When the first question made its way down the panel to Brook Byers (of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers), he momentarily ignored the topic at hand to posit: “In a room full of Biodesign Alumni, my hunch is there are a lot of people in here with an engineering or science background.”
Following some nods throughout the audience, he lurched into what can only be described as a good old-fashioned Higgs Boson joke: “So a Higgs Boson walks into a Catholic Church, and the Priest says, ‘We don’t allow your kind in here!’”
Loma Vista Medical operated lean, pivoted multiple times, and owned their technical challenges as they drove the tortuous road towards an acquisition.
Lean before lean was cool
In 1989, long before Loma Vista Medical, Alex Tilson and Mark Scheeff met at Stanford while getting their mechanical engineering degrees (ME) and leading the Stanford Solar Car Project. The team designed, built, and raced multiple generations of cars across the US and Australia (www.worldsolarchallenge.org/). Successfully competing against more well-funded teams imprinted a “lean mindset” on both of them. This mindset was invaluable as they built and eventually sold, Loma Vista Medical, to CR Bard in July 2013. A select group of Biodesign Fellow Alumni enjoyed a lively dinner with Mark and Alex as they detailed their successful and unique journey from start-up to exit.