THBD 2019 MedTech Conference and Pitch Competition

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On Friday, May 3, 2019 the Temple Health and Bioscience District hosted its fourth annual medical technology conference, “Growing to Success: Startup & Beyond.” For the second year in a row, the conference included a pitch competition in which ten early-stage startups presented their technology to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to $10,000 in funding and paid business expenses from Temple-based companies. This year’s event brought in more than 90 registered attendees, a significant increase in attendance from last year’s conference.

The THBD team extends a huge thank you to all of this year’s attendees, pitch participants and expert speakers and panelists. Topics ranged from analyzing the future of the medical marketplace, to weighing the pros and cons of international vs. domestic business, to branding for success. In addition, we are pleased to congratulate Nabaco, the grand prize winner of this year’s pitch competition. We hope the takeaways and connections from this conference help bring new concepts to life!

Local broadcast media and publications including KXXV-TV, local ABC affiliate for Temple/Waco/Belton, and the Temple Daily Telegram covered the conference. Executive Director Tami Annable was invited onto KXXV’s morning lifestyle segment, Central Texas Living, on May 2 for a live interview to discuss the conference and its impact on the community. See coverage from the Temple Daily Telegram including presentation summaries and pitch competition winners.

Meet THBD’s Own Intern-Turned-Startup-Employee George

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Pictured above: George in the SiMMo3D office located inside the Temple Health & Bioscience District, THBD

It is not every day you run across a go-getter student who takes time to not only bring his passion to work every day, but also his curiosity and thirst for learning to any project he pursues. Even more amazing, this student, our intern, is in high school! Students like our very own intern, George Robinson, are taking our standard for our intern program to the next level.

This week, George graduated from Troy High School and earned his associate degree, all while working at the Temple Health & Bioscience District (THBD). By enrolling alongside other high school students at Temple College’s Texas Bioscience Institute (TBI), George has earned 64 college credit hours and completed all his basic academics, including chemistry and calculus. However, George’s impressive achievements are not limited to solely academic.

Last summer, George joined THBD as a TBI intern and was assigned to work with SiMMo3D, a tenant startup expanding the knowledge of physicians by providing cost-effective training simulators to drive the adoption of emerging biomedical technologies. SiMMo3D develops training simulators for surgeons, which are more practical to acquire and more cost-effective than cadavers. As an intern, George used computer assisted design (CAD) to build a compact board for the apparatus that is used as a training device of a heart procedure.

After completing his poster ceremony, a right of passage most students do not experience until their final years of undergraduate or even graduate study, George realized he was not ready to end his journey with THBD and SiMMo3D. He continued to work with SiMMo3D while completing high school and his associate degree, concepting, designing and rendering the 3D models used for simulation. He has also had the opportunity to attend webinars, learning series events, and THBD’s annual medtech conference and pitch competition.

George says interning and working for THBD has been an “excellent opportunity,” especially for a young student of physics. “Being surrounded by the startup environment allows you to focus on what might be possible,” said George. “Having learned so much about entrepreneurship, I now wouldn’t want to do anything else!”

After graduation, George plans to complete his undergraduate education within two years. His passion for physics has led him to ponder career paths in energy progression, as well as the defense industry. We are sure George will go far, and we hope he will come full circle to rejoin Temple’s growing biotech community!

THBD thanks Wendell Williams for his service

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This spring, the Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD) bid both congratulations and farewell to one of its esteemed leaders, Wendell C. Williams. In January, Williams stepped down from his seat on the THBD Board of Directors, and on May 4, 2019, he accepted his elected position as City Councilmember representing District 4. Having served THBD since its founding, Williams’ service to the not-for-profit office and lab facility has been instrumental to its success. THBD will be forever grateful for his leadership and inspiration. In his new role, Williams will continue his life-long commitment to the growth and development of Temple, Texas.

As one of THBD’s founding members, Williams was fundamental in the district’s inception. In fact, Williams served as Chairman of the Temple Health and Bioscience Task Force before the district was formally established, and served as the first Chairman on the official Board of Directors. His tenure with THBD has spanned the conception, establishment, and relocation of the district, which now boasts 5,000 square feet of office and laboratory space supporting early stage biotech companies.

In addition to his support and advocacy for THBD, Williams has long been active in the Temple community, also serving as President of the Temple Chamber of Commerce, Founding President of the Temple Business League, Founding Chairman of Leadership Temple, twice serving as Chairman of the Temple Economic Development Corporation and was named both Outstanding Young Man and Outstanding Citizen of the Year in Temple. Additionally, Wendell served on the boards for the Temple Jaycees and the Ralph Wilson Youth Club (which he was active on for more than 40 years!).

At his final THBD board meeting in February, Williams told the remaining board members and Executive Director Tami Annable, “I want to wish you the best of luck, and if there is anything I can do to help this organization, I want to do it.”

Recently retired chairman of Central National Bank (CNB), Williams is a life-long Temple resident. Wendell has been active in the Temple banking community since 1983 and served in various leadership positions with several banking organizations. He has been Chairman of CNB-Temple since June 2000 and oversaw real estate and commercial lending. He and his wife, Carolyn, have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

In his new capacity as city councilmember, Wendell will work with Mayor Tim Davis and the other three council members to formulate public policy to address community needs and assure orderly development in the city. Although Wendell will be dearly missed by the entire THBD community, the staff and leadership remain thankful for his contributions and are eager to see his next steps.

“Wendell’s commitment to helping the people and economy of Temple flourish is relentless,” said Tami Annable. “Although we will miss his presence on our board, his keen insight and decision-making abilities, we know his service on city council will be an asset to our city as a whole.”

Citizens of Temple are invited to attend city council meetings, which are scheduled for the first and third Thursday of each month, at 5:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building. Likewise, citizens of Temple are also invited to attend THBD board meetings, which take place monthly. Visit their website at to view upcoming dates and to learn more about the office and laboratory facility.

Bioscience board members sworn in

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May 26, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

Thomas Baird, John Kiella and Gregg Strasburger were sworn in as board members of the Bioscience District board at the Temple Health and Bioscience District May meeting.

Their elections to the board went uncontested earlier in the month.

Dr. Robert Cortes was sworn in as a district board member earlier in the week to complete the term of Wendell Williams, who resigned to run for the District 4 Temple City Council seat, which he won.

Ryan Quinn and Colin Dodson, tenants of the Temple Health and Bioscience District facility, gave a report to the Bioscience board of directors on their recent trip to Minneapolis, which was funded by the district’s Existing Tenant Development Program.

SiMMo3D, Quinn and Dodson’s company, uses 3D printing to make medical models for training.

Quinn and Dodson registered with RQR — Recognize/Quantify/Realize, a commercial viability academy.

RQR brings in companies and looks at their business plans and comes up with ways to improve, expand or make changes to them, if needed, Dodson said.

“The main things we took away was looking at how our product would impact the market, determining an exit strategy, and lastly taking what we had learned that first day and applying it to a big picture,” Quinn said.

Quinn and Dodson met with Dr. Douglas Adler of Boston Scientific and learned more about the device they could train on. Boston Scientific manufactures medical devices used in interventional medical specialties.

Andrew Johnson helped the two with their pricing strategy. Steve Erickson, head of simulation at Boston Scientific was a great sales lead and Jim Reed, quality control with Minnetronix, will be helping with product development down the road, Quinn said.

“It was a great experience,” he said.

They were able to talk to the companies that would be purchasing SiMMo3D products and received helpful feedback, Dodson said.

The Bioscience board approved granting $35,000 in funding to Temple Education Foundation to continue to fund summer internships for Temple Bioscience Institute students at $17,000 as well a $15,000 grant for dual credit scholarships for TBI students. Poster and drug testing costs are $3,000.

The funding includes a stipend for students. Many who would otherwise have to find a summer job that pays, rather than participate in the internships.

Changes in research structures in the local health care and universities resulted in more emphasis on different internship programs, such as math, engineering, environmental and computer science fields.

Local internships this summer will be with the Temple VA, Blackland Research, Temple College Foundation, city of Killeen and USDA.