Recently, technological advancements have started influencing the healthcare industry too. Early in these advancements was Marc Rippen (Founder and President, Alertgy) who utilized the novel tech to monitor the blood sugar level in diabetics. It’s not easy to understand the low or high blood sugar attack which can be life-threatening. He went through a personal tragedy which pushed him to establish Alertgy. Before founding Alertgy, Marc had been a part of several technology-based solutions for the betterment of healthcare.
Marc is the former Director of Engineering of the Marine and Space Division of SRI International St. Petersburg, as well as a prominent program manager and a top gun in business development for multiple fortune 500 companies, and defense contractors supporting DOD organizations such as DARPA and SOCOM for advanced Applied Research and Development Projects. He is a scholar of multiple degrees in various disciplines of biological science and tech. However, choosing the diabetic industry was never a plan. Circumstances and rising concerns of the diabetics led him to the industry. Further, Marc, in his own words, talks about his journey and how he tackled all the challenges throughout the same. Here are the excerpts,
Tragedy leading to innovation
What is the story behind the establishment of Alertgy?
Alertgy was founded in 2016 after saving my wife Sue from falling into a coma due to a low blood sugar attack, finding her nearly unconscious on the living room couch. I knew then that I had to do something to find a solution to this life or death problem. It was surprising to see that despite technological advancements, many people still face the same problems of managing their blood sugar effectively. I also noticed how worried people were about their loved ones and the caretakers not knowing if they are suffering from a low or high blood sugar attack. As a solution to not just mine but the over 400 million diabetics throughout the world Alertgy was created to provide non-invasive real-time blood sugar monitoring and alerts.
Measure Blood Glucose in Real-time
What is the one unique quality that differentiates Alertgy from its competitors?
Healthtech industry is wide and people come up with solutions which rises the competition every day. What does separates us from the others is the Alertgy NICGM (Non-Invasive Continuous Glucose Monitor). Our device that measures blood sugar without the need for drawing blood like the traditional glucose measuring devices. Through our revolutionary technology, we have developed a platform and sensor that is unlike anything currently available on the consumer market.
Most devices today rely on physical blood measurements collected through direct blood measurements requiring needles and other painful processes. These processes sometimes scare away the patients thus risking their lives. The ANICGM gets rid of these arduous methods and gives people the ability to accurately measure their blood glucose in real-time.
Resilient despite the failures
How did you embrace your failure? Did your failure change you in anyway?
Often there are issues with the testing or convincing the people to try the new methodologies. At Alertgy, we have had our share of roadblocks and testing times that would have caused failures for other companies in our situation, however, we have overcome these and pushed forward towards our goal.
I believe that the hard times we have faced made us a more resilient company, and proved to ourselves that if we can overcome them, our goal of providing this technology to the world is attainable.
Keeping up with the Busy schedule
Being a CEO, how will you describe your daily routine?
Being a CEO of a pre-revenue startup means constantly being on the road raising money and building relationships. This does not suffice my responsibilities as a leader I cannot overlook my team so I constantly make sure my team is motivated by giving leadership to our day to day staff at our headquarters.
I divide my time between traveling and being in Melbourne. My schedule is extremely busy and exhausting at times, but being able to provide diabetics with this life-changing technology makes it all worth it in the end.
Appreciating the efforts
Are you satisfied with the current company culture or do you wish to see any changes?
I think a diverse team brings varied experience and skillset together. Thus, our current company culture is very diverse with employees from varying backgrounds with different skills and abilities. This becomes very beneficial for us in times of crisis. We are very proud of the culture in our workplace and believe we have developed a great working atmosphere.
Also, we understand that appreciating the team members’ efforts is important. So through incentivization and positive feedback, we reward those who work hard to accomplish tasks and motivate them to know their hard work will always be valued.
Aiming to be a multibillion company
What are your future plans for the company?
Diabetes is one of the common health problems globally. There are 422 million diabetics in the world, and this number is steadily increasing every day. Currently, 1/3 of the world’s population is borderline diabetic. We can help people change their daily lives in order to avoid becoming diabetic, like DEXCOM the world’s first Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Company. I’m being optimistic here and believe that with our revolutionary technology, Alertgy could be a multibillion-dollar company in a short time.