seems and was complimentary about our application.

Finally we moved the equipment back to EPIC and made some last minute arrangements for our trip tomorrow.

Steven and Brook

Steven discussing our project with me.


We’re off today, up at unspeakable o’clock to catch a 7am flight to Brisbaine. From there we head to Melbourne. Margaret has booked us into a hotel a few minutes from the hospital and the university so we should be able to meet Mary easily no matter which venue she says.

Its a pity  we missed it but Dave Moskovitz was speaking in the lab today.

On arrival in Melbourne a message from Mary confirms a meeting on Thursday. Its at an Annex about 40 minutes from where we are staying. Ah well, the best laid plans etc…

We catch a bus to the hotel and check in. We’re on a tram track into town so, once we’ve checked in we head into town for a quick look around and some food. Margaret is delighted to discover the Greek -Australian accent and begins practicing it until it gets annoying.  Melbourne apparently has the largest population of Greeks outside of Athens.


We filled in the morning visiting the Queen Victoria markets until our meeting with Mary.  We then followed some dodgy instructions from the hotel concierge to get to our appointment.  It involved going into town to catch a tram which would finish at a golf course close to where we wanted to go. I had a feeling and we decided to go an hour early. Sure enough the tram from town actually took us back past our hotel, before dropping us a kilometer from the golf course, which wasn’t on a tram track.  We hustled and found that the golf course was still a good walk from our appointment. We arrived about 5 minutes late but Mary was good humoured about it.

The meeting was excellent. Mary was very excited about the project, and persuaded us to attend an event in Perth in November. She will not only introduce us to the head of the spinal unit at Royal Melbourne but also alerted us to a spinal unit in Caufield, for non-traumatic spinal injury.

We were quite excited about the meeting as we left. Margaret was only speaking with the Greek-Australian accent at this stage. A few hundred yards from Mary’s office we discovered a tram stop where a tram would take us right to our hotel.  It seems the concierge knows nothing about the tram routes.

We spent the afternoon looking around Melbourne’s city centre before heading back to the hotel for dinner and rest before our early flight to Perth.


Woke up at ridiculous o’clock to go to Perth.  Luckily we arrived early at the airport because it was chaos, over 90 minutes to check in with queues snaking around the building.  Its been a full week. It seems a little unreal to be out of the Lab.


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