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GCMI Launches New Medtech Accelerator


Media Release – February 28, 2017 (Atlanta, Ga.) – The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) announced today it is partnering with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) to support the launch of, and the first startup to enter, the new GCMI Medtech Accelerator.

The announcement harkens the arrival of a substantial new asset for the medtech ecosystem in Atlanta and the southeast.

“Too many medtech startups fail unnecessarily due to a lack of bridge, or seed funding, required to advance far enough in the commercialization process to attract investment by a larger device company,” says Tiffany Wilson, CEO of GCMI and its preclinical testing and training arm T3 Labs. “The new accelerator and BD’s support provides a new source of critically needed funding and support for local and regional medtech startups, and the ecosystem as a whole, to take a measurable step forward.”

According to Wilson, BD will support the first company to complete the GCMI Medtech Accelerator program through a milestone driven process and grant. Each startup or early stage company admitted to the accelerator will be selected by a team including GCMI, an industry partner, investor and other relevant subject matter experts.

BD, and other partnering companies to follow, will play key roles in milestone setting and mentoring for the accelerator’s startups. “Milestone” examples could include intellectual property (IP) protection, FDA 510(k) submission, preclinical studies or a startup’s first contract with a provider or hospital. Selected accelerator companies will live at GCMI for 6 to 12 months depending on the milestones created at admission and the tasks to be completed during their stay. 

“In spite of best efforts, medtech startups still face ‘a valley of death’ when it comes to securing funding and bringing the first product to market”, stated Ellen Strahlman, MD, MHSc, Executive Vice President R&D and Chief Medical Officer for BD. “GCMI represents a unique way to address that issue and the program dovetails nicely with BD’s global accelerator partnerships.”   

“From concept to development through clinical trials, the infrastructure needed to support successful medtech innovation resides within close proximity to our facilities,” says Wilson. “Our new accelerator fills a gap in the ecosystem which now enables us to locally support high potential young medtech companies and the associated economics gains – including new jobs – to Atlanta and the southeast.

According to Jason Rupp, executive director of the Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA), the southeast led the country in [medtech] employment and establishment growth from 2012 – 2014. While overall U.S. employment in the medtech industry fell by 0.1%, employment in the southeast grew by 5.1%, adding 2,874 jobs. The region added 174 establishments during the same period, a 9.4% increase compared to a 5.5% increase nationally.

“GCMI’s Medtech Accelerator represents a profound step forward for the medtech ecosystem in the southeastern United States,” says Rupp. “It is precisely the kind of asset needed to increase regional medtech investment and maximize our local and regional resources’ capabilities to drive improvements in patient care and meaningful economic growth.”

“GCMI’s team has the track record, facilities, expertise, network and commitment to make this the first of what we believe will be many high-value partnerships for all concerned and a model for accelerating medtech innovation,” says Al Lauritano, BD’s Director, External Innovation & Partnerships.

“Medical device innovation is a complex, expensive process, yet there is a tremendous need for novel solutions to unmet clinical needs,” Wilson says. “These are the technologies that will ultimately benefit patients and lower healthcare costs by improving the way physicians diagnose and treat disease. Given Atlanta’s fantastic resources, which include expertise at GCMI, T3 Labs, Georgia Tech, Emory Healthcare, Piedmont Healthcare, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and now the GCMI Medtech Accelerator thanks to BD’s support, we can help de-risk many new medical technologies in a methodical way, making the process more transparent and predictable, decreasing the time required for a new device to get to market and attracting more investment.”

“GCMI levels the playing field for small medtech startups to get a toe hold, work through regulatory, make it to market and then scale. With their help, we were able to avoid millions of dollars in upfront costs,” says John O’Shaughnessy, Founder and CEO of Matrix Surgical USA.

About GCMI

The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) brings together core members of the medical device community, including universities, research centers, clinicians, established device companies, investors and startups, with the goal of accelerating the commercialization of innovative medical technology.