Mike Weber had an idea. As a medical device sales representative, he was aware that medical companies often provide equipment support during operations, usually a technician who is in the operating room during the procedure. Weber’s idea was to provide support remotely, by way of virtual technology, to minimize risk factors and cost. The problem was he didn’t know how to get his idea into production.
Last October, Weber attended a networking session hosted by Medical Main Street, a collaboration of world renowned hospitals, universities and health care and life science companies in Southeast Michigan. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson created the initiative in 2008 to harness the strength of the area’s health care, life science, research and development, education and manufacturing assets.
At the event, Weber, president of Quipzor, connected with Kevin Lasser, CEO of JEMS Technology, a company providing telemedicine technology. “It was really fortunate that we met at a Medical Main Street event,” said Weber. “I had an idea for bringing telemedicine into the operating room, and Kevin’s company had the technology to accomplish it. Medical Main Street made me realize that Southeast Michigan is a really good place for medical technology. The networking opportunities allow me to ‘connect the dots’ with guidance and introductions to partners. That’s the power behind Medical Main Street.”
“Medical Main Street is about helping one company at a time,” said Lasser, who chairs the Medical Main Street Advisory Committee. “Through our networking, I’ve been able to mentor Mike and introduce him to experts like patent attorneys who can help get his product to market.”
For Dr. Mick Perez-Cruet, chief of minimally invasive spine surgery at Beaumont Health, the Medical Main Street INNO-VENTION workshops yielded several key relationships necessary to move his MI4Spine product line from idea through commercialization. The MI4Spine designed devices, for minimally invasive spine surgery, are applicable to a wide range of spinal pathology. The Medical Main Street team introduced Dr. Perez-Cruet to Phil L’Esperance, a Medical Main Street Advisory Council member. L’Esperance consults for MI4Spine, as well as assists other Medical Main Street companies wishing to commercialize products or make a transition from traditional manufacturing to medical device manufacturing.
One of MI4Spine’s earliest inventions, the Bone Bac Press, marketed by Thompson MIS of Traverse City, is being purchased and distributed by Medtronic. The progression of the Bone Bac Press from idea to commercialization to distribution by one of the biggest medical device companies in the world is more than anyone at MI4Spine and its partners expected. MI4Spine’s next generation of products are in various stages of commercialization and the company is looking forward to establishing partnerships with new companies and potential funding sources.
“Medical Main Street is the key to relationship building,” said L’Esperance. “MI4Spine is the poster child for the Medical Main Street success story.”
MI4Spine was just named one of Michigan’s Most Innovative Companies 2015 by Crain’s Business Detroit.
Your company could be a Medical Main Street success story. The next opportunity to network with Medical Main Street companies is coming up September 16 for the INNO-VENTION Reception, featuring the INNO-VATOR of the Year Awards held at Petruzello’s in Troy. Registration is now open at AdvantageOakland.EventBrite.com.
About Medical Main Street
Medical Main Street is your company’s partner into the life science, biotechnology, pharmacology, and health care industries in Southeast Michigan. Expand and grow your business by gaining access to over 400 companies and six health systems in the Medical Main Street Network.
Medical Main Street will connect your company to the existing life science ecosystem. We offer an array of business assistance for all companies, from the startup to the well-established firm wishing to diversify into medical device manufacturing. Our experienced team helps your company access capital, coordinate incentives, assist in site location, provide market and industry research, and assist in developing your workforce.
Medical Main Street is powered by Oakland County, one of the global leaders of economic development with over 900 foreign owned firms. Our “One Stop Shop” approach to business assistance ensures success for your company by providing all major services in-house. From conceptualization to commercialization and expansion, Oakland County is here to support you every step of the way.
The Medical Main Street board includes representatives from: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Beaumont Health, Beckman Coulter Molecular Diagnostics, Crittenton Hospital, Detroit Medical Center, Ferndale Laboratories, Henry Ford Health System, Housey Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories, McLaren Health Care – Oakland, MichBio, Oakland Community College, Oakland University, Oxus Inc., Priority Health, Rockwell Medical, St. John Providence Health System, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and Stryker.
For more information, visit MedicalMainStreet.com.