Building regional medtech momentum: our PitchRounds Road Show takeaways from Innovation Depot in Birmingham

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Following a solid start to the 2017 SEMDA PitchRounds Road Show in Orlando, the crew loaded up and headed to Birmingham on Wednesday, February 8. We packed the room with more than 70 medtech pros, startups, investors and more in Innovation Depot’s new Velocity Accelerator.

Pitching competitors AlternaVisit, Blondin Bioscience, Control Flo Medical, ICONN Orthopedics, Millitherm and Vital Metrix each took their 10 minute shot at a chance to attend and pitch for a shot at $10,000 and an Advamed 2017 presenter slot at SEMDA’s 2017 flagship annual conference in Atlanta.

Congratulations Vital Metrix!
While each of the companies should be proud of their performances, the judgesincluding Bob Crutchfield, Bing Edwards and Steven Sistrunk named Vital Metrix the winner. “The combination of ‘closest to commercialization’ and addressable market caused Vital Metrix to stand out among the quality competition in Birmingham,” said Crutchfield, general partner with Harbert Growth Partners.

Jason Heym, Co Founder and software engineer at Huntsville-based Vital Metrix, said, “CardioMEMS was a trailblazer in this segment showing us what was possible and the impact for patients, which inspired us for certain. Our non-invasive hemodynamic home monitoring capabilities for congestive heart failure patients and their clinicians is new territory in terms of both cost and utility.

“We didn’t originally know where we were going or how we were going to have have the greatest impact. That is changing now,” Heym says. “Finishing our clinical studies, completing our 510K application and getting to market so that we can begin to improve the lives of congestive heart failure patients and the clinicians who serve them is our top priority.”

Clearly Jason and Vital Metrix’ accelerator experience with the Jumpstart Foundry (Nashville) and HubX (Huntsville) is paying dividends.

How SEMDA works for the southeastern medtech ecosystem
“Everything from pitch competitions to networking, meetings with investors, helping us with our story: SEMDA is a high value resource for the entirety of the medtech community, especially for startups and early growth stage companies,” Jason said.

We are grateful to the team at Innovation Depot for their hospitality and support, along with Robert Hergenrother, Ph.D., director of medical technology research for Southern Research and Atrion Medical, both local sponsors for the Birmingham Road Show. We would like to also extend our thanks to the 2017 PitchRounds Road Show sponsors BakerHostetler, Butler Snow, GCMI, Medmarc, and Write2Market.

We look forward to bringing you a more in depth look at Vital Metrix in an upcoming story. Be sure to follow SEMDA on LinkedIn and Twitter for all of the latest news and stories.

Advice for companies who are thinking about 2017 SEMDA Road Shows or the 2017 Flagship Conference
When asked what advice he would offer a medtech innovator in his position three years ago Heym told us, “Go out and talk to anyone who will listen. Keep your sensitive IP private, but talk to as many experts as you can. People with similar stories and experiences are willing to share their wisdom and insights. SEMDA events are a perfect place to do this.”

“If you are not planning on pitching, no matter how early or young your company or idea, get it ready and just go pitch,” said Kayla Rodriguez, COO of SweetBio. “Do whatever you can to take steps forward. Redefine winning. Winning PitchRounds is not all about coming in first. Winning PitchRounds is also in relationship building.

“We got to know more about who we are as a team. And while we don’t have all the answers, we have the grit and grind. Our experience at SEMDA 2015 helped refine our strategic direction, improved our pitch, opened new doors and helped validate our business.” – Kayla Rodriguez, COO, SweetBio. Read more about how SweetBio used SEMDA as a springboard growth here.

During our Birmingham Pitch Round, Bob Crutchfield of Herbert Venture Partners explains what makes a young medtech company investable.

Interested in attending one of the remaining #SEMDAPitchRounds leading up to SEMDA 2017 in Atlanta, April 26 & 27th? Learn more here!