Osiris Biomedical wins $10K in veterans pitch event: 3D printing will 'change medicine' - Technical.ly Philly

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Nov. 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Osiris Biomedical wins $10K in veterans pitch event: 3D printing will ‘change medicine’

Five veteran-founded businesses competed for prizes in a pitch competition inspired by "Shark Tank." The winner is bringing 3D printers into the healthcare space.

Dr. Theo Gerstle, right, presenting his startup, Osiris Biomedical.

(Photo by Tony Abraham)

Veterans. Entrepreneurs. Money. “Shark Tank.”

The Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network (GPVN) held its second-annual Veteran Entrepreneurship Business Pitch Competition on Nov. 6 at The Hub Commerce Square.

Five businesses, all founded by veterans, competed for $10,000 and a free year of sales training, accounting, legal services and internet marketing. The prize money and services total $20,000, courtesy of GPVN.

Of about 30 applicants, only five businesses were chosen for the GPVN shark tank. The five competitors each had five minutes to pitch their business plans, followed by a five-minute barrage of questions from the panel of judges:

City Councilman David Oh even made a guest appearance to wish the five competitors luck with their pitches. “It takes a lot of courage and guts to start your own business,” he said, after explaining his Veterans Tax Credit bill, which will give business founded by veterans in Philadelphia a $5,000 tax credit per year for the first three years they’re in business.

Taking the $10,000 prize was Osiris Biomedical, founded by brothers (and doctors) Theo and Chris Gerstle. The Gerstles’ business? Capitalizing on 3D printing technology to manufacture durable plastic surgical implants. Their pitch elicited excited whispers among attendees.

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“This is the future of medicine,” said CEO Theo Gerstle, presenting a 3D-printed cranial implant to an awestruck audience.

Unfortunately, while the $10,000 is a welcome prize, Osiris needs at least $1 million before it can even think about getting started. “We’ll burn through that within the first year,” said Chris Gerstle. “It’s probably $5-7 million before we get what we want.”

And what does Osiris want?

For starters, the company’s technology is still patent-pending, and it still needs approval from the FDA. That means the Gerstles need to perfect their software and the plastic-based material they’ll be printing. According to Chris Gerstle, Osiris will have 18-24 months of regulation to deal with before they can even make their product available to the public.

Still, the presence of 3D printers in healthcare is an inevitable. Osiris just wants to be one of the first companies to break onto the scene.

“This is going to change medicine,” said Chris Gerstle. “It’s going to change everything.”

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Tony Abraham

Tony Abraham is Technically Media's Special Projects Reporter, where he currently edits Technical.ly's Grow PA series. He reports for both Technical.ly and Generocity and was a Philly News Award winner for Community Reporting of the Year in 2016. A proud native of Allentown, Pa., the Temple University alumnus calls Fishtown home.

  • Timothy Mayer

    Is that link for Osiris Biomedical right? I don’t see a thing about 3D printing on the site. Or am I missing something?

    • Tony Abraham

      It’s the right link. The content on their site needs updating, but the contact info is correct. Thanks!

    • Tony Abraham

      Also, here’s their Twitter handle: @osirisbiomed3d

  • Timothy Mayer

    Good to see they are spending most of the $$$ on technology and not advertising.

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