Bruce Hellman (Executive MBA 2011) is the co-founder and CEO of the eClinical platform uMotif, which helps power medical research by engaging patients to capture a range of data to drive new insights. By combining patient-centric thinking with the latest technology, Bruce and his team aim to change clinical research for the better, empowering patients and reducing the burden of contributing to research.
We spoke to Bruce about his time studying at Imperial and his entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a bit about your company uMotif and what it does.
I founded uMotif in 2012. Our mission is to put patients at the centre of clinical research. Designed with patients for patients, the uMotif patient-centric eClinical platform powers site-based to fully decentralised clinical, real-world, and post-marketing research.
By engaging patients and healthcare professionals, uMotif is trusted by global pharmaceutical companies, biotechs, CROs, and academic institutions to capture eConsent and large volumes of ePRO, symptom, and wearable device data.
We’ve raised venture funding, and are selling globally. We will be expanding our team into the USA during this year as we continue to deliver on global clinical trials.
Can you tell us about your studies at Imperial?
I studied the Executive MBA alongside full-time work, a highly enjoyable and busy period of time, which has been very beneficial while building my company.
How has your time at the College helped you in your career so far?
The MBA provided a fantastic underpinning in all aspects of business. Of huge relevance were the Innovation and Entrepreneurship courses, along with the Royal College of Art. From those courses I learnt the importance of great design in building a business.
I’ve often drawn on the learnings from the MBA to help in my career and in building uMotif. The course has given me a good broad understanding of business and knowledge of key areas. I still continue to apply the concepts I learnt to the business and our growth.
What have been the highlights and lowlights?
Highlights have been growing a great team, building a product that delights people, and most importantly hearing from patients about how using our tech has helped them.
Lowlights are a normal part of building a business and are often opportunities to reflect on how to build back stronger. Losing deals, making mistakes and having to make hard decisions about people are often the lowlights.
What are your plans for the future?
We plan to grow uMotif to give every research patient a great experience and an opportunity to make a positive impact on research.
Who did you find inspiring at Imperial and why?
Some of the guest entrepreneur speakers were inspirational, along with the studies from the RCA with whom we worked.
What is your fondest memory of your time here?
Learning alongside great people.
What would your advice be for fellow entrepreneurs?
Just go for it, and keep going! Entrepreneurship is a long game, and it’s key to keep moving forward with ideas, concepts and solutions.
What makes you proud to be an Imperial alumnus?
Imperial is a very high-quality institution with a global reputation.
What one word or phrase would you use to describe Imperial alumni?
Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
"Less talk, more doing", learnt while working with IDEO.