Reporter with Silicon Hills News

HeLiX Coworking Lab set to Open in Austin, courtesy photo

HeLiX Coworking Lab set to Open in Austin, courtesy photo

Developing new products for the medical industry requires special facilities like mock surgery rooms and lab space and the community in which to brainstorm ideas.

“Whatever policy, procedure or product you’re working on we want it in an operating room environment so we can mimic those same problems and solutions,” said Dr. Aaron Ali, CEO of MedtoMarket, the parent company behind HeLiX, a new coworking and bioskills lab space.

Redefining coworking, HeLiX is opening this spring in Austin with plans to offer its members everything they need to develop products for the medical, life sciences and healthcare sectors.

“HeLiX will even feature a cadaver lab and a human factors engineering lab where inventors can watch people work with their products,” said Ali, a board certified anesthesiologist, who has worked on several startups. He understands the needs of innovators working to take a product to market.

“The resources are here but they are kind of scattered,” Ali said. “We’re trying to bring everything together in one place versus trying to find them all over the place.”

“Right now, HeLiX is soliciting information from members of the medical, life sciences and healthcare sectors through a survey to make sure they meet their members needs,” said Loxley Browne, Executive Director of HeLiX. “Imagine Tony Stark and Richard Branson collaborating to create the ultimate business ecosystem…that is the space that I am designing for our community.”

Dr. Aaron Ali, Co-Founder & CEO of MedtoMarket, the parent company behind HeLiX

Dr. Aaron Ali, Co-Founder & CEO of MedtoMarket, the parent company behind HeLiX

“You have got to have the right community – the same like-minded people in the same trenches,” Ali said. “Under our roof you will find members from every sector of the life sciences, healthcare and medical field – medical professionals, pharmaceutical companies, reps, biotech companies, dental companies, healthcare IT, medical devices, digital health, universities, hospitals, service providers, associations, startups and individuals. The ability to conversate over coffee to work out the minute details of your plan and have the insight of someone who understands the problems you are addressing. That factor is key in taking your product to market successfully.”

The HeLiX site will be 15,000 square feet featuring collaborative workspaces with 10 desks, 20 private offices, three break-out meeting rooms with whiteboard walls, a luxurious boardroom, a lecture hall equipped to seat 50 people, a bioskills lab space, mock surgery rooms, and a few special items that Browne has designed into the space. Browne plans to announce the site location soon. It is in negotiations for the space currently, she said.

“I want our members to feel the vibrancy of the space and for that to translate into what they are doing,” Browne said. “The design of the space itself will be cutting edge and filled with the latest technology. The factor that will set us apart is the combination of the space, the vetted members and the testing of products in our laboratory facilities.”

HeLiX will also feature events and mentorship with renowned board members and industry leaders for emerging, existing and established individuals and companies creating new products and devices for the healthcare industry, Browne said.

“It’s going to be an absolutely incredible space to collaborate. It’s extremely unique,” Ali said.

Community involvement is also one of the core values at MedtoMarket. In the past, students have participated in labs and have walked away in wonder and with new career choices in mind, Ali said.

“HeLiX plans to do a summer outreach program to work with middle school and high school students to get them interested in medicine,” Ali said.

“We are already creating programs and involving schools in our new space,” Browne said. “We plan to not only mentor businesses and adults but also our future leaders. It is important to show them what is available and the choices they can make. Watching a teenager find that magic niche that excites their mind and makes them want to come back to learn more, that is what makes the hard work and effort that we have put into this worth every minute.”

“The HeLiX coworking space meets a need in Austin that others have not,” Browne said. “It will give Austin the advantage we need to become a shining star in the medical field. I’m excited to open the doors and showcase our talented members to the world.”

Editor’s note: HeLiX is a sponsor of Silicon Hills News.