Meet our mentors: Stephanie Brooking

Stephanie Brooking is the company director of a Life Sciences marketing and events agency called ‘Minnac Life Sciences’ and mentor on the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.  

With >25 years’ experience within the Life Science market, Stephanie is an experienced strategic commercial Leader with a history of working in management consulting for the life sciences and diagnostics industry. 

Name: Stephanie Brooking

Occupation: Company director of ‘Minnac Life Sciences’

‘’I work on projects for new and existing companies helping them with their commercialisation planning and marketing strategies. I also work with start-ups and multi-billion-dollar companies to inform and advise them on opportunities to grow their business with existing or new products into new or existing markets.’’ 

Why did you choose to become a mentor on the NHS CEP, are you enjoying the experience and how have you supported your mentee/s so far? 

‘’I chose to become a mentor because this is my day job. I strongly believe that product ideas and innovation is driven primarily by those who understand what problems need to be solved and how. I want to work with those individuals to help them realise the full potential and opportunities for those products which can ultimately positively impact patient care and the NHS. I want to use my experience of understanding what the market needs and how to deliver a product to market to accelerate the success of the entrepreneurs, so we can all benefit from it! 

I get a lot of satisfaction in coaching the entrepreneurs and hearing about their success. Selfishly, I get to live vicariously through their ideas and that is hugely rewarding for me. I really enjoy listening to the entrepreneurs and understanding what I can do to point them in the right direction and challenge their thinking. This keeps me on my toes and my brain active too!  

I support my mentees by being available for regular calls to discuss key aspects of their strategy and any problems that need to be resolved.’’ 

What do you think makes a good mentor and can you see the impact that mentoring is having on your mentee?   

‘’A good mentor is someone who can actively listen to their mentee, ask questions, and explore their motivation around their ideas. Once that is established then the mentor can move onto discussing the strategy and the plan going forward for short term and longer-term goals. 

I can see the impact I have on my mentees, as they actively pursue information from their target audience, and gather customer information to test their hypothesis. That to me is a big win, not just designing a product and hoping someone will buy it, but actively seeking out information to validate which problem needs solving and the current unmet needs of their target customers.’’  

What is the best piece of advice you have been given in your professional career? 

‘’Just because you build it, it doesn’t mean they will come!  Just because you think a product is a great idea, it doesn’t mean everyone else will think the same.  

Test your hypothesis, seek opinions from your target audience and validate, validate, validate!   

People don’t always buy the best product and buying decisions are made for all sorts of reasons, so seek to understand your audience to provide them with a solution to their problem.’’

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a mentor with the NHS CEP? 

‘’Do it, it’s very rewarding and it is fun to explore ideas with people who have unique and compelling products.’’ 

Stephanie Brooking is one of over 300 professionals that volunteer there support to the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and support our next generation of innovators. If you are interested in supporting the programme visit our mentor pages