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Neuroute founder on a nightmare pitch and flexible roadmaps – Fi5

Livia Ng is the founder and CEO of Neuroute, a platform that provides healthcare SMEs with insights on eligible patient groups for clinical trials.

Neuroute, formerly Neucruit, can be used to test for patient feasibility, market research and patient recruitment. Its software as a service platform is powered by data from more than 1,500 hospital sites, 7,000 disease areas, and 115 million patient-reported outcomes across 125 countries and “five trillion consumer insights”.

Founded in 2019, it has raised more than $1m in funding from investors including PharmStars and Nina Capital.

Neuroute’s platform is used by teams in biotech, medtech and pharma and counts Motto, Modus TX and Flow among its customers.

In this week’s Founder in Five Q&A, Ng shares a nightmare pitching experience, reveals who she admires most in her industry and explains why feature roadmaps need to be flexible.

1. What’s your worst pitching experience?

Livia Ng: Once, whilst pitching to a very prominent tech investor, he received a phone call and proceeded to take it, signalling two fingers in the air for me to pause. After five minutes, he hung up and said: “Look, I’m not going to invest in you because you seem weak.”

I went to the car, stared into the rain and wept. But I refused to let him get to me. The next day, I picked myself up and kept pitching – with improvements – and eventually my persistence paid off.

2. Who’s a leader you admire in your industry?

LN: I admire the work and leadership of Ming Tang, who’s currently the chief data and analytics officer at NHS England. Like me, she’s a passionate champion for improving the way data is used to power change in health and care.

She’s using her leadership position to advocate for more sophisticated and ambitious data-led projects in the NHS.

3. What’s the best way to promote diversity in the workplace?

LN: I think that the best way to promote diversity is to build a C-Suite team that is diverse. When it comes to the STEM field, women’s achievements and talents have been downplayed and dismissed for too long. We will not see improvements in STEM workplace diversity until we show young girls that STEM and tech entrepreneurship can be a career choice for anyone with ambition and passion.

By sharing our stories, offering advice and celebrating our collective successes, we can challenge stereotypes, end stigma and inspire the next generation of female tech leaders.

4. Tell us about a time you screwed up?

LN: I often make mistakes, but I always learn from them. One of the biggest mistakes I made in the early days of building Neuroute was building a feature-based roadmap – a roadmap of solutions for the next 18 months. But solutions need to evolve over time, not be decided and fixed in advance.

Now, my team and I create milestone-based roadmaps of critical problems to solve, then we work together to build the right solutions at the right time.

5. Which nascent technology holds the most promise?

LN: Having studied neuroscience and worked in the neuroscience research space, I’m really excited by new innovations in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) technology. tDCS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that can be used to treat depression by activating neural networks through gentle currents.

Flow Neuroscience, who the Neuroute team have worked with, have built a portable device that patients can use to treat depression in their own homes. This could have a huge impact on the lives of millions of people living with depression and unable to access existing treatments.

Founder in Five – a UKTN Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind the UK’s innovative startups, scaleups, unicorns and public tech companies – is published every Friday. 

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