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Viapore has developed the business concept for spinal implact technology through participation in Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) Program.
Viapore has developed the business concept for spinal implact technology through participation in Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) Program.

Tech TI:GER Team Wins TiE Entrepreneurship Competition for Spinal Implant Device

Georgia Tech’s Viapore team recently won first place ($5,000) in the TiE Atlanta Young Entrepreneurs University Competition for its medical device to improve the outcomes of spinal surgery.

Viapore has developed its business concept through participation in Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) Program,  a collaboration with Emory University that teams PhD, MBA, and law students to work on commercializing research and technology.

Viapore is developing an innovative spinal implant for fusion surgeries that alleviate back pain. Doctors perform more than 400,000 spinal surgeries in the U.S. each year. However, one in 10 of those patients will require revision surgery. Viapore’s device will reduce the need for revision surgeries by providing better integration with bone and tissue.

"Our technology provides a truly differentiated solution and value proposition that no other company can offer,” says Viapore member Brennan Torstrick, a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech.

In addition to Torstrick, Viapore includes MBA students Anne Hewitt and Matthew Kroge, PhD student Nathan Evans (materials science and engineering), and Emory law student Brad Schweizer.

“Our success is owed in large part to the mentorship and guidance of the TI:GER Program,” Torstrick says.

Students in the TI:GER program work together over three semesters, taking classes on legal strategies to protect intellectual property, as well as market and financial analyses.

TI:GER team Viapore beat out 20 other teams in the TiE Atlanta competition. TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) has 61 chapters in 18 countries, with a total membership exceeding 11,000.

Viapore also recently won first place in the trade show category in the annual New Venture Championship at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business. Next the team will compete in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, known as the “Super Bowl of Investment Competitions,” May 7-9 in Austin, Texas.   

Viapore’s path forward, after patent protection and FDA approval, will be to use a small group of surgeons to implant the first-in-human devices and market the device's effectiveness. The team also plans to expand their platform technology to other applications through both internal development and licensing opportunities.

 

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Susan Ambrosetti
Director of Marketing & Communications