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Pitch@Palace Alumni View: Case Study

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Katherine Giles, OncoRes Medical at Pitch@Palace Australia 2.0

Australian start-up OncoRes was founded in 2016 to address an issue close to many people’s hearts – the treatment of breast cancer. “It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, affecting one in eight Australian women,” explains Chief Executive Dr Katherine Giles. “It’s treatable, however around one in four women undergoing breast conservation surgery require repeat surgery to remove all of the malignant tumour.”

To solve this problem, OncoRes is developing an imaging tool that improves the outcome of breast cancer surgery. The handheld imaging probe and console provides real-time intraoperative guidance to surgeons by delineating cancerous tissue from healthy tissue at a microscopic level. “It basically translates the surgeon’s sense of touch into a microscale image to get all the cancerous tissue out of the breast in one go,” she explains.

OncoRes was named as one of the winners at Pitch@Palace Australia 2.0 and went on to to be named one of the top companies at Pitch@Palace Global 3.0 in December 2018. Katherine says the communication skills learned during the process have helped her to grow as an Entrepreneur. “Whether you’re talking to investors, or the media, or a room full of strangers, the Pitch@Palace journey has been a valuable learning experience in techniques to build instant rapport with people, which is driven largely by telling the human story of your product or service.”

Access to contacts and a global network has enabled OncoRes to meet the right people – long after the competition has ended. “Through Pitch@Palace we have already expanded our networks substantially and we are looking forward to continuing to work with the Pitch@Palace team to identify and connect with individuals, governments and companies who could assist OncoRes to achieve its goal of improving the lives of cancer patients globally.”

OncoRes has since won $3 million from the Cooperative Research Centres Projects Grant and is moving into the product development phase for its technology. Katherine says the Pitch@Palace experience is particularly good for Australian start-ups, which she believes have not historically received the support needed to grow and commercialise their technology locally. “It is a great global platform, the reach of its Audience and network is hard to establish through other means,” she adds.

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