Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 15, 2013

A New 'Shark Tank' Event Emerges for Plastic Surgeons



While plastic surgery isn't commonly thought of as a field for innovation, the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF) wants to turn that particular perception on its ear. To that end, it's bringing out its very own version of ABC's "Shark Tank" at the 2013 Technology Innovation in Plastic Surgery (TIPS) event, providing a means for plastic surgeons and others to show off their new innovations and potentially get them funded.

The TIPS Innovation Challenge, the first such event the PSF has ever sponsored, will run during the 2013 TIPS show, set for May 31 through June 2 in San Francisco. There, plastic surgeons, assorted entrepreneurs and engineers will be able to bring their inventions up for consideration by a panel of judges. The two best products will garner a $5,000 award for their creators, as well as a mentorship opportunity to further refine the products and hopefully get them into production in the industry.

Those interested in getting a piece of the competition need to send the PSF a copy of their business plan describing their plastic surgery-related invention in a two-page executive summary by no later than March 27. The five best plans will then be selected by what's described as a "preliminary review committee" before competing in the "Shark Tank"-style event at the actual show itself, and notified of their status by May 1. Complete rules, meanwhile, can be found at the PSF's website.

While some might doubt the value of the PSF's prize package--$5,000 these days isn't exactly a whole lot of seed money and its "mentorship" may not exactly be the greatest bell-ringer in terms of getting a product listed in medical supply houses' catalogs and in operating theaters everywhere--the idea of making contacts is, generally, always worthwhile.

Being in a convention area full of plastic surgeons, however, complete with what amounts to at least indirect endorsement of a product may have a lot more value than expected. Plus, for those starting out, it's a good way to gauge a product's overall value in terms of usefulness; if it's selected for the top five, that's a very good sign. If it's not, it may need some further refinement and testing somewhere along the line.

The PSF's event should prove valuable on at least one level or another for most anyone looking to build an item for the plastic surgery industry. So good luck to those who enter, and by this time next year, it may be that there will be some new innovations to discuss right here, and well beyond.




Edited by Brooke Neuman




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