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Don’t expect to see any rockets flying through the Carmel Valley skies anytime soon but a recent sign that Carmel Valley is becoming a regional epicenter of entrepreneurial activity and start ups is the establishment of a business incubator called Procopio LaunchPad at the High Bluff office of the prominent San Diego based law firm.
The first company to be admitted to the incubator program is EndoPodium which is focused on the development of next-generation visualization technology for minimally invasive surgical procedures. The company is working on a disruptive standard of visualization by incorporating semiconductor technology into its proprietary endoscopic “podium.”
“We are thrilled to be here, and be a part of the Procopio LaunchPad facility,” EndoPodium CEO John Lyon said. “We currently have a team of six people which is comprised of engineers and the two co founders, although our goal is to develop an enterprise which ultimately creates many jobs in manufacturing, sales, distribution and other functions.”
The burgeoning health care sector is ripe with opportunities for new companies and products. Products that are effective as well as providing a cost benefit are positioned for success. According to Lyon, EndoPodium’s technology will further enhance the efficacy of minimally invasive surgical procedures which are being increasingly adopted both because they produce better outcomes and reduce health costs.
EndoPodium is essentially a “virtual” company, as the co founders live in Escondido and Rancho Santa Fe and most team members are working remotely. Having the resources available at LaunchPad give them access to office space, conference rooms, technology and business services that would generally not be available until the venture is typically further down the road. The location in Carmel Valley not only gives them easy access to their legal team, which is actively developing a portfolio of intellectual property but also to the active local biotech and medical device industry that is well represented in Sorrento Valley and Torrey Pines.
Co founder John Lyon was born in the UK and came to Boston in the early 80’s where he worked for a number of years before coming to California. According to Lyon, the venture culture and entrepreneurial spirit in the US is a huge global strength and San Diego has a number of aspects, particularly in the medical device space, which equal his experience in Silicon Valley and Boston. And the weather is also better.
Procopio LaunchPad director Mike Krenn believes there’s a growing need for incubators in North County, and that the Carmel Valley corridor in particular is ideal for the facility. “Our goal is to support and foster the start-up community here in San Diego,” said Krenn. “There are a ton of smart entrepreneurial people who live in this community – like the EndoPodium team. We hope to have three more companies joining us by the end of the year. The demand is absolutely there. And perhaps even more importantly, one of the key value adds for the companies inside of LaunchPad to leverage, is access to been-there-done-that mentors and advisors. These are CEO’s of companies who have had successful exits in their past. Those people tend to live in North County, and we’ve found that the having a facility in Carmel Valley greatly enhances our ability to attract the best and brightest.”
Mike Sick is an independent marketing consultant that has worked businesses and clients around the world from his home office in Carmel Valley since 2003. Having worked with over 50 businesses in a cross section of industries, Mike will write about tips and tricks learned along the way to help you grow or start your business. Prior to starting his business, Mike was a migrant marketing worker that traveled around the country as a corporate marketing executive. He has worked for many well known brands including Jack In The Box, Pearle Vision and Arby’s where he was a Marketing VP. Having worked with a number of inventors, Mike was inspired to invent his own product, a body surfing paddle called the Surf-Grip. So now even a trip to the beach has a business angle! A long time volunteer with Connect Springboard, Mike will also introduce San Diego start-ups and Carmel Valley entrepreneurs in his column. The Sickness is the belief you can get better every day. Go for it!