Investors reward OSU technology entrepreneurs

Published: Thursday, April 5, 2018 By: Journal Record Staff Source: The Journal Record
from OSU.

The PZ100’s design is simple and can be used in hospitals or taken to patients in mobile health clinics and veterinary practices, and overseas in humanitarian settings. Veterinarians have been especially interested in that portability because it can be used in a vehicle. Timmons and Pai asked veterinarians to try the system under actual working conditions and their feedback helped fine-tune the final design. Field testing has created a buzz among vets who heard about it.

“We gave it to one of the veterinarians here in Stillwater and she tried it out for herself and liked it so much that she started introducing it to other veterinarians and became a spokesperson for us,” Pai said.

Although its initial target market is veterinarians, Plasma Bionics will apply for certification from the Food and Drug Administration to allow the system to be used to sterilize instruments for human medical and dental markets.

Daniel Will, executive director of Cowboy Technologies and a business startup mentor, said Pai and Timmons have the right mindset to navigate the precarious world of starting a high-tech business. It takes the right kind of personality and perseverance to go from scientist and engineer with an idea to an entrepreneur with something to sell, he said.

“This is a turbulent process. It’s a long haul,” Will said. “Taking technology that you know works at the lab bench level and turning it into a commercial product that customers will buy is difficult. These guys have executed very well.”

Timmons said learning the business side of commercialization wasn’t in their training to be scientists and engineers. But working with faculty members in the Student Startup Central in the Spears School of Business set them on the right path. It also netted them several thousand dollars for placing in student business plan competitions.

“That effort to understand how to convert technology into a product makes a person able to solve real-world problems, not just hypothetical ones,” Timmons said. “All of this goes along with the land-grant mission of OSU to convert research into real-world solutions.”

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