Off The 2018 Launchpad: Kellogg’s Hottest MBA Startups

Andrew Cabodi. Courtesy photo

BackWave Technologies

Industry: Healthcare/Medical Devices

Founding Student Names: Andrew Cabodi, Dr. Doug Clarke, Josh LeVay

Brief Description of Solution: BackWave Technologies is developing the BackWave Hero, a non-invasive cardiac output monitor that measures the deadly progression of heart failure. Patients use the Hero once daily at home after a heart failure hospitalization. When heart output declines, the Hero wirelessly alerts the patient’s physician. With the use of the Hero, physicians can intervene and adjust treatment well before a re-hospitalization occurs.

Funding Dollars: $11,500

What Led You To Launch This Venture? I worked in healthcare prior to Kellogg and saw that many of our patients were being hospitalized for heart failure. I was shocked to find that millions of people are affected and that there isn’t a great monitoring solution to help them track the progression of their disease. This inspired me to figure out a better way to help all those suffering.

Biggest Accomplishment So Far with Venture: We started with a simple, yet very challenging question: “How can we non-invasively measure heart failure at home?” After many months of research and ideation, we determined a very feasible approach. Currently, we are prototyping the solution. This is very exciting seeing a question turn into an idea turn into a product.

How Has Kellogg Helped You Further Your Venture? One of the main reasons I came to Kellogg was for the breadth of entrepreneurial programming. Coursework covers the full spectrum of the entrepreneurial journey: NUvention Medical gave me the opportunity to learn how to take a medical problem and determine if there’s a feasible solution space; Launching and Leading Startups helped me better understand how to manage my start-up from early-stage concept validation to commercialization; Selling Yourself and Your Ideas provided invaluable frameworks for getting my product into the hands of those that need it most.

Additionally, the Zell Fellows program has provided me a wealth of industry specific mentorship and leadership development resources. My mentors have provided introductions and connections within the healthcare community that I would never have organically come across. My leadership coaches have made me a better person and leader of my team. Managing a team of 5, who are all in various stages of life and careers, has been a wonderful growth opportunity for me.

Long-Term Goals with Your Startup: BackWave plans to raise a seed round in the late spring / early summer and convert two teammates to full-time employees. Our long-term vision is to fully develop the Hero, achieve FDA compliance, commercialize the Hero, and give the millions struggling with heart failure better lives.

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