Exciting Bioscience Entrepreneurs Will Make a Name for New York
“New York State has an educational system second to none. There is an abundance of highly-qualified young people who are energetic, enthusiastic and looking for stimulating opportunities.”
Location: Ithaca, N.Y.
Description: Rheonix Inc. is committed to improving standards of care by making molecular diagnostics available to more people, in more places, more often. As scientific knowledge evolves, so does the need for new diagnostic technology to simplify processes and enhance innovation. Rheonix, through experienced leadership and creative vision, has developed the Encompass platform, a highly customizable technology with unmatched versatility and affordability. The platform performs fully automated, complex molecular assays in an easy to use and economical format on the Rheonix CARD® cartridge.
Employees: 54 New York State
With the bioscience and medical technology (Bio/Med) industry growing in New York state, now is the time to narrow the focus and deepen the expertise for broader success and a nationally recognized leadership role.
Building New York’s reputation around specific and defined sectors of the bioscience industry could create a high-growth niche for numerous smaller companies, draw more attention from investors and help with workforce development, said Tony Eisenhut, president of Rheonix in Ithaca, N.Y.
“There needs to be a concerted effort to expand the pool of risk capital by attracting and creating more focused venture capital funds for the target sectors that the region identifies and decides to excel at, whatever it might be,” Eisenhut said. “More importantly, there has to be a way of making this region an entrepreneurially exciting environment.”
Rheonix, which has developed and manufacturers state of the art molecular diagnostics platforms, began as a spin-off of Kionix Inc, a semiconductor component manufacturer. Eisenhut joined Rheonix in 2010 after having co-founded KensaGroup, a technology commercialization company that conceptualizes, creates and launches startups from university-developed intellectual property.
Eisenhut believes focused start-up clusters around well-established bioscience companies, be it diagnostics, hospital monitoring equipment or something else, would work to the state’s goal of being a nationally recognized “go-to” region for success.
Eisenhut gave San Diego’s diagnostics industry and Minneapolis’ cardiac stent industry as two examples. A clearer focus with depth in New York would activate the underlying advantages of doing business here, namely the talent pool.
“New York state has an educational system second to none. There is an abundance of highly-qualified young people who are energetic, enthusiastic and looking for stimulating opportunities,” Eisenhut said. “From a team standpoint, we are well positioned to compete. We just need to make sure we have equally talented leadership and appropriately resourced companies, so success can be achieved. This will serve to build the foundation for the economic success of the region for the next generation.”
This movement requires more than tax breaks, Eisenhut said. He stresses the importance of public and private partnerships to entice and bring forward the entrepreneurial spirit necessary to create the disruptive companies of tomorrow.
“Tax programs are nice for profitable, operating companies and their financial investors. But at the end of the day, bioscience entrepreneurs aren’t the people who spend a lot of time lamenting taxes because the companies they start will lose money for years before turning profitable,” he said. “The greatest help to economic growth from a technology startup perspective is creating a comprehensive ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship, and creates awareness around the importance of this position to the future well being of New York State.”