My Business Can Change Lives Faster Than What I Could Do in My Research/Health Practice
This was the overall message from the January 15 MCW & CTC hosted panel: Medical Innovation: Road to Patient Impact. The panel of three research and healthcare professionals turned entrepreneurs discussed their path from idea to business. Dr. Anthony Getschman (MCW, Protein Foundry) stated that he made the decision to commercialize a molecule discovered in his graduate research career. When asked about the path to licensing vs. starting the business, Dr. Getschman said he knew there would be more work to make the molecule attractive for licensing. In starting a business and seeking SBIR funding, he could de-risk the innovation and create more value for patient impact. He stated, “if they had NOT spun out a company, my molecule would not have been developed.”
Dr. Christina Runge (MCW, Ascending Hearing) shared critical resources that helped her get started. Programs and resources like Catalyst BioConsulting and SBIR Advance helped her navigate many of the early pitfalls in starting and funding a business. “Starting a business is like giving birth to a full grown adult that can’t do anything for themselves,” she said. “You want to know what you are getting into before you make that choice.”
Lindsey Roddy (UWM, RoddyMedical) touted programs like I-Corps and Ideadvance to help RoddyMedical find experts, refine their competitive opportunities, and bring on key team members. She said, “Because of Lean Startup programs like I-Corps and Ideadvance, we found experts and champions across the country. This helped us put a competitive team together for our NIH STTR.”
Of the overall experience and process, all three encouraged the packed crowd to get the ball rolling and explore ideas with their university collaborators and tech transfer offices. When asked about the impact of a business, Lindsey shared advice from another nurse entrepreneur, “ My colleague calculated that it would have taken 250 years in her nursing practice to touch as many patients as she had encountered with her business in just one year.”
If you have an innovative idea, reach out to us at the CTC and let us help you get connected to resources and possible funding. Both the SBIR Ready and Ideadvance programs are accepting applications for upcoming deadlines.
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