Leveraging Consulting to Build a Bionic Technology Company

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011 - 7:00 pm          


Consulting can play a key role in supporting entrepreneurs while they develop new technologies to the point where the ideas are mature enough to attract outside investors. The right mix of consulting and startup work can provide the freedom to pursue unconventional products, technologies and markets.

This talk will focus on the pursuit of wearable, assistive, mobility devices at Tibion Corp. Consulting income was a key to Tibion’s survival from initial ideas in 2001 to first venture funding in 2006 and on to product introduction in 2010. Topics to be discussed include:

  • iterating to find and perfect the right technologies
  • building prototypes for early market feedback
  • addressing medical device challenges: reimbursement, quality systems and FDA clearances
  • building a business that meets VC investment objectives
  • market focus and clinical validation
  • lessons learned

The first Tibion product – the Bionic Leg – is now in use at several clinics across the country. The operation of the Bionic Leg will be illustrated by videos of patients undergoing therapy to address neuromuscular deficiencies.


About the speaker, Robert Horst, Ph.D., Tibion Corp.

Robert Horst is the founder and VP of R&D at Tibion Corp. He has over ten years of experience designing products for robotic therapy and mobility enhancement. Bob has over 30 years of experience in electronics, systems architecture and fault-tolerant computing from his tenure at Hewlett Packard, Tandem Computers, Compaq, 3ware, and Network Appliance.

As a consultant, he has worked with several startup companies and served as an expert witness in patent litigation. Dr. Horst is an IEEE Fellow and currently holds 73 US patents. He received a BSEE from Bradley University, an MSEE from the Univ. of Illinois and a Ph.D in Computer Science from the Univ. of Illinois.


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