‘Martinnovate’ Seminar Series Boosts Innovation at Martinos

Martinos News

The Martinos Center has always been a hotbed of entrepreneurship. Over the years, innumerable investigators and staff have launched companies seeking to commercialize products they have developed as part of their research. 

A new seminar series in the center aims to support this entrepreneurial spirit. 

Introduced in early 2023, the “Martinnovate” series offers monthly presentations by invited speakers who share their experiences from across the innovation spectrum. The brief, informal talks are followed by lively discussions, with the goal of empowering attendees hoping to commercialize their own science. 

Martinnovate emerged from a series of conversations between Martinos faculty member Bastien Guerin, postdoctoral research fellow Nikou Louise Damestani, and Hope Taft, executive director of the center. 

“We noticed an increasing number of investigators engaging with the commercialization pipeline,” Damestani says, “and wanted to provide an avenue for them to disseminate their knowledge of the innovation process to see how much interest already existed in the community. 

“Our first speaker almost packed the room, so we realized we were onto something!” 

In bringing together people from diverse research backgrounds, and at all stages of their careers, the series also serves a broader goal of building a network of scientists and entrepreneurs interested in scientific innovation. “We hope that this network can provide support and resources and raise awareness of the fantastic work taking place at the center,” Damestani says. 

Similarly, the network can help connect researchers with the many resources available Mass General Brigham and the greater Boston innovation ecosystem. 

The success of the Martinnovate series has also fueled other efforts in the center, collected under the rubric of the Martinos Startup Development Program. 

“The overall goal of this program is to maximize the commercialization output of the Martinos Center,” Guerin says, “in other words, to avoid ‘leaving any IP on the table.’ Educational and networking events are one aspect of this larger effort. Other efforts may include, for example, inviting venture capitalists to the center to discuss various technologies and pitches. 

“One thing that particularly intrigues me is to try to flip the new company creation problem from ‘hammer looking for a nail’ to a ‘specific nail needs a new hammer’ type of scenario. I think this is an interesting intellectual angle that could be productive.” 

Learn more about Martinnovate on the series’ website.