When we spoke with Immersive Tech CEO Erik Maltais last September, he and his partner Jon Clagg, a full stack developer in automation and telecommunications, had just developed and perfected a revolutionary new form of proprietary VR (virtual reality) technology called Medoptic Virtual Surgical Observation (VSO).
It’s a live, real time VR training system, with a full 360-degree 3D environment, for the astoundingly lucrative medtech industry.
“Remote presence,” he told us then, “is the closest thing possible to being there. Essentially, we can make it affordable to allow any doctor, any student to remote in for consultation, and remote in to observe surgery, from anywhere in the world. To understand and learn how to do it.”
We caught up with Maltais to review 2018, and take a look ahead at 2019.
St. Pete Catalyst: What were your company’s biggest accomplishments in 2018?
Maltais: We developed multiple pieces of IP, filed for provisional patents, and found product-market fit with a one-year pilot with one of the world’s largest medical device companies.
St. Pete Catalyst: What was a challenge the company faced in 2018, and what did you learn from it?
Maltais: In 2018, we were fortunate to receive lots of interest regarding our technology – however, this quickly become overwhelming for the organization. We quickly learned that success comes from saying “no” more than saying “yes” and being selective about the relationships we form.
St. Pete Catalyst: What are your goals for the company in 2019?
Maltais: 2019 Major Goals:
Close our 2nd round of funding
Build out a strong team and culture
Execution of our pilot project
St. Pete Catalyst: What business insight (advice or a tip) can you share with readers?
Maltais: When building a startup from ideation to reality, having a huge vision that requires faith is the sail that motivates one to action. Connecting yourself to reality by benchmarking as much as possible is the rudder that guides one’s path.
Also, a quote that I love from Mark Twain: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it First Thing in the Morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the BIGGEST one first.”
St. Pete Catalyst: What was your favorite book or movie in 2018?
Maltais: Principles, by Ray Dalio.