Featured Alumni Entrepreneur: Katherine Desy ’15

Katherine Desy PanasciRMD Biotech was founded in May 2015 after months of business plan writing, competitions and the question of whether or not a graduating senior should take a job with a reputable company, start her own business…or do both.

RMD Biotech began as Silver Medical, a concept in Professor John Torrens’ senior capstone course. In 2013, SU professors Patrick Mather and Dacheng Ren patented a nanostructured hydrogel web with silver in it. This technology sat on a shelf until Katherine Desy and her capstone team felt there was an opportunity to be seized and decided to commercialize the technology. In April, the Silver Medical team placed third in the capstone competition. In May, Desy pitched the idea to judges in the Panasci Business Plan competition and won both the Consumer Product Innovation Award and the Whitman Entrepreneurial Idea Award, which came with a $7,000 prize.

In May 2015, two weeks after graduation, RMD (Ren, Mather, Desy) Biotech was born with the hopes of creating a wound care product line that will ease patient pain, increase efficiency for medical professionals and be extremely cost-effective. As the RMD technology currently stands, a wound dressing created in the specified way will be able to withstand 10-15 days of use, which is unheard of with available technologies.

A significant amount of progress has been made in the past three months. Desy now works out of the HUBCAP Wallingford Incubator in Wallingford, Conn., where she receives accounting assistance and office space to use freely. In early June, RMD Biotech won a $500 grant from Women’s Net, a group dedicated to promoting female entrepreneurship. As part of the HUBCAP incubator, RMD Biotech is eligible to apply for $30,000 in funding from the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology at the end of July. At the end of 2015, the company will be up for a $2,000 grant, competing against 11 other women-owned companies.

Professors Mather and Ren, along with SU student lab assistants, are working on developing a product that will serve as a silver hydrogel wound dressing. They will continue to develop the product this summer with the hopes of doing some initial testing and possible manufacturing in the fall. RMD Biotech’s current focus is learning how to navigate the FDA system, finding and applying for business grants—particularly large government grants—and on finding a biotech manufacturer that can help the company move into its next phase.

For more information on RMD Biotech, visit: www.rmdbio.com or www.facebook.com/RMDBiotech. Please consider making a donation of any size on the company’s “Help Us Out” page and vote for the company to win the $2,000 grant at the end of the year: www.ambergrantsforwomen.com/voting/.

Katherine Desy
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