Ramji Iyer is the founder and CEO of Laplace Interventional, which is developing a unique solution to tricuspid regurgitation. In his last role, Ramji was the Senior Director of R&D at LivaNova (Caisson Interventional) and led their transcatheter mitral valve program. Ramji has over 10+ years of heart valve development experience with over 20 patents and 10 scientific publications. He holds a master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Laplace Interventional’s device offers an increase in life expectancy and quality of life to the 500K+ patients in the US and EU diagnosed with tricuspid regurgitation (TR) every year. TR occurs when the tricuspid valve leaks resulting in right side heart failure. Despite severe to moderate TR leading to a high mortality rate (>50% at four years), more than 90% of these 500K+ patients go untreated. Laplace Interventional’s artificial valve is delivered through a simple, minimally invasive procedure, reducing future complications in patients. Laplace Interventional’s founder developed this patent-pending transcatheter device utilizing his 10+ years of heart valve development experience and knowledge.
I have always been intrigued by startups. Particularly, it is fascinating to see a product physically obtain shape and function from a mere idea through a focused effort from a group of individuals. My last role was in a mitral valve startup. In addition to living through the fun of designing and developing a solution to a critical clinical problem, I learned how to run a startup business by working for and alongside some terrific people. Both my love for startups and my previous startup experience led me to found Laplace Interventional.
I view balancing one’s startup life with everyday life as no different than managing multiple projects in a corporate environment with everyday life. That is perhaps one thing people get wrong about startup life.
The best advice I have received was to be disciplined and taking the time upfront to define the problem well. A good definition of a problem solves about 70% of the problem. I can’t think of any worst advice that anyone has given me.
Networking through the different Medical Alley Association events is extremely valuable for every organization, especially if you are a startup looking to raise capital or in need of other business collaboration.
The next big milestone for Laplace Interventional is to raise Series A funds. Funds from these would be used to demonstrate design feasibility in a preclinical setting.
gBETA Medtech is a free, seven-week accelerator that works with medical device, healthcare-related software, biotech and diagnostics startups for no fees and no equity. Each gBETA program is capped at five companies to ensure meaningful engagement with sponsors and other resources. Participants receive intensive and individualized coaching and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners, and investors. The program is designed to help startups gain early customer traction on their product or idea, and establish metrics that can make them competitive applicants for full-time, equity-based accelerators or seed investment.
gBETA Medtech’s Spring 2020 cohort kicked off on Feb. 13 with five startups who will be working over the next seven weeks with the gBETA team to meet mentors, gain customer traction, and pitch to investors. The cohort graduates on April 2 at a VIRTUAL Pitch Night (“demo day”), where each company will deliver a five-minute pitch to an audience of mentors, investors and community members.
gBETA Medtech is held once a year with five companies accepted per cohort to ensure a high level of individualized attention. Startups interested in applying should contact gBETA Medtech Director Jackie Mejia (email@example.com). For more information visit gBETAmedtech.com.
gBETA Medtech is a program of University Enterprise Laboratories and gener8tor, and is sponsored by Boston Scientific with additional support from Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota and Medical Alley Association. UEL and gener8tor also receive support through a cooperative agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.