ProMedica Health System, based in Toledo, Ohio, has launched a business incubator to nurture startups in the medical-device and bioinformatics sectors.
Located in a 6,000-square foot facility on the system's Wildwood Medical Center campus in Toledo, the ProMedica Innovations incubator will provide entrepreneurs with office space and support services. Startups that participate in the incubator will also receive capital funding, as well as networking and mentoring opportunities, the system announced.
ProMedica created its innovations division in 2012 to create medical devices and other inventions that could be commercialized and used to improve care. The system said its goal is to eventually make the incubator program financially self-sustaining.
VentureMedGroup, the first startup to participate in the incubator, will receive $1 million in investments, half from ProMedica and half from the Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed Fund Capitalization Program, a state program that provides loans to technology startups. VentureMedGroup has developed the FLEX Scoring Catheter, a device that makes shallow scores in plaque lesions that can more effectively prepare patients' arteries for angioplasty treatments.
The startup was founded by Dr. John Pigott, a vascular surgeon and medical director of ProMedica Innovations. He estimates that the market opportunity is over $1 billion for a device such as the FLEX Catheter. Clinical trials for the FLEX platform began in Poland in October and VentureMed hopes to enter the U.S. market by the second quarter of 2015.
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