Empowering Medtech Innovation

Podcast, Videos


In this exciting episode of Impetus Digital‘s Fireside Chat series, I sat down with Scott Phillips, President at StarFish Medical, to learn more about his ongoing work to empower MedTech innovation in Canada and overseas. We also discussed how COVID-19 has impacted the MedTech industry and the many hats Scott wears as not only President at StarFish Medical, but also CEO of ViVitro Labs and Chair of the Board of Directors at LifeSciences BC.

Here is how our conversation started:

Q: Tell us about StarFish Medical, including how and why you developed it?

A: It was created 21 years ago. We had our 20th-anniversary party last year. Luckily, it wasn’t this year. It was started by me as an outgrowth of just wanting to pursue my passion for developing innovative products for innovative people, using heavy technology as the foundation.

I was about 10 years into my career at that time and had done a variety of product development and just took it on and built it up one step at a time. It was started quite modestly in a spare bedroom, in a little apartment, with a baby sleeping in the living room at the time. In some way, I was just trying to do something useful for others and build an interesting career. But I found over time that my real strength was synthesis, relationships, and setting the vision. I was attracted to larger and larger programs and that kind of work lent itself towards building teams. Over time, we have built larger and larger teams. Now, we have 140 people based in Victoria and Toronto permanently and we’re serving clients around North America.

Q: Tell us a little bit about when you were working from the living room, with your baby crying in the background. Who were some of the people that you were venturing with, and people you were knocking on doors with? Were you adventurous enough to start seeking venture capital at the time? Tell us about the early beginnings.

A: The early days started off as just contracting and taking on jobs. The first substantial job was an Ultrasound Ophthalmic Imaging Device. Using high-frequency ultrasound LASIK surgery, which was a brand new thing, and this startup company based out of New York wanted to assess whether LASIK could be done safely. Then, they actually pivoted more to cataract surgery. So along the way, I got a giant education on ophthalmic devices and the medical device industry. It was just craziness. Within the first 10 months, we had actually made a fully working eye imaging machine with software custom components, industrial design user interface, and all that. We were rolling out through the show floor in Dallas at the American Academy of Ophthalmology with a little team. I was so proud of that team. We have hundreds of doctors lining up at the booth of our client, who wanted to see these amazing images that we could make. It was an exciting beginning…

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Scott Phillips, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.