Region lands $750K to support medtech startups

July 23, 2019

Wright State Applied Research Corporation has been awarded $750K to pump into the Dayton region’s burgeoning cluster of medical technology companies, the U.S. Economic Development Association (EDA) announced today.

The Dayton MedTech Nexus Initiative will move medtech startups to market faster by leveraging the region’s healthcare specialization, defense research assets, and entrepreneurial ecosystems to build new, medtech-specific commercialization pathways.

“This is great news for the region,” WSARC CEO Dennis Andersh said. “The research labs and entrepreneurs in the Dayton region are creating world-class technologies with the potential to save lives across the globe. We’re excited to work with EDA & regional partners to get these products to market.”

“The Entrepreneurs Center is thrilled to partner with WSARC in support of the i6 Challenge grant. Medtech is the fastest growing segment of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, and this program will catalyze our ongoing efforts to make it a foundation of the Dayton region’s innovation economy,” TEC Director Scott Koorndyke said. “One of Dayton’s unique assets is our collective ability to generate novel technology, and this award will help us develop those technologies into viable businesses. This award reflects the progress we’ve made – and the incredible future ahead of us.”

On average it takes three to seven years for a medtech product to reach market due to extensive regulations and often prohibitive prototyping costs. The Dayton MedTech Nexus Initiative will provide funding to help medtech entrepreneurs develop regulatory compliance strategies and prototypes, both of which they need to pursue angel investors.

Partners on the Dayton-area project include Wright State University’s The ONEIL Center, The Entrepreneurs Center, BioOhio, and University of Dayton’s Fastlane. Over the next three years, WSRI & its partners look to create a network of 300 researchers, entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors; create and assess a pipeline of 100 MedTech opportunities; support the development of 50 MedTech companies; create an internship infrastructure to place 50 interns in MedTech companies; & see $10M invested into startups.

“At The ONEIL Center at Wright State, students support Dayton’s thriving entrepreneurial community in a uniquely collaborative experiential learning setting,” ONEIL Center Executive Director Brandy Foster said. “We’re excited to expand our efforts toward building a workforce development pipeline for the medtech startup ecosystem.”

“FASTLANE is delighted to be a partner to WSARC in this Dayton MedTech Nexus Initiative,” FASTLANE Director Philip Ratermann said. “Our team looks forward to capitalizing on our expertise to connect these medtech entrepreneurs to local manufacturers, and meaningfully accelerate the commercialization of these technologies into real-world product solutions.”

EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program awards grants that build regional capacity to translate innovations into jobs through proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs. The RIS portfolio represents a catalytic, nationwide program designed to fuel high-growth entrepreneurship and increase access to capital for communities across America.

This 2019 granting round is EDA’s biggest yet — $23M in federal grants to 44 organizations in 28 states and two territories will be matched by $26M in community dollars, totaling nearly $50M invested in regional entrepreneurial communities.