“Too many medtech startups fail unnecessarily due to a lack of bridge, or seed funding, required to advance far enough in the commercialization process to attract investment by a larger device company,” said Tiffany Wilson, CEO of Atlanta-based GCMI and its preclinical testing and training arm T3 Labs, in a news release. “The new accelerator and BD’s support provides a new source of critically needed funding and support for local and regional medtech startups, and the ecosystem as a whole, to take a measurable step forward.”
BD is expected to support the first company to complete the GCMI Medtech Accelerator program. Startup companies that are admitted to the accelerator program will be selected by a team from GCMI, an industry partner, investor and other relevant subject matter experts.
“From concept to development through clinical trials, the infrastructure needed to support successful medtech innovation resides within close proximity to our facilities,” said Wilson. “Our new accelerator fills a gap in the ecosystem which now enables us to locally support high potential young medtech companies and the associated economics gains — including new jobs — to Atlanta and the southeast.”
The Southeast has led the country in medtech employment from 2012 to 2014, according to executive director of the Southeastern Medical Device Association Jason Rupp. The Southeast added 2,874 medical device jobs, up 5.1%, between 2012 and 2014, even though the medtech industry faced a 0.1% decline in employment, added Rupp. The region added 174 establishments during the same period, which was a 9.4% increase.
“GCMI’s Medtech Accelerator represents a profound step forward for the medtech ecosystem in the southeastern United States,” Rupp said. “It is precisely the kind of asset needed to increase regional medtech investment and maximize our local and regional resources’ capabilities to drive improvements in patient care and meaningful economic growth.”
BD and the other partnering companies will help the startup companies in the accelerator with such services as intellectual property protection, FDA 510(k) submission, preclinical studies and contracting with a provider or hospital. The accelerator companies selected will live at GCMI for a 6- to 12-month period based on the created milestones and what needs to be completed in that time frame.
“Medical device innovation is a complex, expensive process, yet there is a tremendous need for novel solutions to unmet clinical needs,” Wilson said. “These are the technologies that will ultimately benefit patients and lower healthcare costs by improving the way physicians diagnose and treat disease. Given Atlanta’s fantastic resources, which include expertise at GCMI, T3 Labs, Georgia Tech, Emory Healthcare, Piedmont Healthcare, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and now the GCMI Medtech Accelerator thanks to BD’s support, we can help de-risk many new medical technologies in a methodical way, making the process more transparent and predictable, decreasing the time required for a new device to get to market and attracting more investment.”
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