Save Lives through Proprietary Product Innovations Funded by America’s Seed Fund

Session Organizer: Pat Dillon, MNSBIR, Inc.

In this session, you will have the opportunity to hear from three accomplished medical device entrepreneurs who are navigating the challenging path to commercializing their innovations in the healthcare industry. Central to their journey is the crucial need for funding, which serves as the lifeblood for accelerating the transformation of scientific discoveries into tangible healthcare solutions.

The America Seed Fund envisions a future where scientists are empowered to make meaningful improvements in the lives of patients and their families. With a commitment to this vision, America’s Seed Fund through the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Health Agency to allocate more than $1.5 billion in non-dilutive funding through the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. This funding serves as a catalyst for driving research, development, and commercialization efforts, enabling entrepreneurs to position their innovations for sustained revenue growth and success in the marketplace.

Moreover, collaboration with esteemed institutions such as universities, federal laboratories, or Federally Funded Research and Development Centers can further bolster the potential of these innovations. By leveraging the expertise and resources available through these partnerships, entrepreneurs can effectively mitigate technology risks and enhance the viability of their innovations for future commercialization.

In essence, this session will shed light on the transformative power of funding and strategic collaboration in advancing medical device innovations, ultimately contributing to the realization of a healthcare landscape characterized by cutting-edge solutions and improved patient outcomes.

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Aimee Garza, CoraVie Medical

Aimee Garza - 2023 Speaker STTR SBIR

Aimee Garza
Founder & CEO, CoraVie Medical, Inc.

Ms. Garza is a medical device entrepreneur with 27 years of experience in the Medtech industry across multiple functions with advancing leadership responsibilities. She is currently the founder and CEO of CoraVie Medical, Inc., a medical device startup transforming the way blood pressure is monitored for individuals at risk of a stroke, heart disease, or kidney failure.

Morgan Evans, Agitated Solutions

Morgan Evans - 2024 DMD Conference Speaker

Morgan Evans
Co-Founder and CEO, Agitated Solutions

Morgan is a serial med tech entrepreneur and investor, which means her passion is launching new businesses. She is a biomechanical engineer by training, went to business school, and worked for Medtronic in Corporate Development — before jumping fully into the world of start-ups. Over the past ten years, she has founded or co-founded six companies — two medical device companies, two med tech accelerators, and two venture investing vehicles. She spends most of her time with Agitated Solutions, which is developing several innovations related to contrast and ultrasound and Avio Medtech Consulting, which helps lower the barriers to entry for new ideas and new med tech companies.

Annamarie Saarinen, Bloom Standard

Annamarie Saarinen - DMD Speaker

Annamarie Saarinen
Bloom Standard

Annamarie is co-founder of both the Newborn Foundation and Bloom Standard, a social impact company developing diagnostic and screening technologies for mothers, babies and children - with a focus on primary care, remote and resource poor settings. Bloom Standard’s self-driving ultrasound screening system received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation in 2023 as the first fully-autonomous ultrasound screening system. Their development has been supported by Children’s National Hospital, the Bear Institute for Health Innovation, the NCC-PDI, University of Minnesota Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium, Stanford Biodesign, Swansea University Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science, NHS Wales, the European Union-funded Accelerate Wales program, the Welsh Government, Texas Medical Center Innovation, Global Health Labs, Groove Capital, University Impact Fund, and more than a dozen academic medical sites globally. Annamarie has been recognized for spearheading the U.S. effort to become the first nation to implement universal newborn screening for congenital heart defects (CHD) - the most common and deadly birth defect. To date, 70 million newborns have been screened as part of implementation in all 50 states.

Annamarie was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to the federal Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) and has drafted more than 40 pieces of health legislation, authored more than 200 policy briefings and co-authored 16 published manuscripts on the importance of advancing early detection and treatment of neonatal and pediatric health conditions. She also serves on the Minnesota Department of Health's Newborn Screening Advisory Board and on the board of the University of Minnesota Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium.

Session Organizer Bio

Pat Dillon - DMD Session Organizer, Speaker and Keynote

Pat Dillon, CDR, USN (Ret), MBA
President and Founder, MNSBIR, Inc.

Pat Dillon, MBA has worked with hundreds of small businesses to secure millions of dollars during her 30 years of experience in the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Programs. In current role as founder and President of MNSBIR, Inc., she leads the strategic vision of the private, non-profit to facilitate commercialization of deep tech ideas, concepts, and projects by leveraging federal research and development investments. Pat collaborates closely with the University of Minnesota, Technology Commercialization Office and the Venture Center, and serves as the Chair of the College of Science and Engineering, Technological Leadership Institute’s Advisory Board, and she worked with the Mayo Clinic, Office of Entrepreneurship leading to the first-ever graduate course called Accelerating SBIR/STTR Funding for Healthcare Innovations. Pat was awarded the prestigious Small Business Administration Tibbetts Award for excellence in the SBIR/STTR Programs. Pat has been a commercialization plan reviewer for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Pat is a 2001 recipient of the City Business’ 25 Most Innovative Woman Award (now the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal). Pat is a retired United States Navy Commander combat veteran with 40 years of service with one tour in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2011-2012. Pat earned an MBA and BS from Winona State University, Winona, MN.