Meet the Georgia Tech Grad and Army Helicopter Pilot Behind Create-X’s 2nd Exit

Create-X, Georgia Tech’s entrepreneurship program, is celebrating its second successful exit for a student-run company. This time, a Create-X company is taking to the sky to make lifesaving medical evacuations safer.

Anti-Rotational Technologies (ART) developed Stabilizing Aerial Loads Utility System (SALUS), whose anti-rotational stretcher stabilizes the spin of someone being evacuated during a medical emergency. The company was just acquired by Vita Inclinata Technologies, a Colorado-based company working on safety technologies for aerospace and other dangerous industries. 

ART’s President Mahdi Al-Husseini came up with the idea as an undergraduate biomedical engineering student at Georgia Tech.

“I had stumbled upon online footage of a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) mission gone rogue,” Al-Husseini told Hypepotamus. “The extracted patient was spinning at two or three revolutions per second, fifty feet off the ground, hanging from a single line out of the helicopter cabin. It was crazy.”

That video ultimately led him to work on a stretcher that minimized in-air spin for a class design project. 

After internships with the United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (USAARL) and NASA, Al-Husseini tweaked the stretcher design based on feedback from medics and aviation crew members.

ART, which Al-Husseini started alongside fellow Georgia Tech graduate Joshua Barnett, ultimately went on to participate in Create-X’s Startup Launch. 

Al-Husseini gives credit to his time at Georgia Tech, and the Create-X program in particular, for helping bring the lifesaving product to market. “Georgia Tech has always been, and will continue to be, a home away from home, and I feel tremendously blessed to have attended such an amazing university. CREATE-X is a gem.” 

Al-Husseini noted that the staff and professors behind Create-X helped the ART team move from being engineering students to true entrepreneurs. 

“We began the CREATE-X program just as we had received word that two private companies were interested in acquiring us outright, but the process of navigating M&A was a complete mystery. Our ability to close a favorable deal was undoubtedly thanks to the guidance (and patience) of the CREATE-X team,” he added.

For now, Al-Husseini is doing anything but resting after the recent acquisition news. As an active-duty MEDEVAC helicopter pilot for the US Army, Al Husseini will continue to fly HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters out of Wheeler Army Field in Hawaii. He will also work on Vita Inclinata’s engineering efforts and other research and development ideas in the pipeline.

As if that wasn’t enough for this entrepreneurial servicemember, Al-Husseini added, “I hope to kick back a bit, enjoy my time in Hawaii, and help support other startups founded by service members, both as an advisor and as a registered patent agent.” 

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