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.
Give us your company’s elevator pitch.
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.
What led you to found your company?
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.
How do you balance leading a startup with your everyday life? What’s one thing people get wrong about startup life?
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.
What’s the best advice you received in your career? What’s the worst?
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.
What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?
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.
What is the next big milestone for your company?
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.