Innovate Arkansas Helped LineGard Med Turn a Concept to Company and a Patent to Prototype

by Emily Reeves Dean February 22, 2016 Acceleration, Capital, Clients

Spencer Jones first became an Innovate Arkansas (IA) client in 2014 as a participant in, and ultimately a winner of the third ARK Challenge accelerator class. The experience in the accelerator, specifically the direct guidance he received from the IA team members, is what allowed Jones to start his company and become a mentor for others in Arkansas starting a medical-based company.

“Without formal business training and never having launched a business, there was a vast amount of business development skills that I needed. Innovate Arkansas helped me develop these skills, and provided a safe place to receive wise counsel as I turned concept to company and patent to prototype," Spencer Jones, CEO of LineGard Med, says.

Innovate Arkansas Gave LineGard Med Much Needed Business Guidance

The ARK Challenge accelerator was funded by IA and as a participant, Jones was provided the perfect access not only to capital, but to training as well. As a registered nurse, Jones experienced the medical inefficiencies in hospitals and saw opportunities for improvements. His LineGard SafeBreak product for IV lines creates a separation in an IV line when subjected to tension. While Jones had the medical background to create his product, he lacked the business background to create a company around his product. IA worked with Jones to strategically plan his business and build his company. "All the interaction I had with IA was direct and objective, always delivering high value regardless of the type of engagement. Their acumen collectively is outstanding and they thoroughly understand the entrepreneurial resource landscape," Jones says.

LineGard Med Has Seen Significant Growth Since Working With Innovate Arkansas

When he first met the IA team, Jones had a provisional patent and had just filed an LLC, but had no clear direction. After working with IA, LineGard Med now owns one utility patent, one provisional patent, has three full-time employees, is building a sales pipeline with clinical trial sites and is approaching regulatory submission. “Being an Innovate Arkansas client allowed me to tactically strategize for the long term but still execute operationally in the now,” Jones says.

With the Knowledge Gained Working With Innovate Arkansas, Jones Now Serves As a Mentor For Medical Startups

When new medical-based businesses are starting up in Arkansas, the founders typically receive advice to call Jones for insight and guidance. Jones answers questions as broad as “how do you get started?” to specific questions like “where do you get your products made?” Given his experience with others like IA helping him along the way, Jones is more than happy to “pay it forward” and help new Arkansas companies.

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