Curve Assure, a student startup creating a spinal monitor device that identifies the best treatments and pathways for patients, won a grand prize at FastForward U (FFU) Fall 2022 Fuel Demo Day.
CurveAssure is a startup founded by Hopkins graduate students Antony Fuleihan and Evan G. Haas and Dr. Nicholas Theodore, Director of the Neurosurgical Spine Center. The original team consisted of recent graduates Audrey Goo and Di Lou. After graduating, they left the venture to pursue other interests.
The team’s product is a spine monitoring device that can provide spine surgeons with the data they need to make informed clinical decisions to treat their patients. This device is specifically intended for adult spinal deformity and spinal degeneration cases. These cases can be treated in a variety of ways, including surgical options, non-surgical conservative options, and physical therapy.
In an interview, Haas explained the purpose of the team that created the device. Newsletter.
“Currently, it is very difficult for doctors to determine exactly what is best for their patients. I’m trying,” he said.
The team arrived at this idea by using a spiral innovation model while conducting research at the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) under the direction of CBID Director Youseph Yazdi.
Fuleihan talked about launching the team’s project as a startup in an interview with. Newsletter.
“We were working on this project for research, but it had a very good chance of actually improving the lives of patients and being a much needed solution in the healthcare system,” he said. I was. “During his year and a half, we decided to move it forward and work towards actually getting it into the hands of doctors and patients.”
With this goal in mind, the team applied for the Fuel Accelerator track, a nondilutive extracurricular accelerator that runs each semester to fund Hopkins student startups. This fall, 9 student startups were selected through application documents and interviews.
by email to NewsletterJosh Ambrose, Director of FFU at Student Ventures, explained the preparation process.
“Teams meet twice a week to engage with FFU staff, student mentors, alumni and ecosystem leaders and a strong list of speakers (18 this semester!). Additionally, each team has 1 Connect with at least three additional mentors for one-on-one advice,” he wrote.
At the end of the semester, the team presents their startup project to the Fuel Demo Day judges. This year, his December 2nd Fuel Demo Day saw over 120 people in person and over 80 on Zoom to hear nine teams share stories about their startups.
Last summer, CurveAssure participated in the Summer Incubator, a six-week summer accelerator at FFU. Haas says the program provided insightful advice and valuable business learning. The two applied to the Fuel Accelerator to see if their idea could become a company.
Both co-founders emphasized that one of the best aspects of Fuel is engaging with engaged students.
“What I really like about the FFU system is the ecosystem where like-minded individuals are working in their startups and you can bounce ideas off them, give feedback, and get feedback,” he said. Fuleihan says. “It was great to learn from my colleagues and cohorts.”
He added that practical advice from Hopkins alumni, experienced FFU mentors who have completed startup cycles, has also been invaluable help.
Haas explained that the guidance is focused on business development, not just research.
“It takes a lot of time to bring a medical device to market. Fuel has really helped us understand these steps and where we need to go. that’s it,” he said.
In addition, through the program and the customer discovery process, we had the opportunity to obtain product feedback from Hopkins physicians.
According to Fuleihan, Demo Day presented the team with a new challenge outside the technical lab.
“It took weeks to refine our pitch deck so that we could tell the story in a compelling way. We will de-technize it as.
The two co-founders are eager to drive the initiative forward as a company. Haas outlined the team’s current work to further validate the technology.
“[The experience at FFU] It really showed me that this could be a startup. It gave me great preparation and a great network that really helped me understand the path to move forward very quickly,” he said. “I am truly grateful for all the experienced mentorship I have received from Josh Ambrose, Leana Silverberg, alumni and other mentors at FFU. .”