BEN FRANKLIN PORTFOLIO COMPANY IS “SAVING LIVES AND LIMBS” USING ULTRASOUND TECHNOLOGY!
ERIE, PA – In 2020, when Dr. Jeffrey Vaitekunas made his investment pitch presentation to Ben Franklin Technology Partners, he began with some very somber facts. “Every year, more people die from blood clots than from breast cancer and traffic accidents combined. The products currently on the market only work for five minutes at a time, often require an overnight hospital stay, and can create internal tissue damage. “
With more than 25 years of experience in medical device development, Dr. Vaitekunas, who is also an Assistant Teaching Professor at Penn State’s Behrend Campus, is the founder of the med-tech startup, WaveClear. The company has pioneered the deployment of therapeutic ultrasound technologies that combat vascular diseases; diseases which have become even more prevalent due to the Covid pandemic. WaveClear’s innovation is an ultrasound system, CaviClear™, that safely disintegrates blood clots in a single session without damaging the surrounding tissue.
The local Ben Franklin team, housed in Penn State’s Knowledge Park, was immediately impressed with Dr. Vaitekuna’s project, background, and expertise. WaveClear, which had just raised $1,125,000 in a Series-A round led by Hunniwell Lake Ventures, was applying for a Ben Franklin investment to bring on several employees to continue work on the prototypes and help with the application for FDA approval.
Three of these first employees have been housed in available rental space located in the offices of Ben Franklin. But, the continued growth of the company and the upcoming addition of accounting, sales, and supply chain professionals, has created the need to move to a bigger space available in Knowledge Park in August.
Brian Slawin, Ben Franklin’s Regional Portfolio Manager, commented, “We’ve certainly enjoyed watching the progress made by the WaveClear team while they have been co-located in our space, and are obviously very proud of the growth they have achieved in such a short time. In fact, the company was recently voted one of the top 50 medical technology innovators of 2021 by MedTechInnovator.org”
Dr Vaitekunas remarked, “The tools we have developed at WaveClear have implications far beyond that of just a less expensive technique or the inconvenience of overnight hospital stays. Simply put, our CaviClear™ Endovascular System does what the other products currently on the market can’t do. We are saving lives and limbs.”
About Ben Franklin Technology Partners: The largest early-stage investor in the state, Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP, (an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority) provides investment capital, business mentoring, TechCelerator Startup Boot Camps, and BIG IDEA contests to support emerging tech-based companies and small manufacturers in Pennsylvania. Visit Ben Franklin’s website at www.cnp.benfranklin.org.
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