The Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX), a Kitchener-Waterloo-based hub focusing on supporting healthtech startups in southern Ontario, has officially launched. MIX is styling itself as a “non-profit incubator-hub” and is now accepting applications for its spring 2020 residency.
“Despite Canada’s well-deserved reputation for nurturing startups, challenges remain, especially for our peers in medtech.”
The concept for MIX was first announced in June by Intellijoint Surgical CEO Armen Bakirtzian. MIX aims to offer healthtech companies an environment to grow locally and go to market globally.
MIX vows that it won’t take equity in participating companies, as the hub is intended to be a collision space for peers and strategic advisors in the Waterloo Region. Michael Phillips, CEO of Vena Medical, joined MIX as part of the inaugural resident cohort. He said Vena “happily seized” the opportunity to come back to Canada to access the talent in the Kitchener-Waterloo area
The hub said its residents will be able to retain ownership in their early stages and use the hub’s resources to avoid pitfalls and growing pains. MIX also will provide assistance in navigating costs associated with legal and IP requirements, manufacturing prototypes and products, and testing for compliance and medical trials.
“Despite Canada’s well-deserved reputation for nurturing startups, challenges remain, especially for our peers in medtech,” said Bakirtzian. “Not only do medtech startups have similar needs as any venture, such as recruiting top talent and managing a business without a lot of capital, we must also conquer hurdles facing both high-tech manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies, too.”
Intellijoint Surgical is a medical device company that develops and commercializes surgical navigation solutions. Intellijoint Surgical is MIX’s anchor tenant and will be joined by Penta Medical, Vena Medical, and Bloom Care solutions.
Alexa Roeper, CEO and founder of Penta Medical and MIX resident, said MIX’s hub has allowed Penta to overcome research and regulatory hurdles, which ultimately helped the company identify clinical study opportunities and shape its distribution strategy into new markets.
MIX will offer residents a chance to navigate de-risking device prototypes and product development, US Federal Drug Administration compliance, audit readiness, go-to-market strategy planning, and accessing global markets. The minimum occupancy for the hub is 18 months. MIX said since first announcing the hub in June, it has already received dozens of inquiries from companies seeking to join.
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