Fostering Innovative Spirit in the Medical Technology World

Earlier this year, my colleague Julio Dominguez interviewed NTEC Executive Director Larry Calton about their facility and acceleration program. This week, I had the chance to speak with Senior Director Hubert Zajicek for an update to our earlier story.

NTEC is  a 501(s)(3) non-profit corporation that offers lab and office space to medical and clean technology startup companies, as well as an acceleration program for those that have been approved through the vetting process. There are two tracks offered; a tenant program, which simply means office/lab space, but no official advisement or mentorship from NTEC; and the acceleration program, wherein NTEC leadership and the board of advisors mentor the companies and help with strategic decisions.  Collectively in both programs, there are about 20 companies at NTEC. Typically, NTEC reviews about 150 startups per year, of which only 2 or 3 startups are accepted into the acceleration program.

For the last 2-3 years, NTEC has been housed in a new state-of-the-art 50,000 square foot modern industrial facility. They moved north on the Dallas North Tollway from their smaller south Frisco location to accomodate growth and to design a building specific to their needs, including proper ventilation, flexible power outlet locations, and bio-hazard capabilities. NTEC bought a parcel of land on a small lake under an convenant with the City of Frisco and the land developers that the surrounding lakeside land would be reserved for medical technology related companies. This will provide a unique ecosystem in the metroplex area specific to medical and clean technology startups. While meeting with Senior Director Hubert Zajicek, I was lucky enough to tour the massive complex, which has 80 offices and 10,000 square feet of lab space.

There is no direct funding offered at NTEC. But by being accepted into and being part of the acceleration program, NTEC has an option to earn an equity stake in each startup. NTEC will work with these acceleration program companies to obtain funding from angel groups like Lone Star Angels, NTAN, HAN, and others, or those in the NTEC Venture Alliance Program (VAP).

To encourage discussions that aren’t restricted to, but tend to be geared toward, medical and clean technology, there is a monthly meetup held on the premises. NTEC tries to keep this group relatively small, so it doesn’t become too formal.

Every year, NTEC hosts the MedVentures conference, an early stage investment and education conference and company showcase. The 2011 event will be held in the fall of this year. The date will be announced soon.

To give the corporate world a clearer vision of what a startup atmosphere is like, NTEC has partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) to host the MBA Professional Cohort program. This is a 24-month program aimed at people wanting to develop business skills in a  team and project-based environment. The program starts in August.

Brad Anderson