February 09, 2016 15:05 ET

Global Center for Medical Innovation Awarded Grant to Launch Early-Stage Medtech Seed Fund and Accelerator to Support Southeast Region

ATLANTA, GA and WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Feb 9, 2016) - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Atlanta-based Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) is one of eight U.S. awardees to receive a Seed Fund Support Grant.

"GCMI originated as a direct result of the OIE's commitment to driving commercialization and innovation in the U.S., and we have remained committed to helping both Secretary Pritzker and the local EDA office promote these initiatives throughout the region," says Tiffany Wilson, Executive Director of GCMI. "One critical hurdle that continues to face early-stage medical device startups is access to capital. Our program is focused on increasing the availability of funding for early-stage companies and investing in companies with diverse teams that are solving true unmet clinical needs."

The scope of GCMI's successful proposal is to capitalize a medtech seed fund and accelerator program to support startups in the Southeast, with a particular emphasis on funding diverse startup teams.

"At a time when women are increasingly represented in biomedical engineering and medicine, we would expect to see a larger number of female medtech founders. We know that diverse teams show greater returns," says Wilson. "We will be identifying gaps and mentoring female engineers and clinicians about device innovation and entrepreneurship."

The Seed Fund Support Grants provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that provide equity-based investments in early-stage, innovation-based startups with high growth potential but that often struggle to secure funding early in their lifecycles.

"As the driving force behind the Administration's focus on entrepreneurship, the Department of Commerce is committed to helping set the conditions for innovators and entrepreneurs to test new ideas, take risks, find financing and customers, and ultimately thrive," said Secretary Pritzker. "The Regional Innovation Strategies program is critical to ensuring that entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market."

The awards are under the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. The 2015 RIS program is managed by EDA's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) and is designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions nationwide through two competitions: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support Grants competition.

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