Now Minnesota is getting its own health accelerator — Inceptis LLC. Given the state’s historic strength in medical devices, it comes as no surprise that the accelerator is a medical technology accelerator primarily focused on Class II medical devices. The company founded by equal partners Daniel Sigg, a med tech executive with experience in R&D at Medtronic, and Devicix, a product development and engineering firm, will begin raising money in the fall with the goal of bringing in around $10 million to $14 million.
In a recent interview, Sigg, Inceptis’ CEO, said he believes that the “medical device market is huge, but the early stage pipeline is broken.” That is the problem that Sigg and Devicix hope to fix.
Unlike traditional accelerators that have an application process, an intensive program at the home of the accelerator and a dedicated Demo Day, Inceptis reviews technology on an ongoing basis and intends to exit its holdings through a strategic acquisition within five years of bringing a technology in-house.
That likely makes sense given that unlike digital health startups that Rock Health, for instance, nurtures, medical device companies have longer gestation periods. Product development and product engineering is key given that innovations have to pass dual tests of safety and efficacy.
That’s where Devicix’s expertise will be key, Sigg said. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota firm not only has product engineering and product development experience, it can also help companies in their regulatory processes, intellectual property matters and contract manufacturing.
Already, Inceptis is keen on licensing two technologies in orthopedics and urology. It is currently negotiating with the University of Minnesota and an European university to bring some technologies within its fold — six to a maximum of 10 technologies is the end goal. Other than universities, Inceptis plans to work physician-inventors, entrepreneurs and multinationals. While choosing technologies that have clinical promise is a big consideration, enough attention will be paid to technologies that bring down the cost curve in healthcare. There has to be an “unmet need,” but it is important too to know that there is incentives for payers to want to cover the new innovative procedure.
The next task at hand is raising the funding to support the technologies that are licensed. That is expected to begin in the fall, Sigg said, with the accelerator approaching wealthy angels.
“There is a challenge of bringing new innovative products to market and we hope with our approach we have a greater chance of success,” Sigg said.
While Inceptis is eschewing the path of an incubator in helping early stage companies, another medical device accelerator, this one based in Memphis, Tennessee, is embracing that model. ZeroTo510 (510 referring to the 510(k) regulatory pathway used to commercialize the majority of medical devices) had its program begin in May with its graduating class presenting at Demo Day in mid-August.
The six companies that made up the class included Bionanovations, a startup that has come up with a novel way to rapidly detect and monitor bacterial infection using bio-nanotechnology; Restore Surgical, which has invented a modular surgical tray that “increases speed and efficacy in the reprocessing of sterile surgical instruments, reducing typical processing times by up to one hour.”