Financing, the pending issue of local ventures

Avatar: Overcoming Financial Obstacles in Cardiac Innovation

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Cardiac innovation

Another example of dynamic entrepreneurship is led by Ignacio Lugones (46), head of Children's Cardiovascular Surgery at Elizalde Hospital, and Tomás Armendariz (27), public accountant, who have been carrying out a project to develop a children's heart valve for four years, based on of the patient's own tissues. The venture, which is called Avatar, won the Business Idea award from the Naves program of Universidad Austral in 2020.

“The objective is to be able to repair or replace the aortic or pulmonary valves with the patient's own pericardium, the membrane that surrounds the heart. It is a disruptive project, with potential global impact, that requires a lot of research and development and also financing,” said Lugones.

“The device has Intellectual Property, it was patented both in the local INPI and in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It goes through the instance of Minimum Viable Product, not marketable. As for financing, it is in the “pre-seed” stage, with an investment from a Biotech fund,” added Armendariz.

The partners are focused on seeking financial and strategic assistance. “The Argentine entrepreneurial ecosystem is very good and solid. We want to have connection and synergy with investment funds, as we have had with the Innovation Hub of the Buenos Aires government,” added Armendariz.

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