WASHINGTON – It is med tech's version of an elevator pitch.
As a screen writer in an elevator with a film producer must pare his movie idea to basics to sell it between floors, so Mike Black must edit himself ruthlessly at this week's AdvaMed 2013: The MedTech Conference to sell the concept of his Minnesota-based business.
Black's business, Advanced Circulatory of Roseville, will be one of 56 small device makers trying to attract attention amid the national trade association's yearly gathering of industry giants.
"The big companies would rather go to one place at one time than have people knocking on their door all the time," said Ray Briscuso, the conference's managing partner.
In the seven years since AdvaMed began staging the conference, more than 200 small businesses have tried to interest companies like Minnesota-based Medtronic and 3M with their products.
"We look at who is really ready to present," Briscuso said. "Not every company is accepted."
Black's company will get 10 minutes in a small convention center anteroom to pique the curiosity of potential business partners or investors.
That's not much time to explain the inner workings of Advance Circulatory's line of noninvasive products designed to increase blood flow and survival of people suffering from sudden heart attacks, traumatic brain injury or shock.
Black calls his company's concept "profusion on demand," which is a fancy way of saying "helping keep blood in the body at the right amount."
Black, who has made this pitch at other investor conferences, says he's not worried, even though he will be fighting for the attention of venture capitalists and strategic associates with dozens of other presenters.
"There is not significant added pressure to do the elevator pitch," he said. "No one else presenting has a technology close to ours."
Besides the company presentations, device designers can request individual meet-ups called "partnering sessions." The companies being courted must accept the invitations.
But that happens pretty often. There were 900 partnering sessions at last year's conference, Briscuso said.
Big players attend
All of it will happen behind the scenes of AdvaMed's annual gathering Sunday through Wednesday at the Washington Convention Center. Most of the country's major medical technology players will have a presence, including several from Minnesota.
There will be panels of chief executive officers talking about everything from health care delivery to management practices to regulatory developments in the European Union. The head of the Food and Drug Administration will participate in the conference, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will speak.
As the big dogs romp, Black will show his audience Advanced Circulatory's signature device, the ResQPOD, a device that, among other things, doubles blood flow to the heart during cardiopulmonary resuscitation by increasing the vacuum created by chest compressions.
Regulating circulation during traumatic events means raising the chances for victims' survival, Black said.
'Great place to network'
Once he makes his presentation, Black will spend the balance of the conference networking among more than 1,000 companies in attendance.
"I would not expect to walk away [from the conference] with a new investor or partner," he said.
What he does expect is to meet people who might one day provide strategic advice or financing.
"This is a great place to network," he said of the AdvaMed conference. "I'd be going whether I was presenting or not."