Position: General Manager, Simbionix eLearning
Reports to: CEO, Simbionix USA
Location: Denver, CO
“Virtual reality simulation in surgical training has become more widely used and intensely investigated in an effort to develop safer, more efficient, measurable training processes…If executed properly, virtual reality offers inherent advantages over other training systems in creating a realistic surgical environment and facilitating measurement of surgeon performance.” – E. Seymour and J.S. Rotnes, Surgical Endoscopy (2007)
“If we’re going to make a mistake, let’s make it on the simulators first.” – Dr. Karl Illig, Chief of Vascular Surgery at Strong Medical Center, Rochester, NY, on why physicians are eager to start using the new Simbionix PROcedure Studio simulator
“If the learning actually matters, use simulations. If it doesn’t, don’t worry about it.” – Clark Aldrich, founder of SimuLearn, industry visionary, and author of numerous articles and books on simulations and e-learning
SIMBIONIX IN THE NEWS
Surgical simulators have been developed in the past few years to enhance the training of physicians, reduce the number of animals and cadavers, and provide flexible training scenarios and preoperative planning. Despite their potential benefits, and the fact that they have precedence in flight simulators, there are very few simulators in current use globally. Simbionix as a leadership company in this growing industry is changing the medical training landscape.
As a world leader in the field of medical education and simulation technology, Simbionix offers the most comprehensive medical training experience available, using the latest software and hardware technology. The company’s state-of-the-art technology provides surgeons, interventionists, nurses, and technicians with a robust platform to learn and master critical skills to ensure procedural efficiency and promote quality patient outcomes. The systems offer a range of basic and highly advanced procedures, and incorporate detailed and complete metrics for skill assessment.
The user is free to practice skills and perform procedures until the required proficiency is attained. In addition, difficult and uncommon procedures may be practiced at any time. This maximizes consistency to optimize learning, providing a clear advantage over relying solely on previous ly available patient training methods.
History and Products
Established in 1997 by a small group of individuals with a multi-disciplinary background in marketing, software programming and 3-D graphics, the company developed the GI Mentor™, the industry’s first computer-based simulator for training endoscopic procedures skills.
Since then, Simbionix has successfully launched a complete line of medical simulators that provide medical professionals with hands-on training in a comprehensive array of Minimally Invasive Surgery procedures. This includes the URO Mentor™ — the industry’s only simulator for endourology procedures; the PERC Mentor™ for percutaneous access procedures; the LAP II Mentor™ — a multi disciplinary simulator for laparoscopic skills and surgery procedures recognized as the industry gold standard; and the ANGIO Mentor™–a multidisciplinary simulator that provides hands-on practice in an extensive and complete simulated environment of interventional endovascular procedures. Today Simbionix has progressed to the “next” generation of simulation, developing and launching PROcedure Rehearsal Studio, the first “patient specific” simulation in the industry.
Simbionix simulation products have been validated in several scientific studies and the company cooperates closely with both industry and leading medical institutions such as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and other international institutions to develop the most advanced simulators for the training and assessment of medical professionals.
About Simbionix eLearning Division
Recognizing the ongoing trends in the certification of clinicians in a range of MIS procedures that are becoming more complex, Simbionix acquired eTrinsic, a leader in education content development. Together with the Mentor platforms, Simbionix began providing a comprehensive solution (called the MentorLearn platform) for the training and eventual certification of physicians in advanced surgery skills in a safe and controlled environment, increasing patient safety and procedure efficiency.
Currently, the medical course content division of Simbionix (now branded as a division of Simbionix) specializes in developing online medical education products for professional education, including training modules and assessment tools. This division’s products are designed for manufacturers of medical devices, who use the company’s products to launch their own products and train their customers as well as sales representatives, physicians, and clinicians.
Simbioniox’ medical eLearning division combines its proven content development process with an understanding that adult learning is fundamentally different from learning created for the captive audience of children. Adult learning for physicians, clinicians, and medical device employees requires the information design to be more practical, more concise, and extremely intuitive and realistic to the end user. With this in mind, the course content division uses proprietary learning methodology developed over years, allowing the learner to apply his/her knowledge in a practical and hands-on way in the course of the online learning experience.
About River Cities
River Cities Capital Funds is a venture capital firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio with an office in Raleigh, North Carolina. It has raised nearly $400MM in four venture funds since being founded in 1994, and has backed over 80 portfolio companies, located mainly in the Midwest and Southeastern regions of the U.S. River Cities invests behind exceptional management teams in expansion stage companies in healthcare and information technology that have unique technology or services and strong market positions, with a special emphasis on recurring revenue business models. For more information, please visit www.rccf.com.
About Early Stage Partners
Early Stage Partners is an early stage venture capital firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. The company invests in promising opportunities in instrumentation and control technology, life sciences, advanced materials, energy, information technology, and electronics. The company’s principals have over one hundred years combined experience in early stage company formation and development, with a significant network of relationships throughout the United State that can be used to attract management, develop strategic partnerships, and provide later stage funding. For more information, please visit www.esplp.com.
As part of its post-funding expansion plans, Simbionix will be hiring a senior executive to drive its new direction into the eLearning world and training market sector in Denver. This General Manager will have overall responsibility for developing a commercial business plan and establishing, building, and managing a successful global eLearning business focused on a wide range of medical training markets—medical school, hospital, and clinics, as well as publishers and other re-sellers—and leveraging Simbionix’ world-class simulation archive of courses and equipment. The goal of the company is to develop a recurring revenue model.
Reporting to CEO, the new General Manager will work with the CEO and his leadership team to quickly build Simbionix’s eLearning division into a $20M – $50M operation. The new GM will use his or her previous expertise and knowledge of the eLearning world to identify and develop a new eLearning market sector for the company that integrates its core medical simulation technology.
Critical to his/her success will be the ability to combine the company’s core medical simulation products within the eLearning environment, assess market trends and opportunities, and move aggressively to create a new businesses that exploits these opportunities. This requires not only strategic vision but also the ability to establish an appropriate sales distribution model and possibly develop partnership and joint venture relationships. Success will be measured by a combination of growth, profitability, and ultimately enhancement of company value.
Reporting to the new GM will be a current staff of fewer than twenty employees, including project managers, data base experts, graphic artists, other technical employees and sales representatives.
Specific responsibilities and expectations include the following:
- Develop an eLearning business plan and commercial model that includes a re-occurring revenue component
- Identify market opportunities associated with the Simbionix core simulation business, integrate these, and develop a comprehensive business plan for creating revenue streams in medical training for each of these markets
- Leverage previous contacts within the eLearning/Training space to develop partnerships and possibly joint ventures that could jump start entry into these various markets
- Establish an effective eLearning Sales and Distributions organization focused on these markets
- Move quickly to implement these plans and strategies within the limitations of resources and budgets
- Manage this businesses profitably while achieving rapid growth in revenues
- Operate as “Pied Piper”—recruiting and mentoring talent into the organization from previous companies as well as other eLearning companies
- Work effectively and harmoniously within a matrix organization with the team in Denver, Israel, and, most importantly, the CEO in the Company’s HQ’s in Cleveland, as well as other senior managers.
- Ability to present well and coherently
It is important to note that the company has more than ten years of technology development and twelve years of operating history delivering world-class core simulation products and training solutions to the medical market.
THE CAREER OPPORTUNITY
To an experienced builder-leader executive, this opportunity offers several attractive features:
- Opportunity to establish and manage a profitable, rapidly growing division, with significant ownership stake and company value strongly influenced by the GM’s performance
- The opportunity to create an enterprise, not just optimize what someone else built—to help lead and grow a cutting edge, state-of-the-art eLearning business
- The opportunity to join a small executive team and have “a seat at the table” as the company charts its future
- Strong, committed investors and Board that is willing to fund growth
- The opportunity to gain both domestic and international experience since the company is a true globally-focused operation with an installed base and activities in more than 35 countries around the world
- The opportunity to work in the attractive, thriving city of Denver
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate currently is the General Manager, COO, President, or other senior operating executive of a company that provides eLearning/training solutions. He or she has P&L responsibility and has demonstrated the ability to identify eLearning market trends and products, proven knowledge of the distribution and marketing of eLearning products, and has built a profitable eLearning business.
It is preferable—though not essential– that the candidate have experience with hospitals, clinics, medical schools, and/or other healthcare organizations. What is essential is that he or she have a demonstrated understanding of distribution of web-based training solutions and content (publishers and others), to commercial or, more broadly, to corporate and academic markets.
Specifically, this individual has—
- Significant experience and success managing an eLearning business, ideally from a “best of breed” company
- A strong record of performance taking a company from <$5M to $20M or more as operating manager with P&L responsibility
- An ability to develop a strategic commercial business plan and implement it
- A keen understanding of eLearning distribution
- Experience with functional areas such as product development (IT), product management, marketing, sales management, and business development
- Outstanding general management and leadership skills developed in a fast-paced, dynamic, multi-tasking environment
- Experience in the global eLearning arena
- (Ideally) Experience working in a matrix-type organizational structure with vertical and lateral relationships between colleagues in the US and abroad (in this case, Israel); this requires flexibility and adaptability in a cross-cultured company
- An entrepreneurial spirit–whether within a small or large company; not a “big company mentality”
- A leadership style that is open and transparent, with no BS or hidden agendas
- A team player mentality, with understanding that success comes from his / her integration into the parent company, and in developing close working relationships with the CEO and other senior managers
- A willingness to relocate to Denver if not already located there
- A college degree
This involves a range of personal attributes– flexibility and adaptability; a great work ethic; strong leadership skills with supervision; an ability to develop a strategic commercial plan and implement it; an ability to analyze and evaluate one’s own (and other’s) performance and to develop plans to improve performance; excellent presentation skills; willingness to take responsibility for both success and failure; a thick skin; self-confidence; a positive attitude about self, company, marketplace; and a strong desire for success.
Compensation will include salary, bonus, and equity in line with the individual’s experience.
Travel may be as much as 30 percent initially in addition to any commuting.