Medical start-ups invited to participate in MTI-ASPS plastic surgery track accelerator program
Deadline to apply extended to Feb. 15
Plastic surgeons positioned in the early or late (up to C-round funding) commercialization stages of creating a medical device, diagnostic or digital health company have the chance to become one of three Society-sponsored companies that will compete for up to $500,000 in prizes available through the MedTech Innovator ASPS plastic surgery track accelerator program.
To apply and for more information, visit medtechinnovator.org/apply.
The program stems from a partnership announced in December between ASPS and MedTech Innovator (MTI), the largest accelerator of medical devices in the world. MedTech Innovator matches healthcare industry leaders with innovative medical-technology startups for mentorship and support. This year, the company will screen applicants and select up to 50 medical technology startups to participate in its annual Accelerator and Showcase cohort. Under the partnership with ASPS, selected companies will go through a series of pitch competitions judged by plastic surgeons and industry experts, with three startups ultimately selected to participate in a plastic surgery-focused track. Up to $500,000 in cash prizes plus in-kind awards will be available to this year's accelerator companies.
The seeds of the partnership took root in the Technology Innovation and Disruption Presidential Task Force formed during the 2020 ASPS presidential term of Lynn Jeffers, MD, MBA, who had long pushed for a mechanism by which plastic surgeon innovators could bring their ideas to light.
"ASPS always does such a great job supporting our members who engage in basic science and clinical research, but we really did not have infrastructure in place for our members who were interested in innovation of this kind," she notes. "How do you take an idea from a great concept in your head to a viable product or service on the market? Development, patents, funding and commercialization exists. That is why one of the charges of the task force was to explore and develop such an infrastructure. I always wondered how many incredible ideas maybe never saw the light of day because there wasn't a framework or support easily accessible to our members – especially most of us who are not at large institutions.
"This ASPS-MTI partnership will provide that framework for members and give us an opportunity to promote innovation in plastic surgery with a front-row seat to exciting new technologies – new diagnostics, new technologies and new devices that will advance the specialty as a whole," Dr. Jeffers adds. "This accelerator is part of a greater vision for promoting technology and innovation at ASPS."
Even plastic surgeons who aren't involved in creating or working with a company stand to benefit from the Society's new partnership. ASPS members will have access to the educational sessions provided by MTI, opening the possibility of developing new technologies or partnering with companies that have existing technologies coming to market. Dr. Levinson says that once Society-sponsored companies are selected, they can be spotlighted on plasticsurgery.org, perhaps offering members the chance to invest in and audit new technologies or participate with their adoption.
"ASPS is a very powerful facilitator," Dr. Levinson says. "We can bring our members together with engineers, scientists, investors, attorneys, regulatory experts and industry employees to drive success in a non-dilutive, company-friendly way. There are several options for ASPS member engagement, depending on member interest level, which we expect will grow over the years. Members can potential judge ideas, partner with companies, or possibly invest privately. The beauty of the partnership is that it is free to ASPS members – this advances the specialty, keeping it on the cutting-edge of new development; where we have always thrived."
MTI CEO Paul Grand says the company's vast network of industry-leading partners provides to innovative startups the resources and guidance that are hard to find elsewhere.
"We're thrilled to partner with ASPS to advance the next generation of plastic surgery-focused medical technologies with the goal of improving the lives of patients," Grand said in the statement.
Members are encouraged to submit their devices and startup companies to this year's competition at medtechinnovator.org/apply. Questions about the program, the application process or more information on educational information can be directed to ASPS Staff Vice President of Business Development Jennifer Cross at email@example.com or (847) 228-3320. Allergan is an innovation sponsor for the accelerator.
"Our goal for this is member engagement at a variety of levels," says ASPS/PSF Board Vice President of Membership Steven Williams, MD. "The results of this partnership will grow over time, and I think this is something that's very exciting for membership. As plastic surgeons, innovation is in our very nature."
To apply, click here.
To nominate a company, go to click here.