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Nurse turns inventor with ClipVac - Inventions - Nurses Arena Forum

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Nurse turns inventor with ClipVac by Idowu Olabode : October 25, 2015, 03:54:41 AM
While most people look back on a business startup and can think of numerous things they would have done differently, Daniel Landrie of Green Bay is not among them. His path from inventor to selling the rights to his patented “ClipVac” was paved with steps that seemed to fit.

He would meet with someone to present his idea, and they would suggest he meet someone else. And that other person or other company would be exactly what he needed to keep moving forward.

The journey began about seven years ago when Landrie, an operating room nurse, was concerned about the possibility of contamination from using a surgical hair clipper in the operating room. At the time, it was standard practice to rip off a piece of tape to trap the stray hairs. The tape was then discarded along with the dressing tapes.

As he thought about the risks, he wondered whether the clippers could be designed with a vacuum to suck up the hair during shaving.

“I thought, ‘Huh, this could be a great idea,’” Landrie recalled. “It seemed too easy — someone must have thought of this and I started searching to see if the technology was out there.”

He could not find anything similar. Neither could the patent expert that he hired. A provisional patent was applied for, and the work began. With no experience in writing a business plan, marketing, engineering or working with angel investors, he sought assistant though the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Network. Kurt Waldhuetter, then director, listened to his pitch and asked about 100 questions.

“I could only answer a few of them,” Landrie said. “I thought it was over.”

But, the next day Waldhuetter called and suggested he talk to Jim Kergel and Larry Panzer, two Sheboygan executives who had recently retired after the company they were with moved out of state. It was a partnership that would endure. Kergel and Panzer had the business and engineering skills that Landrie lacked and were immediately impressed with his idea.

Landrie noted, “It’s true that it isn’t what you know. It’s who you know and who they know. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the clout of people who had that type of experience.”

Other partners were brought in including 11 investors who provided $600,000 in seed money, and a manufacturer, Bemis of Sheboygan.  Although many large manufacturers refuse to work on small orders, Bemis believed in them and built the product.

Medical personnel who saw it demonstrated raved about the shaver. Friends and family were excited. Yet, marketing was difficult. The group paid a medical sales company to have 38 representatives sell the product and get it into hospitals. At the end of a year, they had not gotten a single hospital to order.

Landrie stated, “I Googled a list of hospitals and got on the phone. Every day, I would call hospitals and I got a lot of runaround, but after about a year and a half, I was able to get about 70 hospitals. I would fly out and show them how to use it, and tell them if they didn’t like it, they could send it back.”

They didn’t. By using the ClipVac, hospitals were able to see the benefits. In addition, demand increased because insurance companies began making hospitals liable for hospital-caused infections. The ClipVac is said to reduce about 98.5 percent of hair and airborne contaminants at the source.

As doctors and other medical experts bragged about the product, it followed that two large medical companies would want to own it. After three years of negotiation, Landrie realized the dream that few obtaining patents achieve. The product was bought by CareFusion for a lump sum plus seven years of royalties. It is nominated for Surgical Products’ 2015 Excellence in Surgical Products Awards.

Source : http://www.postcrescent.com/story/money/2015/10/24/nurse-turns-inventor-clipvac/74328098/

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