An academic research group, providing services to medical device companies, had studied most of the new materials on the market and under development. They found a new approach for solving known issues related to the mending of damaged living tissue. The lab head and the research group leader knew this would be an opportunity to help a lot of patients and decided to patent the invention. Initial private investment in exchange for 50% IP rights allowed preclinical evaluation. Initial talks with large medical device companies indicated there was interest, but they needed clinical proof first. In collaboration with the University’s TTO (technology transfer office), a start-up business plan was devised and venture capital (VC) funding was obtained, which allowed the new technology to get through the first clinical assessment.
Dr. Gérard Bouchier, Research Group Leader, December 2008. Spirits were high that 15th of December morning. Gathering for coffee, the team went through their company presentation a last time. All hopes were set upon the meticulously planned VC syndicate meeting that could finally mean a step forward in starting up their medical device company. Having spent the last two years preparing the case, Gérard knew he was prepared. Unfortunately, despite the excellent reception of the case and the positive spirit around the table, none of the VC funds wanted to take the lead. Worse, about two weeks later the Great Financial Crisis hit the region and all funds pulled out of the discussion. What now?