Start-Up Help: OrthoVation Keeps Innovation Local

February 3rd, 2012

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Start-Up Help: OrthoVation Keeps Innovation Local

Posted: February 3, 2012

In addition to being the president and CEO of MicroPulse (Columbia City, IN), Brian Emerick is an investor. He houses a business incubation center, called the OrthoVation Center, within MicroPulse for orthopaedic start-ups in Indiana. While many start-up companies have a difficult time attracting investors, the OrthoVation Center is helping them succeed. “Start-ups fail many times [because] they run out of money; they don’t have engineering expertise; and they make mistakes that, once you’ve done it a few times, you don’t [repeat],” says Emerick. “I make equity investments and provide some start-up capital. Typically I get involved at the very beginning—at the high-risk point.” MicroPulse, a contract manufacturer in orthopaedics, does benefit from OrthoVation, as it has right of first refusal on all manufacturing.

Since its launch in 2010, OrthoVation has nurtured several orthopaedic companies, including Nanovis LLC, which applies nanotechnology and nanosurfacing to spinal technologies to encourage implant acceptance in the body. The company just received FDA approval for fusion cages and pedicle screws, and Emerick foresees expanding the use of nanosurfacing to stents, and hernia and bladder meshes. Nanovis operates as a semivirtual company—the COO is in Carmel, Indiana, and a business development professional is located in Chicago. However, the operational hub is under OrthoVation’s roof, where the center provides corporate governance, funding, engineering, and design services. “Nanovis is going to be a spine company when it grows up and hopefully branch into other areas of orthopaedics—applying nanosurfaces to large joints,” says Emerick.
OrthoVation is just one example of how incubators provide the boost that start-ups need in this economy. If you are a start-up, or work with start-ups, where are the unmet needs? How can incubators like OrthoVation help you? --Maria Fontanazza