How a Kansas City Medical Researcher Became an Entrepreneur
What do you do when you develop a life-changing technology but don’t have the entrepreneurial background to turn it into a business? Meet Dr. Kim Smolderen of Kansas City’s Dynamo Health. She is developing a telemedicine solution to help patients with peripheral artery disease or PAD manage their disease, which in turn may prevent them from needing costly procedures.
A researcher at her core without a strong business background, Dr. Smolderen used the KC’s entrepreneurial resource network to further develop her entrepreneurial mindset. While earning an entrepreneurship certificate in biomedical technology offered by Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, she was introduced to Whiteboard2Boardroom or W2B, a program that connects entrepreneurs and established businesses to developing technologies so they can accelerate the research, innovation and commercialization of technology (also a MOSourceLink Resource Partner).
It was through W2B that Dr. Kim Smolderen connected with Jim Baxendale, the director of W2B and mentor for the program. With W2B and Jim’s assistance, she was able to realize her team’s telemedicine solution.
“We valued having that encouragement to turn gaps that we identified through our research observations into solutions that feed into a business idea,” says Dr. Smolderen. “As researchers, we are not really encouraged to think that way—that we can also contribute in an entrepreneurial way. It was a completely different way of thinking.”
Whiteboard2Boardroom also connected Dynamo Health to Engage Mobile Solutions, a business solutions firm in Kansas City specializing in software development.
“Engage Mobile Solutions helped us think through our idea, not only from the IT development side but from a user perspective,” Dr. Smolderen said.
The two companies continue to collaborate on Dynamo Health’s telemedicine solutions, working to support patients who want to manage their disease with noninvasive treatment methods.
What’s next? Dr. Smolderen will use both her research and business skills as she and her team pursue a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)S grant application to build on their existing research and take their solution to the next level.
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