TEC Edmonton feeling the VibeDx
In the next few months, Folio will examine one of the cornerstones of the universitiy’s Dare to Discover vision, connecting communities, by examining the role TEC Edmonton plays in advancing mutual goals by fostering partnerships with business and industry.
A potential University of Alberta spinoff company, VibeDx, has developed a technology to help back pain sufferers. Greg Kawchuk, professor of physical therapy and inventor of the VibeDx technology, has been working with TEC Edmonton to create the company.
VibeDx is a new technology for diagnosis of spinal abnormalities, injuries and pathologies that hold the promise to improve long-term outcomes and quality of life for millions of back pain sufferers.
From technology transfer to business planning, Kawchuk says he has been supported by the TEC Edmonton team in the commercialization process. Kawchuk has especially appreciated the leadership that Cameron Schuler, TEC Edmonton Libin Executive-in-Residence, has brought to the table.
“Cameron is fully engaged and excited by the product. His insight is tremendously wide,” said Kawchuk. “He is always on top of things. He is ahead of us, leading the way.”
TEC Edmonton executives-in-residence are the veteran business professionals on TEC Edmonton’s team. These individuals have been successful in starting and growing companies, and they have the industry expertise and connections to help evaluate and advise entrepreneurs.
Kawchuk believes the reason VibeDx has the degree of business success it does is due to the help he has received from TEC Edmonton. Schuler’s vast business knowledge, experience and contacts—including the boards he sits on–as well as the support of the TEC Edmonton team, have all been important elements in the process.
Stephanie Minnema, a TEC Edmonton market analyst, says by working with TEC Edmonton’s technology transfer experts and market analysts, VibeDx has had its intellectual property protected, market researched, and the development of its business plan is underway.
“I’m very excited about the potential of VibeDx and thrilled that I’ve been able to build marketing, financing and regulatory roadmaps to help strategize their path to market,” said Minnema.
Through the financing strategy and TEC Edmonton’s grant advice, VibeDx has applied for and received a $24,900 grant from Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.
“You couldn’t ask for a better team to open up doors. There isn’t a place where Cameron doesn’t have a contact to get us what we need,” Kawchuk said. “We are living a real plan right now with goals and timelines.”
“At the outset of our partnership, Greg and I defined roles and responsibilities,” said Schuler about the project’s progression. “The intersection of his scientific expertise as a Canada research chair and my business background has worked extremely well. I have had many business partnerships and I couldn’t ask for a better experience.”
Currently Kawchuk is working with design engineers to develop a prototype of the technology that is market ready.
“We have a good team. It’s been wonderful,” Kawchuk said.