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Fall Seminar – Chris West

Posted by on Monday, November 19, 2018 in News.

to be led by

Chris West
ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator

“What we’ve learned in device innovation (the hard way): Practical tips in translation”

ZeroTo510 is a Memphis-based medical device Accelerator, and is annually ranked among the top programs in the country. We’ve taken 30 startup teams through our program in 7 cohorts, and 6 teams have achieved FDA Clearance with their lead product and another 2 are currently under FDA review. Innova Memphis, our investment partner, is one of the country’s most prolific early stage investors and has invested in over 50 medical device companies, so we have deep experience with startup device teams in our ecosystem.

Each year we formally assess 50-75 applications, and generally accept 2-5 teams into our summer program. We also know that most of our teams will never gain FDA Clearance for their lead product. In this talk I will share the method we use to assess early-stage technologies and teams, as well as lessons we’ve learned (the hard way) about what separates success from failure in this business. Spoiler alert: it’s usually not the product!

I’m a former executive in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry. I started my career as a Sales Representative in the Raleigh-Durham area, and was hired to launch a new drug. That seems to characterize my career: I’ve been part of countless product launches, both in sales leadership roles (up to VP of Sales), marketing leadership roles (I’ve worked on some of the biggest Brands in the industry), and in roles where I led both functions. I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with talented researchers and clinicians in prioritizing efforts behind early stage projects, the lifeblood of large Pharma organizations. I moved to Memphis to set up the commercialization organization for a startup Biotech company, and when their products failed in Phase III trials I found myself at ZeroTo510, working with medical device inventors. I am drawn to the vision and energy of inventors, and take great pride in helping them bring their ideas to life.

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