A Step in the “Rite” Direction
August 02, 2012
Johnny Ross & Tim Sanghera
Nature of Business: Medical Instrument Manufacturing
City: San Angelo, TX
SBDC Advisor: Dave Erickson
In May 2009, SBDC Director Dave Erickson attended a meeting with a few community leaders to view a presentation by two entrepreneurs, Johnny Ross and Tim Sanghera. Johnny and Tim had a company called MedHab with a medical device called Step Rite in the early prototype stage.
Johnny was experienced in the medical field having sold pharmaceuticals for many years and rose to a management position. Tim is an engineer and computer scientist by training and education. The idea for a medical device such as StepRite came from Johnny rehabilitating his knee and realizing that his physical therapists were making subjective assessments of his progress without the solid data to back them up. With his professional background in health care and Tim’s understanding of digital technology, Johnny knew a device could be developed to help therapists make more accurate assessments of patient progress during rehabilitation. They were looking for assistance to help develop their business model and build a company around it.
After the meeting Erickson asked them to come to the SBDC for a series of workshop meetings to help refine their investor business plan, which included building a complete set of integrated financial projections. The initial meetings included Donna Osborne of The Business Incubator. In 2010 through 2012, the SBDC continued to provide MedHab with planning sessions, mapping sessions, marketing research and marketing sessions and made numerous connections to ASU departments such as computer science, industrial psychology, physical therapy and marketing. In addition the SBDC connected them to various resources in the community. Thanks in part to the work of the SBDC, MedHab has been able to secure $2.05 million in equity investment which has enabled them to continue building the company and develop the product. They anticipate beginning production and sales in late 2012.
“It is difficult to ascertain exact dollar amounts and head count savings derived through work with you and the SBDC. To begin, the main reason we are locating our operational plant in San Angelo is due to your efforts. As you know, what started in 2009 with a discussion at the Cactus Hotel, where you attended, has blossomed into an incredible opportunity. I cannot thank you enough for your efforts as a main catalyst to the growth of our business.” – Johnny Ross, MedHab
“The true measure of your work, however, will be witnessed when we take up residence at the incubator and sell our first device later this year. Suffice it to say, I would not be at this point, if it were not for your efforts and concern. I can only hope that all SBDCs offer support as your’s does!” – Johnny Ross, MedHab
IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY:
- Business Expansion
Two Jobs Retained