While studying for his Global Online MBA, Glyn Estebanez was applying his learnings to his medical education business, Nexus Labs. On graduating, he successfully sought seed investment and is now looking to work with doctors, educators and students who share his passion for forwarding medical education.
Having started his career as a surgeon, as well as teaching students, Glyn saw a gap in the market for a practical online-training tool to complement the studies of medical students and better prepare them for both exams and life as a doctor.
“A lot of medical students will come out of their studies with superficial knowledge. They’ll know how to repeat answers, but if you scratch below the surface you’ll find that the theoretical knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate to real life.”
Nexus Labs was born in response and with the aspiration of creating online learning platforms that provide video and multimedia content to seamlessly complement what medical students learn at university.
“By using real-life footage of patients, surgeries and procedures and combining it with CGI animations, students can better prepare themselves for their practical lessons. It can also be used by doctors to revise before seeing a patient to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the common problems that doctors encounter.”
Learning on the go
Designed with flexibility in mind, the part-time Global Online MBA programme can be studied while continuing with full-time employment, allowing students to apply their learnings to their workplace. For Glyn, it also meant learning from the programme developers on how to operate an online education business, applying insights in real-time.
“We were the second cohort doing the Global Online MBA, so it was a programme that was still evolving. The people behind the programme platform – the Edtech Lab – were constantly working on enhancing the learning experience. It would have been easy for them to have filmed a lecture and called it an online programme, but the developers were going beyond the lecture theatre and using technology to support the learning experience.
“It gave me excellent insight into running my own online education business and also the vast potential that digital technology has to enhance students’ learning. I could cherry pick the concepts that really resonated and come into work and apply the learnings instantaneously.”
Applied education designed for the real-world
The Global Online MBA curriculum is centred on innovative thinking and insight, combined with new technology and practical solutions to benefit business. When it comes to taking knowledge from the course into a business environment, it can be readily applied.
“The Imperial MBA helped me on multiple levels. It helped me to understand how a startup should work – the first year modules focused on leadership, management and the culture of an organisation.
“In the second year, the Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship modules helped tailor your mind – you might have a business concept, but how do you get that idea to the point of launching it and beyond? The modules were brilliant and helped you realise that although you have a good business idea, you need to be able to convey that to potential investors.”
Putting lessons to the test and getting buy-in from investors
“I graduated from the Global Online MBA in April and had my first meetings with investors in at the end of July. Both investors, Catapult Ventures and BioCity, had a history of backing innovative digital health startups. Within six weeks, both companies gave us financial backing.
“Through the MBA you’re taught to be pragmatic and realistic about getting investment and that there will be a lot of challenges and it will be a process. It prepared me to have the right mindset going into this and to prepare myself for the questions that investors would ask of me and the company. Instead of telling investors what I thought they should know, I told them what they wanted to know, and I knew the answers to all of their questions.
“It was very pleasing but very surprising to have received support from the first high-profile investors we had met with – it’s a reflection of the training more than anything.
“When we spoke to the investors afterwards they commented on how well we’d prepared and how it had helped. They said people would come in without knowing the information that investors would be looking for and they wouldn’t know how to demonstrate the value of their company, both financially and tangibly. The MBA’s Venture Capital Finance elective gets you to describe your business and its offering in a sentence, and if you can’t do that then you have issues.”
Building worldwide connections
Nexus Labs is gearing up for its first product launch in February 2019 with the release of Surgical Teaching.com. In addition to receiving investment, Nexus Labs have now been joined by adviser Chris Spencer, who until April 2017 was CEO of EMIS Group Plc and brings a vast amount of experience in the digital health sector to support the company going forward.
Glyn and his team have set their sights on becoming one of the major players in online medical education within the next two years and are keen to collaborate with current students and alumni who are equally passionate about technology and online education.
“We have experts working with us from around the world and we’re always looking to collaborate with talented doctors, educators and students. If there are any people within Imperial’s alumni network or current students who would like to learn more about the exciting work we’re doing and help us on the journey, then we’d love to hear from them.”
To find out how you can get involved, connect with Glyn via LinkedIn.