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gI 145759 EndoVantage teamPhoto1w Innovative Medical Device Modeling Software Sparks Tech Startup
Tempe, Ariz. (PRWEB) July 17, 2014

A business startup formed to commercialize technology developed by an Arizona State University engineer and his students has won an Arizona Innovation Challenge award from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the state’s leading economic development agency.

Recipients of the award “represent innovative Arizona entrepreneurs who are creating technological solutions with the potential for global impact,” the ACA said.

The award brings the company, EndoVantage, a grant of $ 250,000 to support development of its business operations.

The venture is based on a novel software platform that simulates the effects of deploying small medical devices (stents, for example) into blood vessels, as well as simulating the resulting blood flow changes.

EndoVantage is one of six ventures to receive an Arizona Innovation Challenge award so far this year from among 135 applicants.

The startup was also recently selected to receive support from ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative – $ 20,000 in seed funding, along with office space and other resources at SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, and mentoring from business experts.

In addition, the venture was accepted into IBM’s Softlayer Incubator, which is providing mentoring in software engineering and business-related services.

In 2013, EndoVantage received a $ 100,000 grant from the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic and the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University. The competition, which included 20 ASU and Mayo Clinic teams, was intended to promote personalized healthcare, the next frontier in patient-specific medicine.

David Frakes and Haithem Babiker invented the EndoVantage technology platform in ASU’s Image Processing Applications Laboratory, with help from Brian Chong, a physician at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix.

Frakes is the chief science officer for EndoVantage. He is an associate professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, and in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, two of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Babiker is the chief technology officer. He is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering.

Justin Ryan, a biomedical engineering doctoral student working in Frakes’ lab, is contributing to EndoVantage by providing 3-D virtual modeling of blood vessels.

With the EndoVantage platform, clinicians “now for the first time can design the optimal endovascular treatment strategy for each patient before surgery,” Frakes said. “This improves the quality of treatment and reduces costs.”

The technology will also enable medical device companies to perform virtual testing of medical devices in hundreds of different virtual patient anatomies. That capability will help improve product design and prevent product defects and other risks to patients, Frakes said.

“Ultimately, the EndoVantage technology will lead to better medical devices, and better use of those devices in the clinic to save patients’ lives,” he said.

The spinout of EndoVantage from ASU was facilitated by Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s technology transfer organization. AzTE has worked with Frakes’ team throughout the process from commercialization to startup and revenue generation.

Longtime Arizona healthcare entrepreneur Robert S. Green has joined the venture as president and chief executive officer. Green founded and operated six successful companies and is past president of the Arizona BioIndustry Association.

“ASU is on the leading edge of universities supporting research commercialization efforts by faculty,” Green said. “The support we have received from AzTE and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group has been critical to our success to date.”

Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) July 17, 2014

It’s safe to say that William “Randy’ Everett knows a few things about leadership.

He served 33 years in the United States Army and retired in 2008 as a Colonel. His career included 9 years in the elite Special Forces, with served deployments to Bosnia and Iraq. His final assignment prior to “retirement” involved engagement efforts with foreign countries, promoting democratic principles within military structures.    After his military service he leveraged his experience and training and currently teaches international business at Loyola University in Baltimore.

During one of his classes, he was introduced to Vector Marketing, the direct sales division of Cutco Corporation, where he gained a new-found confidence in what is being taught by Corporate America. With that knowledge, Everett recently spoke at a Vector conference and delivered a message to Vector sales reps, managers, and parents about leadership and how it is reflected in this unique 65-year-old company.

Cutco is the largest kitchen cutlery manufacturer in North America and sells its products through a national network of college students who sell through in-home personal demonstrations.

“I noticed something in my early classes at Loyola,” he said at the presentation. “I didn’t see a significant amount of leadership training in college courses. So, I began embedding leadership principles into my curriculum with a civilian spin.”

These principles included such concepts as selfless service, decisiveness, courage, to name a few.

But it was through one of this students — Carlos Castro — that he was introduced to Vector Marketing.

“There was outstanding quality about him,” Everett recalled. “The students were always receptive to the concept that leadership is needed everywhere. Carlos Castro seemed to really embrace it in a very practical way.”

During his presentation, Everett recalled meeting with Earl Kelly, the Northeast Region Manager for Vector Marketing. The common message involved leadership, training and mentoring of the young sales force.

“I had stumbled into a great caliber of young people,” he said. “They had energy, focus, and dedication to not just selling knives but to leadership training. These sales reps and managers get it. They all have what it takes to succeed – initiative, organization, and discipline. These young people come from an environment that cultivates these principles.”

Cutco manufactures its cutlery products in the western New York State city of Olean, and during a visit to the plant, recalled Everett, he noticed a unique pride among the workers on the line and throughout the facility.

“A unique pride emanated from everyone I met,” he said at the presentation. “There was longevity at the company and loyalty from both sides – management and employees. I learned quickly about this company and the more I learned, the more I was impressed.”

That pride, he said, extends to the field, among the college sales reps and their managers.

“Vector management focuses on these college sales reps, many of whom have never sold anything before going through this training,” Everett said. “They are taught about sales, but they also learn many other more important things. They learn about finances, personal responsibility, and how to be leaders – all common themes that are continually stressed in the military and we try to instill at Loyola University.”

As with the military, a very definitive culture pervades the organization.

“Many of these sales reps may not stay with the company beyond college. But they will enter the workforce with important leadership and sales skills that they will use forever,” he said. “Vector continually reinforces family virtues and demonstrates leadership and the value of mentorship. Principles of leadership are like natural law. It exists, like gravity, you may forget about gravity, but gravity will not forget about you – just try jumping off a roof, you will see the results – fast.

Everett has even spoken to his own college age students about the Vector experience and encouraged them to attend a conference to get a “feel” for the virtues that Vectors instills in its sales representative.

Finally, Everett has utilized Cutco and Vector as a case study for some of his students to analyze the corporate culture that these progressive companies aspire to. By using the companies as models for students, they can learn about long term management and employee relationships along with the leadership dynamics that companies need to instill to promote growth and success.

About Cutco Cutlery Corporation and Vector Marketing

Cutco Cutlery is a 65-year-old company with headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Olean, New York. Vector Marketing is the company’s sales division, coordinating all sales for Cutco Cutlery through a national network of college students who sell products through in-home personal demonstrations. More than 15 million US households have a Cutco product.

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