Startups

Why this growing health-tech company changed its name

Boston Device Development is now Smithwise. The Boston-based company opened a University City office in January, and is gunning hard for the life sciences space.

Smithwise CEO Eric Sugalski (right) speaks during the company's rebranding event.

(Photo by Roberto Torres)

There’s another name change in the Philly tech scene, but this time it has nothing to do with pronunciation and more about reaching out to the city’s growing healthcare sector.
Boston Device Development — an 18-employee product design, engineering and manufacturing firm founded in 2009 in, yes, Boston — now goes by Smithwise. They threw a little party to celebrate.
This January, the company set up an 11-person operation out of One Drexel Plaza — a ten-fold expansion to its previous one-man operation in Malvern.


That one man was Eric Sugalski, the company’s founder and CEO. The Malvern-raised MIT grad was splitting his time between Boston, where he founded the organization, and the Philly ‘burbs since 2013.
According to Sugalski, the name change is a nod to the company’s expanding operations in Philly, where the health-tech scene is also burgeoning.
“We see huge opportunity in Philly,” Sugalski said. “We see a lot happening in local universities and the startup world. We’re helping some companies create laparoscopic surgical devices, pediatric devices, systems to improve medication, and more.”


The play for Philly’s growing life sciences space is evident. With $1.4 billion in National Institutes of Health funding, Pennsylvania’s major academic centers like the University of PennsylvaniaCHOP and Jefferson are a desirable target for any up-and-coming B2B tech company.
But what does Smithwise bring to the already crowded table of service providers for healthcare initiatives? Sugalski’s pitch can actually be found in how he breaks down the new name:
“The ‘Smith’ part is a recognition to builders and building, which is part of our core business,” he said. “And then the ‘wise’ part honors the fact that we use our team’s collective wisdom to focus our efforts in the right places. We can take ideas from the napkin sketch to functional medical devices.”

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