Challenges in Commercialization of Seismocardiography
Dr. Geoff Houlton the CEO of Heart Force Medical Inc. gave a talk at EE department.
Abstract: The requirements for success in any commercial venture are largely based on the supremely delicate balance between the technology, the management style and the sources of capital. These elements are seldom aligned throughout the complete product life cycle. As the challenges of any technology are addressed an appropriate management style has to be incorporated and these must all be enabled by understanding and patient sources of capital. There are a substantial number of examples of potentially great technologies that have never achieved commercial success. The number of times the entrepreneurial scientist has failed to evolve into a seasoned and successful CEO is equally large. In addition, the sources of patient investment capital are becoming harder and harder to find as companies that previously projected the required return on investment have failed to materialize. Dr Geoff Houlton is the CEO of Heart Force Medical Inc. and his relevant experience since leaving clinical practice in 1982 to the marketing Heart Force’s seismocardiograph will be presented in this talk.
Dr. Geoff Houlton qualified in Medicine in Scotland in 1977. After residency training in anesthesiology in 1983 he joined the UK pharmaceutical industry. He has extensive experience in product development in both Europe and North America. In 1986, he joined Bristol-Myers (Canada) as the Medical Director for Bristol Laboratories and Bristol Oncology. In 1987, he became Vice-President of Medical Affairs for Glaxo Canada Inc. and managed all aspects of their local pharmaceutical product development programs.
In 1989, the challenges of product and business development in early stage companies lead him to join MDS Health Ventures Ltd. In 1992 and 1993 he was principally involved in raising $55 million to establish Hemosol Inc. as one of Canada’s leading publicly traded biotechnology companies.
In 1994 he founded BioGenesis Inc. a management consulting company. BioGenesis provided consulting services to a wide variety of organizations. He assisted clients with technology assessments as well as creating and implementing product development plans that facilitated the achievement of aggressive corporate objectives required for optimal management of their product portfolios. To date, he has been involved in the financing, organizing and management of several Canadian companies.
In 1997 he was invited by Yorkton Securities (now Orion Securities) to become a founding partner in BioCatalyst Yorkton Inc, a venture management company. While there he assessed many Canadian biotechnology business opportunities for initial venture capital investment. Dr. Houlton raised the initial $5.6 million financing in four months for GeneSense Technologies Inc. (now Lorus Therapeutics Inc.). He managed the company over its critical first year of operations as the Vice President of Business Development. In addition, he served on the Company’s Board as the Corporate Secretary and as a Director between 1996 and 1998.
In April 1999 he returned to BioGenesis Inc. to continue his consulting practice. During that time Dr. Houlton consulted to private and public biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the areas of strategic planning, portfolio analysis, business development, project management and product development.
Between January 2005 and November 2008 Dr Houlton worked as a Senior Health Sciences Analyst for a number of Canadian investment banks including: Octagon Capital, Loewen Ondaatje McCutcheon and finally Union Securities Capital Markets Group.
In December 2008 Dr Houlton became President and Chief Executive Officer of Heart Force Medical Inc. a medical device company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.