11 Health is a connected medical device company founded in the UK. They create products for ostomy patients that connect via Bluetooth to the patients’ mobile devices. Their ostom-i Alert Sensor “is a discrete connected medical device alerting patients in real time when their ostomy pouch is at a point where it should be emptied, helping to prevent any unpleasant surprises.” 11 Health builds on the philosophy that patients play a lead role in managing their quality of care, using cutting edge technology to put the power in the patients’ hands.
Recently, 11 Health expanded and entered the U.S. Upon arrival, 11 Health set up base in ROC’s Irvine office before growing and moving locations. We caught up with Michael Seres, CEO of 11 Health, to discuss their transition from the UK, as well as the early days at ROC.
Can you say a little about 11 Health’s recent expansion into the U.S.?
11 Health was given FDA clearance for its medical device in 2015 and established its US operation in early 2016. Since then our US office has grown to become our R&D centre and where we develop all our technology. We now have a team of 12 people based here and are looking forward to continuing to grow over the coming years.
What were some of the major challenges for the expansion?
Opening an office in any foreign country is challenging especially when you are not used to the new environment. From banking, company set up, hiring new people and finding the right office space it takes time. I learned from my mistakes but I also had the help from the United Kingdom Trade and Industry team in southern California, so that was great. Although the UK and US share many things in common there were still cultural differences to learn. For example, working hours are slightly different.
What role did ROC play during this transition, and how was the experience working with ROC?
ROC became our first home. I found the offices at Irvine to be very welcoming. Kristen is a great office manager and made us feel at home very quickly. I liked the fact that you could scale up or down very quickly and that there was a lot of space and light within the offices. Perhaps the greatest part was the outdoor area which made coming to work feel more like sitting outside at home. In the end we felt we outgrew ROC which is why we moved but I would encourage anyone starting out to try the offices as a Launchpad. You will be greeting by warm and friendly people and a community that is very easy to integrate with.