Vita Group Founder and COO, Jason Scherer has the chance to sit down with Clark Wiederhold of the Medical Sales Accelerator Podcast, to discuss Vita Group’s reason for creation, services, and competitive edge. Listen to the full podcast.
Interviewer: Clark Wiederhold, Medical Sales Accelerator Podcast
interviewee: Jason Scherer, Founder & Cheif Operating Officer
The Medical Sales Accelerator, Episode 85, June 6, 2022
(Clark) Walk us through why the creation of Vita Group and what are you guys building?
(Jason) We had this idea of Vita Group from multiple acquisitions at other companies I was a part of. How it came about was by talking to friends, colleagues, and mentors; getting to the point of saying we had a special team. We came in and created a successful exit. We all then dispersed and took different roles, and then some of us came back together again with another successful exit. Followed by dispersing again. The idea and formation was over a lot of years of experience, pain, and suffering, and the thought process was why does the product always have to leave the team? Why does the team have to disperse every single time? Our team should stay intact and the products should come and go. It’s all about the people right? If we have a great, awesome foundation, with great culture and great people, and we like to work together and also like to go through the pain and suffering of a startup … let’s keep the same crew and let’s bring in new medtech product ideas and successfully exit. Let’s do that multiple times per year instead of waiting for one exit over two or three years … or maybe never.
(Clark) At a high level, what is Vita Group?
(Jason) Vita Group is a medical device incubator that takes napkin ideas all the way to commercialization. We go through all the phases of research and development; meaning we go from phase 0 all the way to phase 5. What a lot of R&D companies in the marketplace do is go phase 0 through phase 2 and then stop. The point is that the R&D teams do phases 0-2 and then a manufacturing team and sales and distribution network. What typically happens is that there isn't one person who can do it all for you. You don’t have a medical device incubator that has a plug-and-play sales team. We have medical device reps across the country, so we can go through the R&D development cycle, and immediately push the device to our sales team.
How we usually operate. When we have a napkin idea that comes to us, we’ll go through a five-month process with that physician. We’ll go through the brainstorming idea generation of their concept, we’ll develop two or three prototypes of their particular concept, we’ll go through the regulatory pathway and IP assessment, cogs of goods (makings sure it’s a profitable business perhaps), and we’ll create this package. At the end of the five months, we’ll present the package so they can assess to go on their own and potentially sell it to whoever they may like, another medical device or create their own company. Or they can partner with us and we’ll share in the equity and the capital raised to create a successful company within Vita Group.
(Clark) So you guys have the capability to raise capital as well?
(Jason) We currently have 40+ investors and some large hitters that fund a large number of our projects. Most Class 1 and 2 medical devices take about five to six million dollars depending on what type of device it is; I’ll say that openly. Depending on what type of equity position we take, we have the potential to come in at $1.5M to $2.5M.
(Clark) Interesting, so you’re able to get launched with one-fifth or a quarter of the initial capital need?
(Jason) How it usually starts… From phase 0 to phase 1, we take on these projects that are either napkins or just patents. We take them on for a low-cost model. The barrier to entry for medical devices is extremely high. So we want to lower the barrier to entry and make sure physicians can vet their medical device ideas for inexpensive amounts of money. The entire 5-month project from phase 0 to phase 1 will roughly cost $50,000 total.
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