Top SE Medtech Innovation Resources and Opportunities for Startups, Engineers & Physician Innovators: Part 1 / 2

 In News, Resources

As we welcome in the new year and ramp up preparations for the SEMDA 2017 annual conference in Atlanta, we have seen strong evidence that the southeastern medical device ecosystem is gaining strength. The combination of talent, technology and developmental infrastructure continues to make the southeast ripe for growth in the medtech and medical device industry.

Here are a few of the top medtech innovation resources and opportunities available to innovators of all shapes and sizes, including individual physicians, engineers and startups.

The Southeast’s Role in Innovation and the Cancer Moonshot

In October, Vice President Biden delivered the most recent report on the Cancer Moonshot to President Obama. Featured within the “Private Sector Commitments In Response To The Vice President’s Call To Action,” are Atlanta’s GCMI (Global Center for Medical Innovation) and T3 Labs.


Tiffany Wilson, CEO, GCMI & T3 Labs

From within the fact sheet: “Private sector companies and organizations across the country have made important commitments in response to the Vice President’s call to action for the Cancer Moonshot, including:

Atlanta’s Global Center for Medical Innovation and T3 Labs – In response to Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, Atlanta’s Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) and T3 Labs is collaborating with NCI (National Cancer Institute) to accelerate the development of innovative diagnostic devices from lab to market. These projects often have long timelines to progress from exploratory research to availability for patients’ benefit, with a low percentage making it through the full process. In order to overcome these challenges, GCMI and T3 are partnering with NCI to provide a development pathway that will position promising diagnostics for follow-on investments to support movement into the clinic. At least 5 NCI projects will be selected by GCMI in coordination with NCI program officers and funded investigators to engage their accelerated “proving ground” validation pipeline. Over the next 5 years, this collaboration will demonstrate how to double the speed in which novel cancer diagnostics may move from bench to bedside.”

Does the inclusion of GCMI and T3 Labs within Vice President Biden’s Report and Fact Sheet mark the tipping point for next-level growth in the southeast’s medtech economy? What exactly is next? We don’t want to steal their thunder, but the medtech community, especially physician and engineering innovators, medtech startups and the larger companies and investors would be wise to watch GCMI closely. Big news is coming as soon as early February, we hear. Follow GCMI on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest.

Translational Support: The Coulter Foundation Translational Program

Successfully bringing a medical innovation from the mind of an engineer, academic or physician to the clinical toolbox is a complex process. The Coulter Translational Program is among the many southeast regional medtech development resources that helps accelerate academic innovations’ path to the marketplace by providing an operational roadmap and financial support that guides innovators through the often arduous process of translating a product from technological innovation to commercial product for actual use in clinical practice.

Approximately $1.5M of Coulter funding goes to Emory University and Georgia Tech each year for commercializing promising innovations filling critical gaps in commercialization for innovators including investment. According to the Coulter Translational Program Director Rachel Hagen, Coulter funded 8 projects in 2015, 5 of which are in license negotiations.

This is an incredible regional medtech innovation resource that helps to bridge the chasm between concept and commercialization for medtech innovators.

Fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs in medtech and beyond – the Mercer Innovation Center

In late 2015, Mercer University announced the establishment of the Mercer Innovation Center. The center’s self-stated goals are to:

  • Advance the discovery and commercialization of products and services that have marketplace potential to promote job creation and economic development in Macon and Middle Georgia
  • Inspire a culture of innovation in the region by bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs in order to attract, cultivate and retain creative talent
  • Share the University’s knowledge and resources to achieve positive growth in Macon and Middle Georgia

The Mercer Innovation Fellowship is competitive program run by the center open to entrepreneurs worldwide. Each year, up to five fellowships will be awarded through a competition. Recipients will get one year of housing, office space, interns, access to all Mercer facilities and $20,000 cash.

Who wants to be the first medtech or medical device fellow in the program?

The SEMDA PitchRounds Roadshow

In case you missed it, SEMDA is hitting the road looking for entrepreneurs and innovators building the southeast’s reputation as a value-based location for medtech development. Regional winners will compete at the SEMDA annual conference in April for a cash prize of $10,000 and a slot to present at Advamed 2017 in San Jose.

Are you or someone you know ready to pitch?!?

Stay tuned for Part 2 featuring a few more of the top resources and opportunities for medtech and medical device innovators throughout the southeast in the next week or so.

Help us continue to build a robust medtech ecosystem in the southeast by following SEMDA on LinkedIn and Twitter. And don’t forget to save the date for SEMDA 2017, April 26-27!