While the venture capital route may work for device developers who have heaps of data on safety, effectiveness and market dynamics, those seeking seed cash to get rolling on a prototype often have a hard time making their way.
That's where B-a-MedFounder hopes to make a difference, opening a crowdfunding platform for early-stage inventors in angelic need.
Daniel Yachia, a professor of urology at Haifa's Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, co-founded the site to provide fledgling companies with a platform to tout their inventions and secure startup funds. At B-a-MedFounder.com, companies can list their innovative devices in a browsable database, and users of the site choose whether to donate--not invest--in projects.
"There are people in many different countries that have bright ideas, and they don't have the contacts in order to show them," Yachia told CNBC. "If you're not well-connected to big companies or funding yourselves, it's very difficult to get funding for your idea."
Crowdfunding has long been used to bankroll independent films, graphic novels and art projects, but it's a fairly new cash stream in the medical device industry. That said, the method has already bred success: Scanadu, an in-development diagnostic device modeled after Star Trek's Tricorder, set a record on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo when it raised about $1.7 million in just two months.
While websites like MedStartr, HealthFundr and Kickstarter allow medical device inventors to crowdsource their startup funds, B-a-MedFounder is focused specifically on companies that need less than $100,000 to get moving, Yachia said, filling a gap in the fundraising world that can halt early development
"If I have a project and I got to a VC, the minimum I need to ask for is $5 million, or they won't even look me in the face," he told CNBC.
Yachia is a veteran of the industry himself, holding more than 30 medical device patents since co-founding InStent, an Israeli company Medtronic ($MDT) bought for $200 million back in 1996.
- read the CNBC story