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Crossing the pond

Kirsty RossAug 23, 2019 Placement highlights
Adeel Shafi is currently on placement with Miraki Innovation in Cambridge, MA, USA.


As soon as I got off the plane in Boston and felt the 30-degree heat hit me, I knew I was in for a good summer. A few days of exploring the city and I was filled with even more excitement as I headed to Miraki Innovation’s Venture Development Center in Harvard Square – an exciting and prestigious place to be working I thought to myself as I went up the elevator to the fourth floor. Miraki Innovation is a medtech investment and development firm that identifies technological breakthroughs that have the potential for global impact and builds those ideas into companies. Building these portfolio companies in-house allows for ongoing, active involvement in each venture as well as an unprecedented opportunity to take IP out of a lab and into a company in as little as one week. Ultimately, these portfolio companies develop into a holistic solution that best satisfies the market demand. After all the integrated business training in health innovation and entrepreneurship I had undertaken alongside my PhD research, I was more than ready to get started.

One month down

During my first month with Miraki Innovation I worked with one of the portfolio companies, BOA Biomedical (BOA). BOA has a platform technology for rapid diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, and here I gained exposure to Miraki’s proprietary commercialization method. I was able to experience first-hand some of the processes and challenges that new ventures face as they bring the products to market. I developed a deeper understanding of costing and specific financial considerations when scaling a product, reimbursement challenges in the U.S. market, active and ongoing risk reduction and the importance of developing a core brand identity and device that properly communicates value proposition to investors, customers and potential acquirers. In line with this, I was also tasked with a project whereby I undertook market analysis surrounding a particular technology and mapped out a clinical workflow. With these findings I relayed my knowledge to the team making recommendations as to how and what BOA can do to further verify and validate one of their technologies in order to truly gain a significant share of the market. To be deeply included as part of the team from day one was not only really welcoming but it allowed me to realize my own potential and value within the team very early on. This was extremely helpful as I was settling into not only a new job, but a new country as well.

Athens of Scotland to Athens of America

Living in Boston has exceeded all of my expectations, in my time here I’ve realized it is an extremely vibrant city full of exciting things to do – from walking tours allowing you to relive the rich history, to visiting some of the countless museums the city offers, enjoying baseball games at Fenway Park to experiencing a magnificent view as the sun sets over Boston from the cities Skywalk Observatory. I’ve also learned that it’s a city of firsts – the nation’s first public park, the first subway system, the first public school and not to forget the first social media network too! With such an emphasis on learning, I can see why it is nicknamed ‘the Athens of America’, the world-renowned academic institutions have the city booming with diversity, allowing you to meet people from all walks of life and enjoy the cultural hub that Boston has become.

If you want to find out more, feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn.