When John Schindler and Derek Hall co-founded Liquet Medical in 2020, their goal was to develop a medical device that gave ICU doctors better options to treat patients who were critically ill with vascular disease. But while their technology was certainly revolutionary, they launched the business with more than profit in mind.
“My mother passed away from a pulmonary embolism in 1971, so I had a personal attachment to this technology,” John explains.
In 2020 John and Derek started Liquet Medical, a company centered on an innovative medical device that treats both lungs simultaneously. Placed in a patient’s lungs, the Versus Catheter provides real-time pressure monitoring that allows for better critical care decisions.
Designing new technology while growing a business from the ground up is no small feat. Throughout the process, John and Derek sought startup support and business development assistance from two important resources: the Virginia SBDC Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP) and Central Virginia SBDC.
“Before we were entrepreneurs, we both had strengths in sales and marketing,” Derek notes.
Before launching Liquet Medical, the two innovators had worked together for multiple companies in the vascular field. John’s activities revolved around new market creation for emerging technology and product development, while Derek specialized in biomedical engineering.
“ICAP helped us strategically early on,” John comments. “ICAP’s Life Science Mentor William McPheat gave us a great introduction on ways to build our company and advised us on key elements to present to the medical community.”
ICAP, under the SBDC network, offers an intensive startup assistance program that includes one-on-one advising from experienced ICAP mentors.
Central Virginia SBDC Director Rebecca Haydock provided connections and offered advice on investor presentations.
“Rebecca was instrumental in prepping us for meetings with investor groups,” John relates. “Rebecca advised us on how to tell our story, which was very helpful.”
While the Versus Catheter is currently in an estimated nine months of clinical trials, the Virginia SBDC team stand ready to help the company move into its next phase.
“ICAP and the SBDC helped us create a solid foundation to build the company into the future,” John adds.
That future will include marketing and a permanent location.
“We look forward to Virginia SBDC assistance as we establish a brick-and-mortar location and hire local talent,” Derek says. “It’s great to know we can rely on these ongoing resources.”