Philip Eggers, founder of CardiOx
When and why did you start your business?
I started CardiOx Corporation to develop and commercialize a simpler and more accurate non-invasive method for screening for right-to-left cardiac shunts in order to identify subjects at risk prior to their experiencing a stroke. Such strokes can cause life-long disability or even death. It is estimated that more than 350,000 strokes per year in the US alone are due to unknown presence of a right-to-left shunt. If one knows that they have a right-to-left shunt they can receive medical treatment (e.g., blood thinners) or minimally invasive shunt closure before they encounter a stroke.
Did you consider yourself an entrepreneur before that?
Cardiox was my 5th medical device start-up company. My first medical device start-up was ArthroCare Corporation which I co-founded in 1963, took it public via an IPO in 1996 and now achieves over $300 million in annual sales.
Where did you find your first employee?
What state or local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Reservoir Venture Partners, Tech Columbus, Early Stage Partners, Ohio TechAngel Fund, North Coast Angel Fund and Ohio Third Frontier Biomedical Program helped my start-up company, Cardiox Corporation, by providing nearly $5 million in venture capital funding.
What’s the most difficult thing about running your own business?
Raising venture capital, especially in the Midwest where I was determined to establish Cardiox Corporation operations. The initial funding by Reservoir Venture Partners and TechColumbus was critical since it allowed Cardiox to demonstrate the feasibility of its method and apparatus for right-to-left cardiac shunt detection in large animals. Having reached this milestone, Cardiox was then able to raise further venture capital which now totals approximately $13 million. All of the nearly $70 million in venture capital that I raised previously in my startup companies was raised in the San Francisco Bay area and Boston area and, consequently, those start-up companies were located in either the San Francisco Bay area or Boston area.