S1E3: 'Meet the Innovators' - James Roberts, CEO, mOm Incubators

mOm’s Mission to Save Premature Babies

By Kayleen Brown, Executive Editor, MedTech Strategist Broadcasting Network


Meet James Roberts. James is co-founder and CEO of mOm Incubators Ltd., a London-based start-up developing a low-cost, inflatable infant incubator to provide a stable microclimate with thermoregulation, humidification and jaundice lighting, and promote recovery. The start-up has a very humanitarian goal: decrease the number of premature child deaths throughout the world.

Globally, one in 10 babies are born premature, and one million of these babies die every single year, due to the complications of premature birth. According to the World Health Organization, 75% of deaths resulting from premature birth are, in fact, avoidable if simple interventions, such as warming, were more readily available.

The Syrian refugee crisis, which endangered the lives of an entire generation, catalyzed James. A student at Loughborough University at the time, he set out to redesign the incubator, a product that has evaded major innovation for nearly 160 years.

Armed with a passion for medical technology and a massive problem to solve, James looked to his life-long inspiration: Sir James Dyson, most notable for his innovation in vacuum cleaners. At age 23, James entered the Sir James Dyson Award for Innovation competition. He ultimately won, becoming the 2014 International Winner of the Sir James Dyson Global Prize for Innovation.

Sir Dyson’s influence and support gave James the start he needed, and mOm Incubators was born. The innovative technology presents a significant cost-savings over conventional incubators, and when uninflated the device can be compacted to a fraction of its full size and less than 10% of its full weight, solving the obstacle of delivering the life-saving incubators to both under-developed and developed communities.

James is well on his way to making an impact on the global neonatal market as a 2017 MedTech Innovator Accelerator Competition finalist and the recipient of the Penrose Innovator of the Year award in 2017.

Set up as an impact company, James has already raised a seed round of £630,000 in June 2016. What’s next on James’ list? Continue to grow the team, “installing the same values and culture” they’ve had so far and continue early work on the company’s soon-to-be announced second product.

From the entire MedTech Strategist team, we offer James, and the mOm Incubators team, huge congratulations and best of luck.


Author's Note: mOm Incubators attended the MedTech Innovator Pitch Event & Stage Competition
that took place this April at MedTech Strategist’s Innovation Summit Dublin, Ireland, a global
medical device investment and partnering conference, as an invited alumnus of the program.

Have comments on this post, or suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover in the Community Blog? Email us: blog@medtechstrategist.com.

Further Reading in MedTech Strategist:

  • Start-Ups to Watch - "Materna Medical: Reducing the Trauma that Results from Childbirth,” by Mary Stuart

  • Start-Ups To Watch – “InPress Technologies: A Simple and Effective Solution for Postpartum Hemorrhage,” by Mary Stuart

  • Start-Ups to Watch - "Medical Devices Usher in New Era of Female Empowerment,” by Mary Stuart


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