AIM Tech: Michigan Business Challenge – Impact Track Finalist Team

Who are the team members?

Stephen John
Aaron Steiner (@aaronsteiner)

How did you decide your team name?

AIM Tech is the short form of “Advanced Innovative Medical Technologies”.

Tell us briefly about your business idea.

Stephen grew up in Nepal, and witnessed firsthand the need for an affordable, low tech, low power ventilator to help premature infants. NeoVent is a breakthrough product because it is so simple, inexpensive, and effective. We want to use it worldwide to help save millions of infant lives.

How has the MBC experience helped transform your approach to business strategy?

MBC brought our business strategy team together and focused our activities. At each step of the program, we benefited from workshops, office hours and feedback. We were constantly forced to examine our assumptions to build a stronger case. Now, as a result of this process, we have a business plan!

What do you think will be the long-term impact of the implementation of this idea?

If we can realize our vision of bringing effective respiratory therapy to millions of individuals, especially those in emerging markets, we will help save thousands — if not millions — of lives. We believe our technology has the power to transform how respiratory care is delivered effectively to the masses.

What been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

We previously worked rigorously on the product; MBC gave us a chance to work rigorously on the business plan… which turns out to be critical if we are to scale and make an impact. We have learned a lot as we synthesized our research into a rigorous and actionable plan.

If you win, what will you do immediately following the competition?

We are preparing to launch a pilot of our device in Nepal later this spring, followed by a larger clinical study in Malawi this fall. Any funding we raise will be dedicated to preparing for those critical studies, including device production.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

The chance to compete in both the Impact Track and the regular MBC track highlighted for us the opportunities and the challenges facing any business trying to make an impact. There’s great opportunity in venture financing to accelerate our growth and impact, but we struggle to balance our social mission with financial sustainability. This experience has been the best way for us to come to grasp those tensions in practical terms.

Join us on Feb. 17 to watch this team compete for the $15K grand prize in the Impact Track Finals!

Read more about the other finalist teams: Find Your Ditto | Kladder | Sage & Grace