Rebekah Scheuerle was part of the GapSummit 2014 team serving as the Speaker Liaison. A Gates Cambridge Scholar, at the time she had only recently begun her PhD at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Concurrently, she was a Board member of US-headquartered non-profit JustMilk, which aims to address the tragic rates of infant mortality around the world that could be easily prevented by better ways of administering drugs and nutrients in lower income countries.
Now nearing the tail-end of her doctoral studies, Rebekah continues to lead Business and Technical Research Development for JustMilk’s Nipple Shield Delivery System (NSDS) as a member of the Board of Directors. Rebekah’s involvement in JustMilk has strengthened the commercial position of the organisation and brought recognition to their innovative technology.
Representing JustMilk, she took part in the Accelerate Cambridge programme at the Judge Business School. And recently, after winning entry to the Pitch@PalaceBootcamp at the Wellcome Genome Centre, JustMilk went on to win 1st Place at the Pitch@Palace event hosted by HRH the Duke of York, at St James Palace. (See Rebekah and Theresa talk about JustMilk for Pitch@Palace in the video above!)
Successes like these have led Rebekah to co-found JustMilk Limited, with fellow PhD student Theresa Maier. A UK-based company, JustMilk Ltd has licensed the NSDS technology to commercialise the device in western markets as a convenience product. The goal is to generate a new revenue stream via these new markets that will enable the continued good work brought about by JustMilk’s non-profit mission.
She noted one of the biggest lesson she learned from helping to launch the initial GapSummit.
Networking is an invaluable resource in start-up success. The establishment of critical partnerships has been instrumental in furthering our venture and cause. Therefore, the experience I had liaising with speakers at the GapSummit, because of the skills I learned, and because of the usefulness of the connections I made, has been invaluable.
In addition to her scientific and business activities, Rebekah is connecting and challenging the science community through writing, having contributed articles on the Huffington Post on improving science engagement with the public.
From her experiences in JustMilk she had this advice to share with recent GapSummit Leaders of Tomorrow who have their sights set of bringing world-changing products to market:
To those passionate about launching a venture, I cannot emphasise enough that it’s through a motivated team, and appropriate partnerships that success can be best cultivated. Find other driven individuals who are hungry to learn, and willing to take on roles they may never have expected, as all lean start-ups are going to require its members to wear many hats. Most importantly, establish from the beginning a fun and engaging corporate culture!
We’re excited that Rebekah is going from strength to strength and can’t wait to see what’s next for JustMilk.