Innovative Health Care Consulting Company RNvention Wins Latest PitchBR
The April 19 PitchBR night was held at Sullivan’s Steakhouse and in partnership with the Louisiana Technology Park and the Small Business Innovation Research Consortium, an organization of companies participating in the Small Business Administration’s SBIR program. SBIRC also seeks to help other companies in applying for SBIR grants.
The event was especially competitive because in addition to a prize of $1,000 from the SBIRC, the winning startup also received assistance in the SBIR grant application process.
Beyond the prizes, PitchBR offers startups the opportunity to network with some of Baton Rouge’s most successful businesses, innovative entrepreneurs and consultants.
“This event is to highlight the SBIR program, a $2.5 billion federal program that invests in businesses doing tech development,” said Andrew McCandless, president of Bascom Hunter and one of the event’s organizers. “The companies are pretty much pitching their SBIR idea to illustrate to the audience what an SBIR [proposal] consists of and allow them to get feedback from partners to support their SBIR partnership,” McCandless said.
Pitchers are given eight minutes to explain their innovations, the market value and need for their product or service, to give projection plans for expansion and to offer paths forward if granted the prize.
RNvention founder and CEO Wayne Nix said he created the company to be a liaison for health care practitioners, scientists and manufacturers.
Nix pitched a scanning program that uses light to measure the dimensions of any human body part. For example, after scanning a patient’s nasal cavity, it can 3D print a custom nasal insert to correct an issue such as a birth defect.
Nix said his company’s device has implications across a variety of fields but could revolutionize neonatal treatment. “Neonates are very premature, and the equipment [that health care providers have now] is just scaled-down adult equipment,” Nix said. “You only have three options that don’t really fit [newborns’ nasal cavities] well, so it ends up causing skin degradation, erosion and a breakdown which leads to infections that can cause morbidity.”
As a registered nurse, Nix said he believes that those on the frontlines of health care, who see the cost of inefficient medical technology firsthand, may be the best operatives for innovation in the medical field.
“The big dream is to help other nurses start thinking about ways to innovate, because we’re never told we can,” Nix said. “We’re just told to process, but what if we could build equipment? We don’t need to know how. We just have to know what the need is.”
RNvention was one of three companies from across Louisiana chosen to compete for the night’s prize. Acadian Labs President and CEO Pamela Bissell presented her company’s anti-pathogen curette with a patented delivery system to treat nail fungus from beneath the nail. And Pecan Analytics CEO David Sathiaraj pitched his company’s software technology that seeks to improve political campaign strategy by managing and collecting big data through grassroots approaches.
“I’m happy I got the opportunity to do this,” Sathiaraj said.