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MassMEDIC launches entrepreneurial coaching program to support start-ups, build pipeline of medtech companies

Local industry leaders contributing their expertise to guide program, coach entrepreneurs

BOSTON – February 12, 2007 – MassMEDIC, the 10 year-old association created to foster growth in the state’s medical device sector, today launched MedTech IGNITE, a business coaching program designed to link start-up companies with expert mentors, helping new device firms through their early, most challenging stages of development.

A number of industry leaders have stepped forward to lend their support to the MedTech IGNITE program.  The first roster of coaches includes: Doug Adams, SOLX; Mike Dempsey, Radianse; Don Freeman, formerly of HydroCision; Shai Gozani, NEUROMetrix; Read McCarty, Hawaii Medical; Stuart Randle, GI Dynamics; and Amar Sawhney, Confluent Surgical.  Charles Johnson of Choate, Hall & Stewart will serve as chairman of the Board of Directors of MedTech IGNITE.

As the only program in the nation focusing solely on medical technology startups, the initiative seeks to increase the number and sustainability of early-stage medical device companies in New Englandby providing targeted, industry-specific support to entrepreneurs who face daunting challenges launching companies in the highly complex, highly regulated medical device industry.  In order to make the program attainable to entrepreneurs, MedTech IGNITE’s coaching services will be free.

“Having led a few successful medical device companies in addition to developing a number of cutting-edge medical technologies, I now appreciate what it takes to be successful in the medtech industry,” said Amar Sawhney, President and CEOof Confluent Surgical, Inc. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my experience and help guide the development of new, promising medtech companies.”

Entrepreneurs accepted into the program will be matched with a medical device CEO or senior executive who will serve as the entrepreneur’s personal coach through an eight- to 16-week process that will help the entrepreneur hone his or her business model and practice presenting their business case in front of an audience of potential investors, advisors, strategic partners, and employees.  The expert advisors for the business case presentations and the coaches will be drawn from MassMEDIC’s robust membership of leading device companies, service providers, teaching hospitals and universities, including MIT and BostonUniversity.

“While there are now a record number of medical device companies in the state contributing in significant ways to the Massachusetts economy, there is still a vital need to make sure that new companies get the help they need to succeed and contribute to the overall device sector,” said Laura Allen, executive director of MedTech IGNITE.

Allen continued, “Our ultimate hope is that MedTech IGNITE will play a critical role in fostering the growth of the sector, furthering the industry’s contributions to the state’s economic development.”

Tom Sommer, president of MassMEDIC, said, “We have benchmarked the best models in the nation to design the IGNITE program.  We are particularly excited about the early engagement of leading device-company CEOs who are eager to support this initiative and to share their knowledge and wisdom with up-and-coming companies.”

Those interested in learning more and submitting requests to participate in the program (as entrepreneurs, advisors, coaches, etc.) can do so at: www.medtechignite.com.