Pictured in top photo: The founders of Genetesis, from left: Vineet Erasala, Peeyush Shrivastava and Manny Setegn
The founders of Forbes Under 30 honorees Genetesis were way under 30 when they launched their business. Two were still in high school, in fact – and the other had just graduated.
That was 2013. Ten years later, their Mason, Ohio, healthcare company has raised $40 million in funding and earned a place on the Forbes list for Peeyush Shrivastava, Vineet Erasala and Manny Setegn.
“We are overjoyed and humbled to be included amongst this list of some truly incredible peers. We hope to do our community and team proud and greatly appreciate this recognition,” says Shrivastava.
It’s quite a success for a business is rooted in childhood.
“We grew up friends in Mason, and we knew we wanted to build something together,” says Shrivastava. “It’s kind of funny – we started the company before we actually even knew what we were going to build.”
By 2016, the trio had decided on using their complimentary skills and knowledge to focus on a product related to cardiology: a non-invasive biomagnetic imaging tool that allows doctors to measure the heart’s magnetic field and diagnose cardiac issues. It’s called CardioFlux MCG, and just this week the company received Breakthrough Device designation from the FDA.
The designation was based on the company’s MICRO trial, done in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, Christ Hospital in Cincinnati and Ascension St. John in Detroit. Genetesis also recently worked with the Cleveland Clinic on an ER application in their MAGNETO trial.
“They’re also participating in a number of other studies,” says Shrivastava. “We are blessed to have been working with the Clinic now for a few years. They are internationally renowned for cardiology and cardiovascular care.”
Though they have several products currently in R&D, CardioFlux remains Genetesis’ main focus for the moment.
The purpose is to identify myocardial ischemia in patients who may be suffering from ischemia, both from coronary artery disease (CAD) and from coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD). CMD can be hard to identify due to a lack of diagnostic tools and an outdated perception that it is largely benign.
“We’ve developed a state-of-the-art alternative to what is traditionally used to address the whole continuum of cardiovascular disease,” says Shrivastava.
Genetesis is a true collaboration: Shrivastava has a decade of experience as a medical technology entrepreneur. He studied Biomedical Science at The Ohio State University, but left early to pursue his entrepreneurial efforts as a Thiel Fellow. He is the CEO, leading the company through FDA approval and commercial launch of CardioFlux.
Erasala studied Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, and has several years of experience in biomedical research, medical device and electronics engineering. He is Genetesis’ Chief Operations Officer, guiding the company’s biomagnetic technology through the R&D, manufacturing and regulatory lifecycles.
Setegn studied Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University, before taking a leave of absence to lead technical development efforts at Genetesis. He is Genetesis’ Chief Technology Officer, responsible for building and maintaining proprietary and complex applications and data systems for their biomagnetic solutions.
Genetesis currently has 30 employees, which the founders plan to increase to 40 by the end of the year.
“Growth is multidimensional for us. We’re in an exciting phase of our development where we’re expecting to hear back from the FDA on a final decision for a pending De Novo request, which will allow us to start commercializing our product in earnest throughout the U.S.,” says Shrivastava
“Commercialization is a big part of our growth in the near future. But we’re constantly investing in our product and in our clinical evidence to keep us very nimble and at the top of the game. Over the next few months you’re going to see us hiring a number of folks in R&D and engineering, and then two months after that on the sales and marketing side. We’re also investing in our technology stack and in our applications to be best in class.”
Ohio is a supportive place to invest and grow, he adds. Genetesis received early guidance and funding from CincyTech, who is still a major funder. Other sources of public funding include JobsOhio.
“Ohio is an excellent location for a health care startup,” he notes. “The proximity to some of the leading hospitals, health care systems and universities makes it great for finding early adopters and clinical trial sites. From a state perspective, the financial support, including from Third Frontier, is unprecedented. We’ve had an incredible amount of support, infrastructure and community.”
The same can be said for talent.
“With so many great universities around, Ohio is excellent for talent acquisition,” he explains. There are always very, very talented people to recruit, people who make conscious decisions to build their career in Ohio.”
The Forbes honor should help growth, adds Setegn.
“It gives us a strong network of other entrepreneurs and innovators who are fighting the uphill battle that we already did. It’s a network of other folks that we can use as a mentors, as peers in the space of health care innovation.”
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