Bloomington- Who Knew?

Bloomington, Indiana, has one of the most significant clusters of medical-device and life-science companies in the nation. Bloomington is home to industry giants such as Cook Medical, the world’s largest privately held medical device maker, which specializes in minimally invasive surgical devices that allow doctors to operate on patients who are too high-risk for major surgery.

Also in Bloomington is the startup Morris Innovative, which has designed an FDA-approved medical device that uses a futuristic new bio-tissue (created by Cook Biotech) to help patients heal faster.

Other examples of innovation abound: Indiana University pediatric surgeon Mark Rodefeld has invented a tiny pump that keeps a newborn’s blood oxygenated while surgeons repair the heart of a child born with a single ventricle. Aeon Imaging has developed a laser-scanning digital camera that uses near infrared light to see past cataracts and detect underlying eye diseases.

 I live only 20 minutes from Bloomington, and have lived here for most of my life, and I am ashamed to admit, I had no idea.

Program to Train Entrepreneurs

There is a new local program to help the entrepreneur learn about business plan development.

The Franklin Development Corporation (“FDC”), a Franklin-based non-profit, announced a new entrepreneurship training program designed to help existing and future business owners develop and grow their businesses.

As part of the program, Ivy Tech Corporate College will deliver a 13-week, hands-on course covering topics related to business plan development, including funding, market analysis, cash flow and personnel management. The course will begin in late May and run through early September. At the end of the course, a business plan competition will be held. The top three finalists will receive a cash award and the opportunity for additional funding for their business plan.



Indiana’s Medical Device Industry

I’m new to the medical device industry, and the more research I do, the more I find out I don’t know.  Did you know that Indiana’s medical device industry is the fifth largest in the U.S. according to a report recently released by BioCrossroads? According to the report, the medical devices industry is one of Indiana’s most valuable economic assets employing over 20,000 people, and generating more than $10 billion of annual economic output.  The medical devices sector accounts for more than 40 percent of the jobs in the state’s life sciences industry placing Indiana as the fifth largest state in percentage of medical technology industry employment.

What amazes me is the fact that I was basically oblivious that this industry existed until I became involved with a medical device product development company. I was born in Indiana and raised here until I went off to college, at which point, I lived in South Carolina for awhile, and then Maine. When they found out where I was from people would say to me “I’ve driven through Indiana, but I never actually stopped there.”  Folks would often ask me, “Why would you want to live in Indiana?  Is there anything to do there?” At the time, I really didn’t have an answer for them.  That was the same point in my life where I swore I would never move back to Indiana.  Somehow, fate brought me back here sixteen years ago, and now I can’t imagine living any place else.   Besides family and friends, now I understand that, although many people may picture the state as a giant cornfield with little to do but tip cows, go to tractor pulls,  and hang out at the mall, we really do have a vibrant industrial sector that people from around the country are proud to become involved with.


Stelzner and Zuckerberg Slated to Speak at Innovation Summit


Indiana’s principal IT initiative, TechPoint, has added founder Michael Stelzner to its annual Innovation Summit on Nov. 8.

Stelzner, who’s also penned a number of business books, will deliver the opening address.

TechPoint also has lassoed the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—Randi Zuckerberg—to deliver the keynote luncheon address. She’s leaving Facebook to start her own social media company to advise companies on how to best leverage the social media site.

Stelzner’s work includes “How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition” and “Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged.”




Why Martinsville?

I live in Martinsville, and, I have to admit, I have often wondered why any doctor would want to come and work in our small burg when they could instead get a high-paying job in the “big city”.  I recently discovered that there is evidently some skill and planning involved in “luring” a doctor to small towns, particularly if, like Morgan Hospital, you have been bought by a much larger health organization such as Indiana University Health.

So how could the big boys entice doctors to the small towns? Avoid saying anything specific about the town, and instead tell doctors-to-be they can live somewhere else or go somewhere else.

Morgan Hospital and Medical Center in Martinsville, the latest acquisition by Indiana University Health, tried those tactics in a recent online posting seeking an internist.

“Enjoy a Norman Rockwell-like community with close access to more cosmopolitan environments for cultural events, concerts, museums, shopping, sporting events and dining,” the ad says.

And while it mentions a few things about the job itself and hospital itself—“great practice growth opportunity” and “one-stop primary care hospital!”—it spends most of the time talking about the attractions of Martinsville or, more precisely, not too far outside of Martinsville.

One big advantage a large health organization might have—something not mentioned in the advertisement—is the ability to pay higher salaries. Primary care physicians draw annual pay of about $170,000, but generate at least 10 times as much in revenue for a hospital by referring patients to the hospital for the more expensive surgeries and specialty care. Padding the pay a bit upfront can, therefore, be lucrative down the line.

As a resident of this “Norman Rockwell-like community”, I am hoping that this method of hiring works and that we get talented, quality medical staff in our hospital.  I remember when I was a kid and we had to go to Bloomington to have my broken wrist set because they didn’t have the capabilities to do it at Morgan County Hospital.  I’d like to think the hospital has come a long way since then…

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New Tenant at Purdue Research Park Offers Drug Delivery System

A company that specializes in developing devices to deliver injected freeze-dried drugs, diagnostics and vaccines has become a tenant in the Purdue Research Park.

LyoGo, founded in 2009 by Rush Bartlett, Arthur Chlebowski, and Peter Greco, has developed patent-pending technology that stores a lyophilized, or freeze-dried, drug in one chamber and liquid diluents in the other. David Giddings, a medical industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, is CEO. Charles Haywood, business development adviser, also is president and CEO of Mansfield-King, a contract manufacturer of personal-care products that was the fifth-fastest growing company in Indiana in 2010.

LyoGo was formed for the purpose of developing innovative drug-delivery systems. LyoGo is focused on engineering delivery systems which offer a superior user experience, are intuitive to use, improve safety and sterility, and substantially reduce or eliminate the need for refrigeration at room temperature, which improves drug storage and distribution. LyoGo develops systems for delivering drugs that are intentionally designed to easily fit into the established drug-filling processes of leading pharmaceutical companies.”

This is cool technology because freeze dried drugs don’t necessarily require refrigeration and can be kept for years at room temperature instead of a few hours. (Case in point- I have a jar of Folger’s Freeze Dried Coffee Crystals of which I only use a couple of tablespoonfuls once a year to make Christmas cookies.  I have had the same jar for years, and my cookies still taste great- ask my husband…) Drugs like this can be used for stockpiling vaccines and for diabetes and cancer drugs.  This is an excellent addition to West Lafayette’s life science industry.

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Life Sciences in the Midwest – March 2011

David Floyd stepped down as president of Warsaw-based DePuy Othopaedics according to massdevice.

“David Floyd is no longer the top man at DePuy Orthopaedics, leaving the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary in the midst of a damaging recall of one of its hip replacement line that has already cost it nearly $1 billion in legal expenses.

DePuy Orthopaedics, the Warsaw, Ind.-based Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, said Floyd is leaving to pursue outside interests. No replacement has been named, according to MarketWatch.”

Depuy is a Johnson and Johnson subsidiary.  J & J has been in the news quite a bit recently because of the many recalls that have been issued on products from medical devices to medicine. Medicaldevicenow talks about the recall on insulin pump cartridges.

“The New Brunswick, N.J., based healthcare giant, which has been plagued recently by a seemingly endless stream of product recalls, has recalled five lots of potentially leaky insulin pump cartridges that the company said could lead to serious health problems and death.”

Johnson and Johnson have even had to lower their CEO’s salary from last year as a result of the recalls as stated in topix.

“Health care giant Johnson & Johnson lowered Chief Executive William Weldon’s total compensation by 9 percent in 2010, after two years of revenue declines and an unprecedented string of recalls that have battered the reputation of medicines like Tylenol and other household brands.”

On a different note, how will the tax on medical devices that is to go into effect in 2013 affect Indiana companies?  As per this article in the Indianapolis Star, companies like Bloomington-based Cook Medical could look at serious decrease in growth as a result of being forced to pay 55 percent in tax.

“The U.S. medical device industry is about to go on life support from a new tax on medical device companies that starts in 2013 and because of a Food and Drug Administration that keeps novel devices and their benefits from American patients. Nothing less than the well-being of millions of patients, as well as the health of the American medical device industry, is at stake

Few sectors pack the economic punch of the medical device industry, which employs 360,000 Americans and pays $21.5 billion in annual wages. One job creates two spinoff jobs. Medical devices fuel $123 billion in annual exports. The impact on communities like Lafayette/West Lafayette, where Cook Medical employs more than 300, and throughout Indiana, where Cook-affiliated companies employ about 4,000, is obvious: no job growth because the FDA stalls innovation.

Equally ominous is a 2.3 percent medical device tax. Set for 2013, that tax may seem like just a few cents on the dollar, but because it is a top line tax on sales, the impact on profit is about 15 percent. Tack on the 35 percent federal corporate tax already paid — the highest in the world — a state corporate tax rate averaging 5 percent, and we have a combined tax rate of 55 percent.

Imagine paying a 55 percent tax on every dollar earned by every member of your household. It is an impossible burden. A medical device tax, coupled with increasingly unwarranted FDA regulations, leaves companies like Cook Medical with a cloudy future, as competitors turn to Europe to manufacture and sell new devices.”

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Life Sciences in the Midwest- New Developments

There have been several interesting developments in the life sciences industry in the Midwest this month.

Endocyte, a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases, announced on February 4 the pricing of its initial public offering of its common stock.  Endocyte is based in West Lafayette and intends to utilize the proceeds from the IPO to fund its phase 3 clinical trial related to the use of EC145 and EC20 in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and to move preclinical products forward in the development process.

For more information see Endocyte and Endocyte Announces IPO.

Danaher Corp. climbed to the highest price since 1980 after agreeing to pay $6.8 billion for diagnostic-equipment maker Beckman Coulter Inc. amid higher demand for medical tests from an aging U.S. population.   The Brea, California based Beckman manufactures products used to diagnose diseases and in the development of new drugs, including centrifuges, hematology analyzers and cell sorters. Beckman has a facility in Indianapolis that employs several hundred people.

See more on Beckman.

Marcadia Biotech Inc., a Carmel-based biopharmaceutical company founded by former Eli Lilly and Co. executives in 2006, has been acquired by Swiss life sciences giant Roche. Roche’s holdings include Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis, which has about 3,500 local employees. Marcadia is a relatively small firm, but has raised millions in venture capital.

Read more about Marcadia.

I look forward to seeing the continual progression and development of businesses in our area.

Kokomo, IN – Moving from Cars to Med Device

Creo Quality recently conducted a strategic assessment to determine the feasibility of developing the life science industry in Kokomo, Indiana.

Kokomo and Howard County have a rich, storied history tied to the automobile industry. The community was extremely prosperous during the automotive industry’s heyday. Several businesses emerged in order to support this industry. Kokomo emerged as a leader in advanced manufacturing, attracting topnotch engineering and technical talent to the region. While the automotive industry has been in decline, many of the capabilities, resources, and technical resources remain. Kokomo’s challenge is to figure out a strategy to leverage its assets and strengths while diversifying its economy to be less reliant on automotive.

Our study determined that GKEDA (Greater Kokomo Economic Alliance) should take a low-risk, strategic approach while considering entry into the life science sector.

GKEDA should:

  • Identify assets with potential to support medical device industry
  • Develop medical device marketing strategy
  • Make GKEDA known
  • Identify other industries where current assets and strengths can be leveraged

As I have mentioned before, I am new to the industry, and I had never really put much thought into the economic development of Kokomo.  It was interesting to me to learn all that this community has the potential to offer our industry.  It also made me wonder what untapped resources lay in other communities in Indiana.

TrustContact – 1st Place Winner

1st Place ($800 & 1 year Membership to Rainmakers):

Betty Trusty received this year’s first place prize for the Morgan County Big Ideas Competition to create a calling system to check on the elderly and homebound individuals in the county. The calling system is called TrustContact.

What We’ve Learned…

Our Whiteboard Strategy Session (WSS) model was started last summer as a way to get ourselves (Creo Quality and Tomato Fish Marketing) out into the community, but also to provide free professional advice to fellow entrepreneurs looking for answers to their Marketing and Business Development questions.

Here is a break down of the things we’ve accomplished and/or learned with WSS:

  • Addressing current hot topics and issues
  • Building / strengthening a network
  • Practice at speaking, facilitating discussions, etc
  • Just because people say they are going to come doesn’t mean they will
  • Time invested to prepare and hold the events is significant
  • A good “experiment” at trying something new

So, why aren’t we getting better leads and why are people not showing up after they’ve RSVP’d? Could it be that because they are FREE we are sending the message that the WSS is not valuable? For those of you who have attended, we’d love your input.

At this point we are contemplating evolving into a model where CQ, TFM, and a few others could present a current business issue for peer review perhaps would be a more beneficial use of time and be more valuable.

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Can A Pro Football Team Boost Economic Development?

While watching the Indianapolis Colts go to 14 – 0 (Go Colts!), there was a short piece at half time with Harry Connick, Jr. about the New Orleans Saints (also undefeated at 13 – 0).

__media_a40b40b035554dab87060301b9ba2738ashx(photo from New Orleans Saints website)

Mr. Connick was talking about how the great season that the Saints are having is helping a New Orleans resurgence post Katrina. Do you think a pro football team (or any sports franchise) cause boost economic development for a community?

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The Mayor As CEO (from The Urbanophile)

Aaron Renn is one of my favorite writers and also a friend. You can catch his blog: The Urbanophile.

Mr. Renn recently had an article featured at, entitled “The Mayor As CEO” (congratulations, Aaron). Be sure to check it out, along with his follow-up commentary at his blog.

The mayor as CEO. Interesting concept, not only for bigger cities but for smaller towns. Someone once told me that  small town mayors have one major objective: get re-elected. How? Go from ribbon-cutting to ribbon-cutting. This is a very tactical approach but unfortunately implemented all across the country. To use Mr. Renn’s analogy, mayors of this type are NOT acting as a CEO but more like a COO.

Small towns are suffering because of the lack of CEO mentality.

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WANTED: People Willing To Roll Up Their Sleeves To Rebuild Martinsville

Last summer, Creo Quality conducted an experiment of sorts in Martinsville, Indiana. We organized and held a Community Day event on the Square. We were told by the “leaders” in the town that we couldn’t do this. We did. I suppose our critics could argue that we crashed and burned. But I’m a “glass-half-full” guy. The main event focused on entrepreneurship. We had teams of kids create and run lemonade stands. All proceeds were donated to the local Boys & Girls Clubs.

In the year and a half that has transpired since, I’ve noticed some positive changes. The town seemed to feature more community events this past summer. We had a farmer’s market every Saturday. Small steps for many towns; huge strides for Martinsville.

But it’s not enough. Businesses still struggle. The perception outside the community is also not favorable. Good news: Martinsville has a strategic plan. Okay, not good news (in my opinion). Have you ever read any of these community strategic plans? 80% of the content is cookie cutter and not actionable. 20% is esoteric and vague. But good money (in the form of a grant, I think) was paid, so Martinsville leaders should be proud. I recently sent an email to several within the community asking who is working to improve the town. I received a few quick replies and was assured that several measures are underway to fix Martinsville. I was also invited to join the “team”. I expressed my interest and am still waiting on a response to when and where (it’s been nearly a month–no response). I’m just not convinced that the “leaders” in the community are on the right track.

(Back to being glass-half-full guy) Even the leaders in the community want what’s best. I’ve met some great people, heard some fantastic ideas, and had first-hand experience of businesses making a positive difference. We just need more–and we need to try things, fail, learn, and do it again and again and again.

So who’s with me? Who wants to work with me and roll up their sleeves to make Martinsville great again? We’ll likely step on some toes and make some people angry. This isn’t the purpose, but change is hard. Some people won’t like it. Some people will feel threatened. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, expecting different results without change is insanity. Despite what we were taught in school failure is an option. It’s a great way to learn what doesn’t work. However, failure to do anything except plan is not a choice Martinsville or any community should make.

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CATALYST: What does this mean?

catâ‹…aâ‹…lyst [kat-l-ist]:

  1. chemistry, a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction.
  2. something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces.
  3. a person or thing that precipitates an event or change.
  4. a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.

Becoming a catalyst for change and causing positive activity within Indianapolis and its surrounding counties is very important to both Scott and myself. It is for this reason that we have chosen ‘CATALYST’  as one of the 4 components central to Creo Quality and our mission.

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