Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint works closely with founders to enable them to think clearly about their businesses. It is unique in implementing startup engineering, a business creation and innovation process developed by its Director, Dr. Merrick Furst. Over the past 6 months, a solid group of teams have been working their way through the startup engineering process and on March 31st, they’ll be presenting at Flashpoint’s Demo Day. Vault, a startup focused on using stem cells to help keep professional athletes in tip-top shape, is one of the presenting companies. Get to know them before the pitch:
Please tell us a little about each founder:
Jase Wrigley – Former pitcher with the Colorado Rockies organization and successful entrepreneur.
Jase’s family experienced first hand the promise of stem cells when his niece received an experimental stem cell treatment shortly after she was born. She is now doing very well. It was about this time that he was introduced to Adam and joined him on his mission to make sure that others who are at risk would have access to their younger, healthy stem cells later in life.
Adam Houtman (pictured directly above) – Prior Founder/CEO of three successful multi-million companies, two of which were in the medical industry.
After cancer claimed his aunt, Adam was told by her oncologist that if she had had access to her healthy stem cells from before she’d gotten sick, she may have had alternative promising treatment opportunities. This started him on a journey where he not only found confirmation for this claim but also the promise of over 4700 treatments in development around the world. It became his passion to make sure that others could protect themselves by ensuring access to their own healthy stem cells for the rest of their lives.
What problem are you addressing?
Stem cells can be used to help athletes recover more quickly and extend their careers. They can also be used to treat medical conditions that crop up later in life due to repeated injuries like concussions, broken bones, and torn ligaments. Today, hundreds of professional athletes are traveling all over the world to get stem cell treatments in order to recover from injury and get back to playing their game at an elite level.
The problem is that the stem cells decline in quality and number over time, making them less potent. Additionally, if an athlete’s stem cells become contaminated by disease at any point, they may be unusable in treatment.
Vault (@vaultstemcell) gathers and preserves athletes’ own healthy, younger stem cells today, so they will have access to these younger, healthier cells later for potential use in treatments when they may be needed most to get them back on the field or even save their life.
Professional athletes: players in the major leagues such as NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA etc.
How does Atlanta weave into your story?
Adam and Jase both live in Atlanta and met through a common friend within the city’s entrepreneur community. Jase was born and raised in Atlanta and is a graduate of Georgia Tech. Adam has lived in Atlanta for many years and has operated multiple businesses here. Vault is also based in Atlanta.