Founder’s Story Recap Featuring Myoptechs Co-founder and CEO Paul Grimm
After nearly twenty years excelling in marketing and product management roles with large life sciences and pharmaceutical corporations, Paul Grimm took all that experience, exited the corporate environment, and joined the world of start-ups.
“It was a natural transition,” Grimm told the audience of entrepreneurs and investors at Rev1’s December Founder’s Story event, “utilizing those skills in leadership and product management to creating new things that are incredibly impactful.”
As CEO of Myoptechs, Grimm leads a medical device company that aims to reduce the risk of long-term complications caused by progressive myopia. Myopia, commonly referred to as nearsightedness, affects about 28 percent of the global population. “The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed myopia one of the next great health epidemics” Grimm said.
Myoptechs’ patent-pending Faceted Optical System™ is based on licensed technology invented by Dr. Thomas Raasch at The Ohio State University (OSU). The startup has progressed from idea, to finalized design, to molded contact lenses in less than a year. It’s been fast progress with a few speed bumps along the way. Grimm candidly shares lessons learned.
- Corporate roles in big pharma and life sciences firms prepare leaders to be entrepreneurs. Senior product managers and directors in these businesses own the entire life cycle of their products. For the right marketeer, it can be a step, not a leap, to join a visionary entrepreneurial team.
- Ensure differentiation and patentability of the technology independently. Review and validate the landscape of available intellectual property (IP) yourself. Perform your own due diligence and engage your own legal representation. File patents in priority markets. Protect your interests and don’t cut corners; however, when you have a licensing partner with the capacity and know-how, like OSU, resist duplication where feasible.
- Build your network as fast as possible. Grimm began by developing his contacts at other startups. Myoptechs also became involved with Rev1 Ventures early on. “Even though I had experience in starting up other companies, I still learned a lot going through Rev1’s process” Grimm said.
- Find the right contracting partners early. Grimm recommends validating potential partners for not just for their ability to build prototypes, but also for their ability to scale.
- Develop an ongoing and comprehensive investor strategy. From the beginning, constantly engage with varied sources of capital, including sources of non-dilutive grants or debt. Grimm says an effective strategy includes investors who invest in the next phase from where you presently are, and the next phase after that.
“In the next twenty-five years, the prevalence of myopes will double, and by 2050, half of the world will be myopic. We are working in a huge market,” Grimm said. “Myopia starts young, and for a lot of myopes it progresses quickly. The population needs this innovation.”
Paul Grimm, is co-founder and CEO of Myoptechs, an ophthalmic medical device company developing a novel soft contact lens specifically designed to slow the progression of myopia while providing exceptionally clear vision. Mr. Grimm’s career includes 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry in leadership roles in sales, marketing, and brand and product management. For the last four years he has been a serial entrepreneur in the life sciences industry.