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Local Biomedical Firms Get Investor Input at “Piranha Pond” Event

Local Biomedical Firms Get Investor Input at “Piranha Pond” Event

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Three innovative, early-stage biomedical companies had the chance to present their new products and technologies – and get advice from real Boston area angel investors – during the May 1 NSTC Biosciences First Friday lunch seminar in Beverly, MA. Representatives from AdvaStim, InsomniSolv, Inc., and MCC Global Laboratories each delivered 10-minute presentations then received critiques from angel panelists. The investors – Brad Curley of Boston Harbor Angels, Jules Fried of Mass Medical Angels, and Jennifer Schwall of Cherrystone Angel Group – also voiced whether they might be interested in pursuing the investment opportunity or finding out more.

Peter Kelley, CEO of InsomniSolv, described his company’s proprietary medical device that helps people with primary insomnia to sleep without the aid of medication. The product, which Kelley said would be sold directly to consumers, uses rhythmic stimulation (delivered through wrist bands) to produce a hypnotic effect that helps soothe the user to sleep – much like rocking a baby. Although the investors praised the unique idea, they expressed concern about the added costs typically needed to support a direct-to-consumer marketing strategy.

David Bertoni, CEO of MCC Global Laboratories, emphasized faster and more effective disinfection and the lower labor cost, high profit margin expected for his company’s biological decontamination product. The “no-touch” diffuser would be used for infection control purposes and sold directly to hospitals by an inside sales team – launching first in Europe. All three panelists expressed interest in the product and potential opportunity.

Lastly, Barry Yomtov of AdvaStim discussed how his company plans to disrupt the $3 billion neuro-stimulation market with a hardware/software technology platform that helps companies implement implantable device therapeutics. One panelist offered an introduction to another potential investor, while the other two panelists voiced interest in learning more.

Although no money was at stake this time, panelists asked pointed questions and offered helpful advice about how to improve upon presentations when the participating companies officially pursue investors. For example, Fried suggested that InsomniSolv provide additional visuals to help illustrate the consumer marketing strategy (such as logos and ad mock-ups), as well as more background about key staff members’ experience. Curley asked MCC Global Laboratories for details about the status of development/production stages, and Fried wanted to know more specifics about how the product would work in different size spaces.

Annette Reynolds, Executive Director of the 128 Innovation Capital Group (128 ICG) served as moderator for the event, which was co-produced by the 128 ICG and hosted by Beverly Bank.