Up & Running with Scott Latterell, Founder and CEO, Tiumed

April 19  

Scott Latterell has over 30 years of diversified experience in the medical device market, including 20 years focused on urological procedures, covering product development and launch, business development, and management across startups to market leaders. As Director of Urology for Gyrus Medical (an Olympus company), he successfully orchestrated the establishment of the bipolar plasma endourology market with the PlasmaKinetic SuperPulse system.

Prior to forming Tiumed, he successfully drove the customer re-engagement efforts for the Urology product group of Karl Storz Endoscopy America, setting new sales records and securing Urology as the company’s largest, and most profitable, US specialty.

He is an established inventor with over a dozen medical device-related patents and has been instrumental in the development and successful launch of multiple surgical products and platforms.

Give us Tiumed’s elevator pitch.

In the US alone, each year 400,000 men still rely on surgical treatment of their BPH (enlarged prostate) vs. pharmaceutical or office-based therapies, for adequate symptom relief. With no innovation in almost two decades, physicians and their patients have been left dissatisfied with the results and costs of technology currently used. Tiumed’s customer-focused approach aims to provide more efficient and effective procedures utilizing existing skills and tools, leading to improved outcomes with lower costs and increasing access to better healthcare.

What led you to found Tiumed?

A number of things put me on the path to form Tiumed. First, my father’s very negative experience with one of the current technologies left a lasting impression. Second, friends and relatives, as well as myself, are all getting closer to that BPH treatment age and a number of us will require a surgical treatment. There is no way around this, and I would rather not have current devices/technology used on them or me. Finally, it was years of hearing the same complaints from customers and patients that led me to take the plunge.

Have you pivoted your company to address the needs that have arisen since the onset of COVID-19?

The pandemic threw quite a wrench into our plans last year, but due to our structure and point in the development process we were able to put some projects on “simmer” while things settled out. We were then able to quickly get back to it last fall, build devices and hold labs already this year. This has put Tiumed in a great position to begin our next phase.

What are the big milestones coming in the next few years for Tiumed?

Our technology will take a 510(k) regulatory path, so our next steps a clear cut. Over the next two years, our milestones will be design freeze, FDA submittal, and clearance, then launch.

How do you balance leading a startup with your everyday life?

What life??? Seriously, family has always been number one for me and I will always make time for them. My wife and I are lucky enough to live close to my son and his family, so we take pleasure in spending time walking along the Mississippi River with him and his dog. Also, playing with granddaughters keeps you young and adventurous. Finally, I take a BWCA trip with childhood friends every year to totally unplug.

What’s one thing people get wrong about startup life?

Why you are doing it. I hear comments like “You must be having a blast” or “Doing it to get rich, huh?” The truth is that you do it because you can’t help yourself. People who start medical device companies are problem solvers that are driven to improve patient outcomes. They aren’t thinking about having fun or making money. They are focused solely on fixing a problem. Many people can’t wrap their minds around this.

What is the best advice you have received in your career? The worst?

For the best there are two:

  • Your professional career will be a series of peaks and valleys, but if you ever find yourself plateaued for an extended period of time – find a new job ASAP.
  • It isn’t important that you know the answer. It’s important that you know how to find the answer. Doers find the answer.

The worst? Too many to go into here, but there is nothing wrong from learning from your mistakes. Just don’t repeat them.

What is one personal goal for the upcoming year?

After the last year went sideways, we had to cancel a planned vacation with the kids and grandkids. The goal is to make that trip happen this year!

How do you relax or decompress?

I need to work on that. More outdoor activity or time in a woodshop would be great.

What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?

The positive attitude and energy. The Medical Alley community is filled with many types of experienced, helpful people, and being the CEO of a start-up can be very lonely and overwhelming. I have always come away from a Medical Alley related event, call or even coffee meeting feeling more energized and supported.

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