Why Even Ron Conway Couldn’t Persuade Me To Move To Silicon Valley

Reggie Bradford, CEO of ATDC company Vitrue, extols the benefits of Atlanta for startup companies.

To read the full article, click here: http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/07/silicon-valley-atlanta/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29

ATDC Announces Graduates for the 2011 ATDC Startup Showcase

More than 750 technology leaders, university leaders, investors and aspiring entrepreneurs are expected to witness emerging technology company members and graduate members exhibit their innovative technologies and successes at this year’s Advanced Technology Development Center Startup Showcase. The event, which celebrates ATDC’s dedication to growing technology companies in Georgia, will be held Monday, May 9, from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.

“ATDC is serving more technology startups than ever before. Our member companies range from concept stage to growth stage and everything in between,” said Nina Sawczuk, ATDC general manager. “ATDC is proud to serve such a large number of entrepreneurs and to be the hub of technology entrepreneurship driving startup growth throughout the state of Georgia.”

Member companies that have achieved exceptional success are selected to become graduate members from the startup accelerator each year. The 2011 graduating companies include:

  • BLiNQ Media, a company that develops and markets industry-leading Facebook advertising technology and media solutions to agencies and big brands, maximizing campaign performance, operational efficiencies, consumer engagement and branding insights;
  • Clearleap, a web-based content management and delivery platform provider that enables television service providers to stream video over existing broadband networks directly to IP connected set-tops, devices and TVs;
  • Iconic Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing a protein designed to destroy diseased cells associated with vision loss caused by macular degeneration and certain cancers;
  • Medshape, a medical device company focused on improving the treatment of human orthopedic conditions with a new shape-memory material;
  • PlayOn Sports, a distributor of high school sports media that provides schools the ability to produce and broadcast events on a school branded video portal;
  • Sentrinsic, an industrial technology company that develops fluid control products to increase energy efficiency, improve reliability and lower the cost of operating industrial equipment;
  • SoloHealth, develops and deploys free health screening and information kiosks in retail locations nationwide, including its award-winning EyeSite® product and the next-generation SoloHealth Station™ which will screen for vision, blood pressure, weight, body mass index and provide an overall health assessment.
  • Velocity Medical, a medical device company that develops a FDA-cleared oncology informatics platform for image-based cancer treatment planning and therapy response assessment which provides a complete picture of the patient over the entire timeline of their treatment; and
  • WorthPoint, an Internet centric information and media company with the world’s most comprehensive resource of value data on art, antiques and collectibles, helps people accurately assess the worth of their own items and how best to preserve, sell or buy.

In addition to celebrating the achievements of our graduate companies at the 2011 Startup Showcase, more than 50 technology startups will be exhibiting their technologies. To join the more than 750 people expected to participate in the Startup Showcase, please RVSP at http://atdc.org/services/2011-startup-showcase. For more information, contact Ivy Hughley at gro.cdtanull@yvi.

About ATDC:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) serves as the hub for technology entrepreneurship in Georgia. Founded in 1980, ATDC helps Georgia entrepreneurs launch and build successful technology companies. Through business incubation and acceleration services, ATDC has supported the creation of hundreds of high tech companies that have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing. Headquartered in Atlanta’s Technology Square, ATDC members benefit from a close proximity to Georgia Tech and connections with other Georgia research universities.

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).


High Tech Jobs in Georgia

Features an interview with Stephen Fleming, Vice President of Georgia Tech‘s Economic Innovation Institute. View the segment at the following link:


Congressman Hank Johnson Tours Conyers Business

A Conyers business welcomed U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson on Monday morning and talked about what federal government can do to help small businesses compete in the national market. ARS Mechanical, a minority-owned HVAC and plumbing service provider, does commercial and industrial plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning work.

The Congressional visit was organized through Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

To read the Rockdale Citizen article, click here: http://www.rockdalecitizen.com/home/headlines/Congressman_Hank_Johnson_tours_Conyers_business_118406084.html


ATDC Company SoloHealth Develops New Product, Grows Business

When Atlanta-based startup company SoloHealth joined Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) in October 2007, it had just launched its inaugural product, EyeSite™, a self-service vision test powered by sophisticated software and an interactive video interface. In three years, EyeSite has been placed in high-traffic retail environments in nine metro Atlanta supermarkets and more than 650,000 people have used the vision screening kiosks.

“Of the people that have used the kiosk, 25 percent said they’ve never had an eye exam, ever. And for 38 percent, it’s been more than two years,” said CEO Bart Foster, who previously worked for CIBA Vision developing innovative contact lenses. “SoloHealth is focused on self-service health care, and it’s about consumer empowerment and engagement. We feel that if we can give people the tools to take care of themselves, they will.”

Now considered a leader in self-service consumer health care, SoloHealth is looking to expand its presence with a next-generation health and wellness platform technology. The company is developing the SoloHealth Station – an interactive self-service health screening kiosk that allows consumers to screen their vision, blood pressure, weight and body mass index in seven minutes or less and track the information from store to store, as well as online and via mobile devices.

“What’s really changed for us is the platform we’re developing. We’re not a kiosk company; we’re a health care technology company. The kiosk is simply the entry point for health care for millions of people,” Foster explained. “We’ll connect consumers via a web site, social and mobile applications, as well as to the local insurance providers, hospitals and doctors. We’re also building the connections into the major electronic medical records and personal health records systems, so it’s an entire health and wellness ecosystem. We have coined the term ‘POI’ – Point of Interaction – to describe the multiple ways in which consumers can interact with the SoloHealth platform. And these multiple touch points provide unique and highly personalized avenues for advertisers to engage with consumers, as well.”

The SoloHealth Station, currently in development, will have a number of revenue streams – a retailer service fee, as well as content sponsorship and advertising from manufacturers of health-related products and local providers. Foster says the company will continue to maintain the EyeSite units, but will focus primarily on developing the SoloHealth Station to monitor health problem areas such as hypertension, obesity, eye health and vision, nutrition and pre?diabetes, based on risk factors such as weight, BMI, medical history and lifestyle habits.

SoloHealth was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a federal research and development initiative that helps high-tech firms turn innovative ideas into commercial products. The grant, awarded in May 2010, brought SoloHealth recognition and credibility – and caught the attention of a number of major retailers, venture capital firms and advertisers.

Not only did ATDC assist SoloHealth with the federal grant application, but the company also received a significant portion of its initial seed round and ensuing funding the ATDC Seed Capital Fund and Atlanta Technology Angels. In 2007, SoloHealth was one of 15 technology companies selected to participate in ATDC’s CapVenture Program, a comprehensive fundraising boot camp designed to equip CEOs with business and funding strategies. Only 15 of 100 companies that applied were chosen to participate.

“The mentors and one-on-one meetings we had in CapVenture were great; a lot of our current advisors were part of that initial program,” Foster said. “ATDC was a great catalyst for us early on, and they continue to be supportive from a networking standpoint.”

Since joining ATDC, SoloHealth has received accolades within the industry. In 2008, the company was recognized at the largest trade show in the world for self-service devices with awards in best product innovation, best health care innovation, and best in show. Forbes.com named SoloHealth as one of top five innovative companies out of 1,500 applicants nationally, and technology trade associations TechAmerica and the Technology Association of Georgia recognized it as the best emerging company in 2010.

SoloHealth is also growing its management team.  It recently announced that Rebecca Barnett-Miesch, former director of strategic partnerships at WebMD, had joined the company as vice president of advertising sales, and Rick Voight, former national sales manager of retail publishing at Hewlett-Packard, was coming on board as vice president of channel development. Together they bring 45 years of experience to an already seasoned management team that includes a chief medical officer, senior director of research and development, vice president of sales and marketing, and senior vice president of operations and finance.

“We’ve expanded from the two or three folks we started with and we have nearly 15 people on staff. We’ll be adding another 12 to 15 jobs this year,” said Foster, who was named one of the top 25 up and coming entrepreneurs by Business to Business magazine last year. “We found Atlanta is a great spot to acquire high quality talent from both the IT and health care aspects. So from an economic development standpoint, we’re trying to do our share.”

About the ATDC:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a startup accelerator that helps technology entrepreneurs in Georgia launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has graduated more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing. In 2010, ATDC was named to Forbes Magazine’s list of the “10 technology incubators that are changing the world.”ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. ATDC currently has three facilities; two at Georgia Tech’s main campus in Atlanta, and one at Georgia Tech’s satellite campus in Savannah.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright


Columbus Entrepreneur Utilizes State Resources to Launch New Business

Eight-month-old Justin, born five weeks premature, plays with the tulip rattle developed by Maddie's World.

Born weighing less than two pounds, little Maddie Lefcourt remained in the hospital for 105 days before her mother Donna could finally bring her home. But the homecoming marked the start of another struggle.

“When Maddie came home, she was already three and half months behind,” recalled Lefcourt, who works as a billing specialist for an obstetrician-gynecologist in Columbus, Ga. “Because of her birth weight, she qualified for a state-funded program called Babies Can’t Wait that guarantees eligible children access to services that enhance their development. The physical therapist assigned to Maddie worked with her every other week based on her needs.”

During one such session, the therapist wanted to teach Maddie how to grasp a toy for fine motor skill development. Lefcourt noticed that every time she put the toy in her daughter’s hand, she would drop it, either because of the toy’s size or the weight. After exhausting all local and online retail sources for toys suitable for her daughter, Lefcourt was seized by the entrepreneurial spirit and decided to make her own line of specialty toys.

“I was lying in bed one night and I popped up and said, ‘I’ve got it. We’re going to have a company and make toys for premature babies.’ I even thought of the name while I was lying there – Little Hands for Preemies,” Lefcourt said.

Lefcourt began researching the market for toys for premature babies and learned from the March of Dimes that more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely every year in the United States. She also researched baby toy companies both nationally and internationally. While she was researching online, she stumbled upon an inventors’ workshop being offered by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) to expand educational and professional networking opportunities for Georgia’s inventor community.

In 2007, Georgia Tech launched the first statewide survey of independent inventors through a pilot program sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. More than 300 inventors responded to the survey, and that feedback led to creation of workshops designed to help independent inventors improve their product development and business efforts, while connecting them with resources in intellectual property protection and licensing – two of the key building blocks for commercialization.

“I thought the workshop would be something fun and I could learn something,” said Lefcourt. “I was very skeptical about talking to people and telling them my business idea, but I also realized that was the only way I could get some help.”

After the workshop, Lefcourt introduced herself to Ed Murphy, a project manager with the Georgia Entrepreneur and Small Business Outreach program, a partnership between EI2 and the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center that delivers services to entrepreneurs and small businesses in rural Georgia. The program is funded by the OneGeorgia Authority.

Murphy assisted Lefcourt with researching manufacturers that could make her line of specialty baby toys and coached her on the kinds of questions she needed to ask. As a result, she selected Peliton Plastics, a plastic injection molding company in Valdosta, Ga., to make the first three toys – a rattle, a teether and dexterity/motor skill toy.

“I already had some prototypes that I shared with Peliton Plastics. The size and the weight are the biggest issues for preemie baby toys,” she said. “We needed to figure out how many toys we would go to market with because molds are very, very expensive. We decided to start with three different toys for three different functions.”

Lefcourt also hired a local marketing professional, Jason Bray, to help her design a company logo and revamp the name of the business. They settled on “Maddie’s World” – represented by a butterfly – with “Little Hands for Preemies” as a toy line. Murphy continued to assist Lefcourt with developing a business plan and her pricing structure.

“He was very encouraging and even the days I got down, he pushed me to press forward. Every time I’ve ever called him about anything, he’s been right there,” Lefcourt said.

In addition to utilizing EI2’s entrepreneur services, Lefcourt took advantage of FastTrac® NewVenture™, a 10-week program developed by the Kauffman Foundation and offered through the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) that helps startup entrepreneurs develop and evaluate their business model and develop a plan for success. Class participants learn how to write an actionable business plan, are given access to financial and business resources and are able to network with peers and professionals, lessons Lefcourt described as vital.

“In these difficult and challenging budget times, it is more important than ever for state agencies to work together to provide assistance to the citizens of Georgia,” said Lori Auten, SBDC Columbus area director. “Both Georgia Tech and UGA bring unique qualifications and areas of specialty to the table to assist Georgia businesses.”

Moving forward, Lefcort says she wants to also design toys for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and develop a clothing line for both premature infants and toddlers. A portion of Maddie’s World sales are currently donated to the local Children’s Miracle Network where the toys are purchased.

“Donna exemplifies the successful entrepreneur; she has passion, energy and exhibits a willingness to learn,” said Murphy. “Without any illusions about the challenges she faced, she employed lessons learned and direction given and just went to work to systematically execute her plan.”

Photo caption: Eight-month-old Justin, born five weeks premature, plays with the tulip rattle developed by Maddie’s World.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

ATDC Company NeurOp Advances Therapies for Central Nervous System Diseases

Atlanta biotechnology company, NeurOp, Inc., is a preclinical-stage company developing proprietary small molecules for the treatment of central nervous system diseases. NeurOp is part of a larger biotechnology industry in Georgia that has created more than 62,000 jobs, $16 billion in sales and $517 million in state and local tax revenues.

NeurOp was founded in 2002 by Raymond Dingledine and Stephen Traynelis, both in the Department of Pharmacology at Emory University’s School of Medicine, and James McNamara, chairman of the neurobiology department at Duke University Medical Center. Through their collaboration, they were able to translate years of research focused on a critical signaling pathway in the central nervous system into promising drug compounds for the treatment of major depression, neuropathic pain and ischemia. The company is located at Georgia State University’s CollabTech facility, a space specifically designated for biotechnology startup companies.

“The company didn’t really begin its commercial operations until 2006 when it received a $1.4 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant that allowed the Emory-based technology to be expanded and explored,” explained Barney Koszalka, NeurOp’s president and chief executive officer. “The NeurOp team, then led by Vince La Terza and Scott Myers, used SBIR and angel funding to gain an understanding of the structure-activity relationship between our molecules and the target. This included completing key in vivo efficacy and safety studies as we built a library of more than 400 proprietary compounds and expanded our patent portfolio. Those assets were critical in attracting our current partner, Bristol-Myers Squibb, for depression and pain indications.”

NeurOp’s technology is based on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists. By specifically targeting certain subunits on those receptors, the company’s compounds potentially offer improved therapeutic benefits while alleviating side effects associated with previous-generation NMDAR antagonists.

“For example, one of the big problems with using standard SSRIs [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors] to treat depression is the time from starting the medication to experiencing some symptom relief. That period can be as long as four to six weeks before patients start to feel better,” Koszalka noted. “If you block this receptor the way our drugs do, you can provide symptomatic relief to these patients as soon as 24 hours after they begin therapy. Moreover, clinical data suggest that drugs acting as NeurOp’s do are effective among patients who don’t respond to first-line antidepressants.”

NeurOp has also discovered NR2B subunit-specific NMDAR antagonists that have weak activity in normal brain tissue but offer potent neuroprotection in brain tissue experiencing focal acidification. Such low-pH conditions occur when the blood supply to a region of the brain is restricted, as in a stroke or during rapid neuronal firing.

NeurOp joined Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) in 2006 and received $470,000 in funding from the Georgia Research Alliance and $195,000 from the ATDC Seed Capital Fund, an investment entity that expands and diversifies the state’s economy by funding innovative companies in Georgia. NeurOp used some of these funds to purchase instrumentation that “made all the difference in the world to NeurOp at the time,” according to Koszalka. The Seed Capital Fund, SBIR grants and the Georgia Research Alliance have provided NeurOp with nearly $2.6 million to further develop compounds and move its business forward. The company has also raised approximately $4.1 million from investors, Bristol-Myers Squibb and other sources.

NeurOp announced its collaboration last March with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop its proprietary small molecules for the treatment of major depression and other central nervous system disorders. Under the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to pay an upfront fee of $1.5 million and to fund a two-year research collaboration. NeurOp is also eligible to receive up to $74 million in potential milestone payments for the successful development of a compound in major depression and royalties on worldwide sales of commercialized compounds.

Not only has NeurOp raised significant funding to further its mission, but the young startup has also drawn experienced industry talent to Georgia. Koszalka has managed the discovery and development of drugs at all stages of development from preclinical to the market, working with more than a dozen drugs over his 30-year career at such corporations as Argolyn Biosciences, Burroughs Wellcome, Glaxo Wellcome, GlaxoSmithKline and Trimeris. In 2005, NeurOp received top honors at the Southeast BIO Early-Stage Company “Shootout.”

“This is a home-grown company that has managed to attract national attention,” said Harold Shlevin, ATDC’s manager of bioscience commercialization efforts and a member of NeurOp’s Board of Directors. “Developing and marketing treatments for central nervous system diseases has long been an area of keen interest for me and an area with significantly unmet medical need.”

Koszalka stresses that state resources have been of the utmost importance to a small, technology startup like NeurOp and encourages the Georgia state legislature to continue funding resources like ATDC.

“Without state funding, organizations like NeurOp would probably come and go very quickly to other areas in the Southeast or Northeast that have a commitment to supporting these young organizations,” Koszalka observed. “For what I regard as a very nominal investment, we now have seven full-time employees in downtown Atlanta with the prospects of growing that employment base. That should speak volumes.”

About the ATDC:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a startup accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful technology companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in tax revenues by graduating more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing. ATDC has provided business incubation and acceleration services to hundreds of Georgia startups – most of which are not based on Georgia Tech research, but which benefit from the close proximity to the university.

Recently ATDC expanded its mission by merging with Georgia Tech’s VentureLab and with the Georgia Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Assistance Program. This change has enabled ATDC to greatly extend its reach to serve more technology companies along multiple growth paths and at all stages of development. ATDC has opened its membership to all technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, from those at the earliest conception stage to the well-established, venture-fundable companies.

ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. ATDC currently has three facilities; two at Georgia Tech’s main campus in Atlanta, and one at Georgia Tech’s satellite campus in Savannah.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Connect, Collaborate, Mentor, and Study Together, in Real Time

The aim of OpenStudy, at www.openstudy.com, is to make the world one big study group where students can get help and also give help.  . . .OpenStudy was founded in 2007 by Ashwin Ram, a Georgia Tech professor, Preetha Ram, an Emory University dean, and their former student and CTO Chris Sprague. OpenStudy is a profit for business funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Georgia Research Alliance, and is located at Georgia Tech’s ATDC Centre in Technology Square, Midtown Atlanta. “Like any successful startup, we work hard, have fun, and believe in what we do. We invite you to use us, join us, and spread the word. We want to change the way the world learns, and we’d love to have you be part of it” say the founders of OpenStudy.

MedShape Solutions Wins National Award

Medshape Solutions, a GRA VentureLab company that develops and sells shape memory orthopedic devices, today announced that it is a winner of the Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  According to a company news release, the award is presented to “small businesses and individuals who represent excellence in achieving the mission and goals of the Small Business Innovation Research — SBIR — Program.”   The award honors projects that bring federal R&D from the lab  to the market. To date, MedShape has introduced two shape memory orthopedic devices, with initial applications in the repair and reconstruction of injured and worn ligaments and tendons.  The company’s platform technology was originally developed at Georgia Tech.


Improving Heart Surgery: Georgia Tech and Emory University Startup Receives $5.1 Million Investment

Apica Cardiovascular co-founders James Green, Vinod Thourani, Jorge Jimenez and Ajit Yoganathan (left to right) point to the location on a heart model where their heart surgery system attaches. (Credit: Gary Meek)

Apica Cardiovascular co-founders James Green, Vinod Thourani, Jorge Jimenez and Ajit Yoganathan (left to right) point to the location on a heart model where their heart surgery system attaches. (Credit: Gary Meek)

A Georgia Tech and Emory University medical device startup that has developed a system to simplify and standardize the technique for opening and closing the beating heart during cardiac surgery has received a $5.1 million investment.

Apica Cardiovascular has licensed the Georgia Tech/Emory technology and will further develop the system, which will make the transapical access and closure procedure required for delivering therapeutic devices to the heart more routine for all surgeons. The goal is to expand the use of surgery techniques that are less invasive and do not require stopping the heart.

“Our company has leveraged the expertise in cardiovascular technology at Georgia Tech and the clinical experience of surgeons at Emory University to develop a technology that has the potential to revolutionize the delivery of different types of medical devices to the heart, including aortic and mitral valves,” said the company’s CEO James Greene.

With research and development support from the Coulter Foundation Translational Research Program and the Georgia Research Alliance VentureLab program, the company has already completed a series of pre-clinical studies to test the functionality of their device and its biocompatibility.

The improved heart surgery system consists of a conduit with proprietary technology inside that allows the conduit to be securely attached to the beating heart. Surgeons can then deliver therapeutic devices, such as heart valves or left ventricular assist devices, into the beating heart without loss of blood or exposure to air. Once a therapeutic device has been delivered and surgery is complete, the company’s system closes and seals the access site with a biocompatible implant. The closure site can be reopened if necessary.

“By minimizing the incision size to gain access to the beating heart and eliminating the need for conventional sutures, our system improves safety, decreases procedure time and reduces the technical challenges associated with these new minimally invasive procedures,” explained Vinod Thourani, an associate professor of surgery and associate director of the Structural Heart Center in Emory University’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

With the new investment from Ireland-based Seroba Kernel Life Sciences and Israel-based TriVentures, the company will continue to conduct research and pre-clinical trials in Atlanta, ultimately leading up to regulatory approval. These efforts will be led by Jorge H. Jimenez, the chief technology officer of the company, which is in the VentureLab process at ATDC, Georgia Tech’s startup company accelerator.

“Our goal is to accelerate and expand the adoption of less-invasive therapeutic procedures to a greater number of surgeons and as a result, many underserved patients will receive needed treatment for valve disease and end-stage heart failure,” said Ajit Yoganathan, Regents professor and Wallace H. Coulter Distinguished Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

The startup will also have an office in Ireland, which will benefit from the strong research collaborations between Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech Ireland and the National University of Ireland, Galway.

“We seek to contribute to and benefit from a global innovation ecosystem in ways that accelerate research results to the market while enhancing economic development opportunities here in Georgia,” said Stephen E. Cross, Georgia Tech’s executive vice president for research. “Apica Cardiovascular is a perfect example of the synergy between our leading edge work in Atlanta, our Irish translational unit GT Ireland, and our partnership with the National University of Ireland, Galway.”

Apica Cardiovascular was founded in 2009 based on technology invented by Jimenez, Thourani, Yoganathan and Thomas Vassiliades, who was an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Emory University at the time. The company was named Emory University’s Startup Company of 2010.

About ATDC:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a startup accelerator that helps technology entrepreneurs in Georgia launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has graduated more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing. In 2010, ATDC was named to Forbes Magazine’s list of the “10 technology incubators that are changing the world.”


Research News & Publications Office

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia  30308  USA


Media Relations Contact: John Toon (ude.hcetagnull@nootj; 404-894-6986)

Writer: Abby Robinson