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■ Business Trends: HEALTH CARE


Making connections


Focused Ultrasound Foundation helps startups find investment and expertise


“The fi eld of focused ultrasound is at a tipping point, where it is transitioning from a research and development activity to a commercial activity,” says Dr. Neal Kassell, chairman of the Charlottesville- based Focused Ultrasound Foundation.


by Robert Burke O


ne challenge of being a CEO with a new technol- ogy is finding investors


who believe in it as much as you do.


“Raising money is a full-time


job,” says Mike Blue, CEO of Michigan-based HistoSonics Inc., which is trying to bring to market a new kind of fo cused-ultrasound technology that destroys targeted


Photo by Caroline Martin


tissue such as tumors using pulsed sound waves. “It takes constant effort to try to get in front of the right people.” Lucky for Blue, the Charlottes -


ville-based Focused Ultrasound Foundation already had the right people: its wealthy donors and an all-star board of directors. Founda- tion leaders told them about Blue’s need for money, and, in about 10


days, the entrepreneur had what he needed: a $5 million convert- ible note from a group of investors led by an ultrasound foundation board member. That money is helping to keep


HistoSonics going as it works on its C-round funding, which Blue hopes to close by the end of this year. The goal is $30 million. He’s grateful for the foundation’s


www.VirginiaBusiness.com VIRGINIA BUSINESS 55


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