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Life Sciences : Innovation + Job News

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FocusStart, a startup that gets medical devices to market

Bringing a new medical device to market is a costly, time-consuming process. Innovations that seem like a slam dunk in the research lab often turn out not to work as intended during development. Clinical trials require minute, painstaking attention to detail. Federal regulators, understandably, demand proof that any new device is reasonably safe and works as its manufacturer claims. Each of these steps requires adequate funding and skilled manpower.
At the end of it all, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance firms must be willing to reimburse providers that use the device. With rare exceptions, devices that don’t qualify for reimbursement—a highly complex consideration—fail to find traction in the market.
“Even with unlimited funding, it can take two years or more to complete the process for relatively simple medical devices,” says FocusStart founder and CEO Dr. Daniel Sigg.
Sigg and FocusStart co-founder Peter DeLange, who previously ran a successful medical device startup called Devicix (recently purchased by Nortech Systems, a local medical engineering company), had each spent years searching for a better early-stage device development model. When they met a few years back, they quickly realized their professional skills complemented each other.
So they founded FocusStart, a St. Paul startup that shepherds promising medical technologies through the tricky testing and development phase, refines validated devices for commercialization, and seeks strategic partners (typically multinationals) to complete the regulatory approval process and actually bring devices to market. FocusStart’s model is less capital-intensive than traditional medical device development models, though the company still assumes risk for technologies that don’t pan out during development.
FocusStart currently has four promising technologies in its portfolio: a cardiac product that may reduce blood clot risk following certain surgical procedures; a urological catheter that may reduce the risk of certain infections; a “smart” respiratory inhaler; and a “tissue tension sensor” that may promote better outcomes following partial and total knee replacement procedures.
Sigg and the team are devoting substantial energy and attention to the tissue tension sensor, which is capable of directly measuring ligament tension without requiring an invasive cut. Direct measurement enables surgeons to properly “balance” the knee during the replacement procedure, reducing the likelihood of complications or outright failure.
The sensor could potentially benefit other orthopedic procedures, such as rotator cuff and ACL surgeries, though FocusStart is concentrating on knee replacement for now. According to Sigg, it also has potential as a training tool for newer surgeons, who lack the intuitive “feel” of more experienced operators.
Although each technology is different, FocusStart’s development approach is fairly standardized. First, the company approaches a research institution to work out a licensing agreement for the technology. FocusStart works with the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, the University of Zurich (in Switzerland) and an Israeli inventor.
“We quickly found that these agreements are fairly standard, with some variation,” says Sigg.
FocusStart generally would pay a royalty on future sales of the product, possibly with an equity component to sweeten the deal for the institution should the technology find its way into a marketable device.
“We find it easier to develop relationships locally,” says Sigg, adding that his Swiss background (he grew up in Switzerland and attended medical school at the University of Basel) probably helped with the Zurich partnership.
FocusStart’s lean model helps, too. “Once [our partners] understood our approach, we become more successful in finding very interesting technologies,” says Sigg. And the combined expertise of the firm’s principals—Sigg was a board-certified anesthesiologist and subsequently amassed almost two decades of medical research and development experience, while DeLange had the business chops to build Devicix into a successful concern and boasts insider knowledge of the medical device field—doesn’t hurt.
But that doesn’t mean swift success is assured. FocusStart has been “fortunate” to receive National Institutes of Health grants during the early going, but the company continues to seek government grants and private funding—a process that will likely continue as Sigg and DeLange seek out and develop promising new technologies.
There’s no such thing as a perfect batting record in the medical device business. “As we do our own work, we may find challenges or problems that weren’t apparent previously,” says Sigg. “Occasionally, you have to know when to say ‘that’s it’ and walk away [from a technology].”

Turning MSP into the Silicon Valley of med tech innovation

In August, downtown Minneapolis-based healthcare incubator TreeHouse Health teamed up with LifeScience Alley, a local biotech accelerator, for a well-attended demo day called Healthcare Innovation Is Alive and Well in Minnesota. According to Dr. John Blank, a TreeHouse Health cofounder (and, previously, a pediatric oncologist and health system administrator), the event supported TreeHouse’s ambitious-sounding mission: to turn MSP into the “Silicon Valley of medical technology innovation.”
Healthcare Innovation is Alive and Well featured lectures and workshops on pressing issues facing early-stage medical technology and life science companies — raising capital, bringing ideas to market, becoming cashflow-positive and more — plus an open, craft brew-fueled networking hour with some of the region’s top healthcare decision-makers.
But the real stars of the show were the innovative startups tapped to pitch their solutions to the high-profile crowd. Many were current TreeHouse Health tenants: Cellanyx, whose diagnostic solution could revolutionize the industry’s approach to certain cancers; PerkHealth, a virtual health coaching app that made The Line’s 10 life-changing startups list last year; and VitalSims, an education platform for medical professionals.
TreeHouse Health’s portfolio is compelling. But Blank believes that if MSP is to live up to TreeHouse’s “Silicon Valley” promise, more needs to be done to support current and future medical technology entrepreneurs. At the moment, MSP lacks a critical mass of native venture capitalists willing to go out on a limb for potentially disruptive healthcare ideas.
Blank cites an early-stage health IT firm, currently in residence at TreeHouse Health, that had struggled to meet a $2 million funding round target with local backers despite a proven technology solution and more than $1 million in annual revenues. After six or seven months of banging on doors in MSP, the firm broadened its search and eventually completed the round with outside investors.
“There are plenty of investors interested in the health IT space,” says Blank, a Massachusetts native, “but they’re mostly based on the East or West Coasts and tend to fly over Minnesota.”
That’s why Blank and the TreeHouse team are fanatical about boosting the visibility of the companies in and outside of TreeHouse’s portfolio, starting with initiatives like the Life Science Alley collaboration.
TreeHouse is also working to attract promising companies that began life in regions better known for tech innovation, like Boston (arguably the capital of the U.S. life sciences industry) and the Bay Area. According to Blank, TreeHouse currently has one tenant from each region, with an eye for more.
A key selling point for TreeHouse and MSP in general, he says, is location. “You can easily travel anywhere in the continental United States and back within a 24-hour period, or even in the same business day” from MSP, says Blank. He mentions a TreeHouse tenant that recently flew overnight to Seattle for morning meetings with hospital executives there, then caught an early-afternoon flight back in time for dinner—a nearly 3,000-mile round trip in less than 24 hours.
“That kind of turnaround isn’t possible when you’re based on the coasts,” says Blank.
Another big advantage for MSP: a diverse array of established medical “payers” (health systems like Mayo and HealthPartners), insurers (like UnitedHealth Group), and device/technology manufacturers (like Medtronic and St. Jude Medical).
In other words, local life science and medical technology startups that do manage to find funding here are apt to find lots of paying customers close by, regardless of niche—an important measure of security for any early-stage company. Over the long term, that existing customer base, coupled with a healthy dose of Minnesota nice, should prove enticing for coastal entrepreneurs looking to relocate to a cheaper, business-friendly locale.
“[MSP] is one of the few places in the country where you have Fortune 100 companies in every major healthcare sector,” says Blank. “And it’s a friendly enough place that you can make real progress toward building a professional network within a few days.”

Minnesota Cup announces 2013 winner

Crossing the finish line in the heated Minnesota Cup entrepreneurial competition is Preceptis Medical, a device manufacturer that's developing surgical tools for pediatric patients.
The company bested almost 1,100 competitors to nab the $40,000 grand prize, as well as $25,000 as the Life Science/Health IT division winner.
What got the judges' attention for Preceptis was the company's focus on the development of surgical innovations that would allow ear tube procedures to be performed with reduced pain and surgical time for children. Any parent who's watched a child suffer through multiple ear infections is likely to laud the kind of relief that Preceptis promises. Ear tube surgery is the most common pediatric surgery in the United States.
Now in clinical evaluation, the ear tube device and procedure have been tested on 60 patients, and Preceptis CEO Steve Anderson notes that it reduces trauma and risk, and offers greater efficiency for the surgeon.
"This year has been exhilarating," says Minnesota Cup co-founder Scott Litman. "We've had the best collection of presentations in our history, including the one from this year's winner, Preceptis Medical."
He added that 2014 will be the competition's 10th anniversary, and the competition's leadership is already brainstorming ways to grow the contest and involve more Minnesotans. Litman says, "We will discover and help more entrepreneurs to build better business plans and achieve long-lasting success. And of course, our ultimate goal is to cement the Minnesota Cup as a permanent part of the business landscape."
Source: Scott Litman, Minnesota Cup
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

MHTA unveils new innovation series

Minnesota will have yet another technology and business resource on Sept. 18th, when the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and Minneapolis-based awareness firm Innovosource partner to provide a new monthly innovation series.
Dubbed "A Break for Breakthroughs," the series takes the form of free webinars for MHTA members, with the first event covering the latest breakthroughs in flexible electronics, from films and displays to touch sensor integration.

To kick off the series, the first webinar will be shown both online and at CoCo Minneapolis in the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Speakers have just been announced, and Innovosource's founder will moderate.
According to Andrew Wittenborg, MHTA's director of outreach, upcoming sessions will cover emerging areas that affect Minnesota's technology landscape most directly. For example, wearable devices and robotics are booming here, so they'll get coverage, as will nanotech, biotech, and stem cells.  Advancements in image processing and analysis are also slated to be discussed.
"We are particularly excited by this new partnership because it represents a key aspect of MHTA's mission to fuel Minnesota's prosperity through innovation and technology," Wittenborg notes.
He adds that the mission of the series is to help business leaders, R&D teams, investors, entrepreneurs, and others to learn more about emerging technologies and to build stronger relationships among the top players locally. "We will provide a greater level of awareness beyond the widely accessible information already available," says Wittenborg.
MHTA will also provide programming for Innovosource's Pardon the Disruption program, which connects high technology companies and investors to research universities and laboratories.
Source: Andrew Wittenborg, MHTA
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

Tekne Awards offer new categories for this year's round

Minnesota technology leaders, start your engines.
The high-profile Tekne Awards just opened for entries, and five new categories have been added: STEM education and digital learning, healthcare delivery, impact on industry, agricultural technology, and safety and security.
Innovative entrepreneurs, organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies will all compete in the award program, now in its 14th year, presented by the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA).
The state remains at the forefront of cutting-edge technological growth, the MHTA noted, and the robust and growing competition highlights the kind of innovation that's homegrown here, from cleantech to robotics.
Last year, winners included Nova-Tech Engineering, Ecolab, Global Traffic Technologies, Maverick Software Consulting, and Sophia Learning. The City of Minneapolis also received an award, for technology excellence in a non-profit organization, getting a nod for an emergency operations training facility that blends digital data and streaming video.
This year, the five fresh categories showcase new directions in the state's approach to innovation. STEM education, a hot topic these days, gets its own category for programs that engage K-12 students in applied learning opportunities. Healthcare delivery will award innovation in the area of medical devices, diagnostics, data management, and other areas that improve patient care.
"We are watching significant growth in the areas of mobility as well as safety and security and want to make sure the Tekne Awards reflect that," says Andrew Wittenborg, Director of Outreach for MHTA. "At the same time,  we want to recognize and support the collaborative efforts that lead to Minnesota breakthroughs."
In addition to its new categories, the awards will feature well-established, competition-rich categories like software, startup, advanced manufacturing, and mobile technologies.
Applications for this year's awards will be open until July 15th, and there's no application fee, nor do applicants have to be MHTA members. Finalists will be announced in September, with an award celebration held in November.
Source: Andrew Wittenborg, Director of Outreach, Minnesota High Tech Association
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

New crowdfunding service LiifGroup already makes expansion plans

When it comes to crowdfunding, most people are familiar with Kickstarter, a site that boosts the potential of artists and businesspeople, with a strong focus on community efforts and creative arts. For those who don't fall into those categories, though, utilizing crowdfunding has been almost impossible.
That is, until now. Savage-based company LiifGroup offers a dynamic platform that allows users to raise money through multiple crowdfunding sites designed by the firm.
Co-founded by Mark Connelly, Jack Cosentino, and Kristi Masser, the platform launched on January 8th, and has already been gaining traction.
"The last couple months have been crazy," says Connelly. "We're vetting projects, looking at financials, and going from meeting to meeting. We're the first crowdfunding company started in Minnesota, and it's obvious already that there was a need for this."
LiifGroup's model differs from Kickstarter, since a venture won't lose all their money if a certain amount isn't reached within a specified timeframe. Instead, they can receive partial funding. LiifGroup generates revenue by receiving five percent of the amount each company raises.
The medical market, in particular, will benefit from the platform. Connelly is an emergency and trauma physician for North Memorial Health Care, while Masser spent 15 years with pharmaceutical giant Merck. That experience, combined with Cosentino's tech startup background, made the trio gravitate first to the many medical device startups in the region.
In addition to its medical crowdfunding site, called LiifMed, the company has a platform for sports-related startups, LiifSport. Connelly notes that another one is being built for luxury goods, and he anticipates a variety of platforms in the future.
"Already, we see growth ahead, and a great deal of opportunity," he says.
Source: Mark Connelly, LiifGroup
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

Tech startup Miinome focuses on genome data

Much has been written about cracking the genome's code, but little is said about how this information will be used, particularly on an individual level. Will your genome data be public property, or will you be able to have a level of ownership over its contents? One Minneapolis-based startup prefers the latter.
Founded in March 2012 by entrepreneur Paul Saarinen and University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Genetics Scott Fahrenkrug, Miinome aims to be the largest member-owned genetic database and genetic data broker in the world. The name Miinome derives from a combination of 'genome' and a play on 'Wii' game controllers, creating a blend that indicates members will have control of their own unique genetic code.
"We believe in the concept of property rights, and genomic data right now isn't necessarily legally yours yet," says Saarinen. "We want to change that, to a model where you would have access to your genetic information, and the ability to choose what you do with it."
The company is in its early stages right now, but sparking quite a bit of interest with partnerships and investors. The pair has filed an initial patent around the idea with plans to release a beta version of their platform in the next six months. Until then, Saarinen is jetting around the country collecting advisors and raising capital.
"This is getting a little crazy in terms of traction, and we're just trying to keep up," he says. In other words, keep an eye on Miinome this year as it goes from stealth to boom.
Source: Paul Saarinen, Miinome
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

February events: MHTA Session, Health 2.0, Business Valuation, Digital Marketing

MHTA Session Preview: Tech, Innovation, and Life Science Industries
February 5
Science Museum of Minnesota
20 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul
4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Presented by the Minnesota High Tech Association and Life Science Alley, this event features a panel discussion with several legislators, including Speaker of the House Paul Thissen, talking about the future of tech, innovation, and life sciences in the state.
Health 2.0: Aetna and Azul 7
February 6
Azul 7 offices
800 Hennepin Ave., Suite 700, Minneapolis
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
For the past year, design firm Azul 7 has been working the Aetna to develop a cohesive user experience across multiple systems. In this talk, both sides will discuss the project, as well as give insight on the challenges and benefits of designing user-friendly technologies in the health care industry.
Business Valuation Conference
February 6
University of St. Thomas
1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis
7:30 am - 4:30 pm
This annual conference, now in its 23rd year, covers an array of business valuation topics, including the basics of a real estate appraisal, use of regression analysis, and eminent domain. Toby Madden, from The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will give an economic update to kick off the day.
Social Media and Data Analytics for Digital Marketing
February 7 & 8
Carlson School of Management
321 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
As part of its Executive Education series, the Carlson School of Management presents this two-day conference on making smarter use of social media and their data. Participants will learn how to extract business intelligence from social tools, why they should tap into open innovation opportunities, and much more.

UnitedHealthcare creates contest for innovative health tech

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is hoping that plenty of innovation-minded individuals will be ready to take on a new challenge, and perhaps win some prize money as a result.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, the health benefit company announced the introduction of a "Breakthrough Health Tech Challenge," meant to spark creativity both within and outside of the health care industry.
Innovators can win a prize of $60,000 for an idea that utilizes common consumer technologies or devices to solve a healthcare challenge. For example, an innovator might propose a mobile app for preventing diabetes, or outline how an online game could reduce the risk of heart disease.
"We believe this groundbreaking challenge will inspire new ideas and concepts that could serve as breakthrough solutions to improving people's health and the healthcare system," says Gail Boudreaux, UnitedHealthcare CEO.
Boudreaux adds that since the competition is worldwide, the "crowdsourcing" technique should be even more potent. Details of the challenge are available here, and ideas are accepted until April 8th.
This isn't the first contest run by UHC for addressing technology and healthcare. The company has developed a series of innovation challenges since mid-2012, and Boudreaux notes that a number of unique ideas and concepts have resulted, with implementation on the horizon.
For the current contest, entrants must submit a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept data or prototype. UHC offers a partial award of up to $20,000 if a proven solution doesn't exist yet, and there may be opportunities for collaboration between UHC and the innovator if the project sparks interest.
Source: Gail Boudreaux, UnitedHealthcare
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

Life science staffing firm Talencio finds consistent growth

Finding skilled employees is always a challenge, but what about staffing a short-term project that requires expertise on thin polymers or medtech regulations? Then it's time to call Talencio.
The staffing firm, founded in 2008 by Paula Norbom, specializes in contract and direct-hire professionals in biotech, pharmaceutical, healthcare, and medtech. Norbom had been an executive in the medical device industry, and found that there was a particular need in the life sciences field for shorter-term experts who could lend their experience to projects.
"The life science industry is really strong here in Minnesota, and there's some great talent," says Norbom. "So, we're all about making those connections."
The company has five employees, and maintains a database of about 2,000 contractors, with around 80 percent located in the state.
Norbom expects that Talencio will keep growing its contractor roster, and expanding its services. Part of that growth will come from a pool of contractors who appreciate the flexibility that a project-based arrangement can bring.
"Many people just want to do what they love and what they know how to do best," Norbom says. "They don't want to be stuck in meetings all day. This way, they can just step in and get the job done and move to the next project."
She adds that companies are changing how they view employment as well. Many of her clients have a core group of talented employees, and bring talent in as needed from Talencio. Norbom expects this strategy to keep booming, and the firm will grow as a result. So, for those in the life science industry who need help with everything from risk management to clinical research, Talencio is ready.
Source: Paula Norbom, Talencio
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

Tekne Awards finalists announced

Highlighting the strength of the state's technology sectors, the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) announced finalists for the 2011 Tekne Awards.
The award program, now in its 12th year, recognizes innovations from 2010 that represent the brightest in development, commercialization, and management of technology in Minnesota. Forty-two finalists were named in fourteen categories.
The MHTA noted that recent growth in Minnesota's educational and robotic technology sectors were particularly visible this year, but that all technology sectors are staying strong.
In the education category, finalists are Capella University, Sophia, and Naiku--which recently won the recent Minnesota Cup award. Finalists in other categories represent a range of companies, from large firms like Imation Corp. and Digital River to smaller businesses like Xollai and QuickCheck Health.
The awards are designed to showcase these types of companies, and draw attention to the innovative and competitive companies in the state, according to MHTA president Margaret Anderson Kelliher. They're part of the organization's larger mission to boost education and entrepreneurship along with technology development.
"We're very excited about the opportunities available to technology companies here," says Kelliher. "In general, we believe that individuals and companies in the state have more potential than they do challenges. We're proud and happy to support them in any way we can."
The Tekne Awards will be presented on November 3 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Source: Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Minnesota High Tech Association
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

QuickCheck Health offers a clinic in a box

You wake up with a killer sore throat and suspect that it's strep. Instead of sweet-talking your way into a same-day appointment with your doctor or taking a chance on a short wait at Urgent Care (good luck on that), you just swab your own throat, use a simple device, and get the answer.
If you're right, you go through a quick online clinic visit and get a prescription sent to your local pharmacy. Fifteen minutes after waking up, you're on your way to pick up the antibiotics.
This scenario may seem futuristic, but it's closer than ever, thanks to QuickCheck Health, an Excelsior-based startup that aims to revolutionize home health care.
According to a recent Rand Corporation study, about 90 percent of visits to retail clinics were for ten acute conditions, including upper respiratory infections, sore throats, and urinary tract infections as well as blood tests for issues like STDs.
QuickCheck aims to handle the testing for these conditions with devices that provide rapid diagnostic results for minimal cost. The company is developing devices that can detect the presence of Lyme disease, mono, pregnancy, pinkeye, yeast infections, strep throat, the flu, and urinary tract infections. They're also developing tools that can track cholesterol and glucose levels.
With the ability to provide accurate test results at home, people can utilize online health care services more effectively, says QuickCheck president and CEO Tom Henke.
Launched in February 2010, the company sprang from Henke's 25 years in the health insurance industry. He says, "During that time, I saw that the industry was going down a path that wasn't leading to lower costs or customer satisfaction. In fact, it was quite the opposite."
When he left the industry, he had several business concepts and an entrepreneurial drive, and settled on QuickCheck after watching his four children struggle through multiple bouts of strep throat.
"I thought, why am I bringing them to the doctor every time?" he says. "I wondered why people couldn't just do this at home. So I began reverse-engineering the process."
QuickCheck's devices will be submitted to the FDA soon, and are getting ready for consumer use studies. After that, you can expect to see the devices on store shelves by early next year, and look for QuickCheck to grow rapidly from that point on.
"We love the idea of people taking more charge of their health, and this will help them do just that," says Henke.
Source: Tom Henke, QuickCheck Health
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

LifeScience Alley adds VP of Government Affairs

Trade association LifeScience Alley is looking to boost its legislative activity, with the creation of a new role: vice president of government and affiliate relations.

The group has hired Shaye Mandle, an expert on policy and coalition-building to take the post. Mandle most recently served as the executive director of the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, where he helmed economic development and industry engagement.

In the private sector, Mandle managed government affairs, university relations, and business strategy for the Science Applications International Corporation, a firm with extensive R&D operations in Arlington, Virginia.

At LifeScience Alley, Mandle will work to develop a public-policy strategy, and be responsible for working with key state and national groups, including federal agencies, other industry associations, and legislators.

The group is hoping to improve the regulatory and economic climate for life-science innovation, and more involvement in legislation and policy is an important next step in that effort.

"The mission of the organization isn't changing," says Mandle. "Part of our core competency is to be a voice for the industry. So, we'll be lobbying on a day-to-day basis around existing legislation, and also looking for other ways to play in the policy arena."

Mandle's first steps will be connecting with the association's membership, to determine levels of need, and what they'd like to see happening in terms of policy action.

"If you look at the evolution of our government relations, you'll see that it's been mainly reactive," says Ryan Baird, director of marketing and communications at the organization. "We've finally gotten to the point where we can take a more proactive approach, and Shaye is a big part of that."

Source: Shaye Mandle and Ryan Baird, LifeScience Alley
Writer: Elizabeth Millard

Startup Aria CV to commercialize U of M med device technology

A start-up company hopes to use University of Minnesota technology to create a medical device that will treat the debilitating disease pulmonary hypertension.

Aria CV, Inc., has licensed technology that was developed at the U of M's Medical Devices Center through its Innovation Fellows Program, a "year on steroids of product development" says Art Erdman, director of the center.

The cross-disciplinary program brings fellows with backgrounds in engineering, medicine, and biosciences together with faculty, medical professionals, and industry collaborators to develop and test ideas for new medical devices.

The yearlong program starts in the field, identifying medical needs in hospitals and on ambulance rides, says Erdman. Last year, 800 needs were narrowed to about 20 projects, which look at every aspect of medical-device development.

Some of those projects make it through to actual development; in its first three years, the Medical Devices Center has produced two startups, 35 patents, and a license agreement, according to Erdman.

Aria's two active founders--Vice President of Engineering Karl Vollmers and and CEO John Scandurra--and the other inventors were fellows in the program until last fall. Since licensing the technology Aria has filed other patents related to the device, which is in the testing and feasibility stage of development, says Vollmers.

Aria CV is a certified company with the Minnesota Angel Tax Credit and has received funding by private investors through the program, says Vollmers, who says Aria could start hiring employees next year.

Vollmers says the device will not replace the drug therapy that many pulmonary hypertension patients go through, "but we believe it will improve the life span and the quality of living considerably."

It will be years before the device is approved, first in Europe and then in the U.S., says Vollmers.

Art Erdman, U of M Medical Devices Center
Karl Vollmers, Aria CV
Writer: Jeremy Stratton

July events: bootstrappers, bioscience BBQ, pub standards, grain exchange, more

Pub Standards MN
Thursday, July 14, 6�8 p.m.
Psycho Suzie's
1900 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis

Join in the monthly meet-up of Pub Standards MN to "drink, talk shit, complain, and commiserate" with other web professionals, as their website states.

Annual UEL Summer BBQ
Wednesday, July 20, 3�6:30 p.m.
University Enterprises Laboratories
1000 Westgate Drive, St. Paul

Call 651-641-2804 or email [email protected] to rsvp for this annual gathering at the biosciences research center and early-stage company incubator.

Creativity in the Digital World � MIMA event
Wednesday, July 20, 5:15 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center, U of M Campus
200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis
Free to $45

Heath Rudduck, chief creative officer at Campbell Mithun, will present at this event from the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA). Registration and cash bar at 5:15 p.m.; presentation at 6 p.m.; networking, food & cash bar at 7 p.m. Pre-register for $40 (free for MIMA members and students) or walk in for $40�$45.

Hacks/Hackers Twin Cities
Hacked! - Why You Should Care about Privacy in Social Media
Thursday, July 21, 6 p.m.
Public Radio International
401 Second Ave. N., Suite 500, Minneapolis

Join the newly established Hacks/Hackers Twin Cities for a conversation about privacy and security in social media.

Bootstrappers Breakfast
Thursday, July 28, 7:30�9 a.m.
Wilde Roast
65 SE Main St., Minneapolis
Early stage technology startups compare notes on operational, development, and business issues with peers who "eat problems for breakfast." Moderated by start-up lawyer Kevin Spreng.

CoCo/Project Skyway Grain Exchange opening party
Saturday, July 30
400 South Fourth Street
details TBA

The early news is that CoCo and Project Skyway will celebrate the opening of their Minneapolis space at the Grain Exchange on July 30. Watch for details on their websites.

Visit Tech.MN for a full listing of tech-related events.
46 Life Sciences Articles | Page: | Show All
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