David Cassak | December 22, 2016
Closely related to the funding crisis that the very earliest stage medical device start-ups face today is an equally challenging issue: how to get noticed in a world where dozens if not hundreds of companies are competing for the attention of the same small pool of investors and corporate partners?
Five years ago, Paul Grand, then a partner at early-stage venture fund RCT Ventures, came up with an idea: an annual showcase for promising new companies that would give those companies the kind of exposure that would lead to greater things down the road.
Working initially with Casey McGlynn, head of the life science practice at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Grand devised a program that was serious in its intent but playful in its execution, a program that brought nearly a dozen young companies to the stage at WSGR’s 2013 Medical Device Conference. Companies in the competition pitched their technologies to an on-stage panel of industry executives and investors but the judging was left to audience members in a popular-vote format consciously modeled after the smash television show, American Idol…
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