Add another trophy to AireHealth’s mantel.
The Winter Park company won a pitch competition at a high-profile virtual conference of medical tech firms last week.
AireHealth won the Home Health category at INVEST, which bills itself as the premiere investing conference in the industry.
The judges in the competition included investors who specialize in the medical industry.
The win marks another highlight in what has been an eventful coronavirus lockdown for CEO Stacie Ruth.
The company in June acquired the Silicon Valley health technology company BreathResearch. That helped AireHealth put more emphasis on its technology, which now deploys more sensors.
“It allowed us to launch the product to a much broader market and in a space that is really reimbursed, which is a huge thing with a healthcare tech business,” Ruth said. “If you can’t solve the problem of who pays for a device then it doesn’t matter what it does or the value it adds.”
AireHealth emerged last year behind a portable nebulizer for people with respiratory illnesses. The device converts prescribed liquid medicine into an inhalable mist.
AireHealth as a hot startup
The company quickly became one of the hottest startups in the region after winning a Rollins College pitch competition in March of 2019.
The company then won $100,000 from America Online founder Steve Case during his Rise of the Rest tour.
The BreathResearch acquisition came together after Ruth saw the company’s CEO at a pitch event.
In the press release, the company said the “strategic” move would deliver a virtual care platform for respiratory illness.
Months earlier, Ruth had watched the longtime BreathResearch CEO Nirinjan Yee, who is now AireHealth’s director of innovation, pitch the company.
During her presentation, Yee was upfront about the company, Ruth recalled.
“She said, ‘I have fantastic technology, I have not been able to commercialize it and I have taken it as far as I can,'” Ruth said.
She then asked attendees to call her if they thought they could help her take the technology further.
Ruth called and four months later, AireHealth acquired the company for an unspecified amount.
“We set out to accelerate our road map,” Ruth said. “We did that by acquiring the tech and talent from another business.”
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