Five former Spectranetics executives have formed a Colorado-based startup designed to help early-stage medical device companies expand sales to where they either are acquired or go public.
Brett Martin, Joe Ingoglia, Gabe Szabo, Jennifer Holmes and Paul Gardon held senior executive posts at the Colorado Springs-based medical laser manufacturer before it was acquired in 2017 by Royal Philips for $2.2 billion. They formed Proximo Medical in June to help medical device startups make their product commercially viable, said Szabo, the company’s business development officer based in the Springs.
“Much of the innovation in medical devices has come from startups that began when a physician saw an unmet need, developed an idea to meet that need, got funding, developed a product and got it approved by federal regulators, then were acquired,” Szabo said. “Now those acquisitions aren’t happening until the company has proven commercial viability, and that is the stage most of these startups fail.”
Proximo offers startups help during the critical growth stage leading to commercial viability by bringing in staff for marketing, sales, training and physician education to make sure they make it through that stage to a deal and don’t need to raise another round of financing, Szabo said.
The company first makes sure that the product makes a breakthrough in technology and treatment, meets a medical need and can become a viable commercial product within two to five years.
Proximo makes money on commissions its sales personnel generate as well as an exit fee, based on how much it collected in commissions, once the client company is acquired or goes public.
The company has signed three clients that make a device used in sports medicine, a device to block blood vessels for various medical procedures and a device for treating strokes, and is negotiating potential contracts with up to 10 other clients, Szabo said.
All six founders work from home, so the company is based in the Castle Pines home of CEO Brett Martin, who led commercial operations, strategic and corporate accounts for Spectranetics.
Szabo was vice president of sales for a region that included Canada, Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions. Ingoglia was a regional vice president who oversaw Spectranetics’ acquisition of AngioScore.
Holmes was senior vice president of sales and marketing for vascular intervention. Gardon was senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer.
“This is a self-funded company because we believe in what we are doing and putting our own money into the company,” Szabo said.
“All of us from Spectranetics are back into the medical device industry, either enabling or growing startups. We are back in it and hoping to make an impact.”
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