By Kaine Korzekwa
The dynamics of a medical technology start-up company can be difficult and constantly changing, but Ben Moga’s company Tasso is alive and thriving.
Armed with a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from UW–Madison, Moga is co-founder and president of a company trying to revolutionize how blood is drawn to make it less invasive.
In 2012, Moga and two other biomedical engineers from UW–Madison founded Tasso. While normal blood sampling requires a needle in the arm or fingertip, the company’s product adheres to someone’s arm for two minutes and collects blood in a less invasive manner.
On the research side, his degree gave him important problem-solving skills. He uses business and people skills he’s garnered along the way to excel at corporate development, business development, and fundraising.
“I was thinking medical school after my undergrad at UW but I found out I really like research. After my master’s there was an opportunity to get involved in start-up companies focused on medical technology.”
In young and small companies like start-ups, individuals wear many hats so he’s constantly interfacing with partners and working on deals to collaborate on different products.
“Tasso, which relocated to Seattle in June, is alive and well,” Moga explains. “The most important aspects of a start-up are revenue generation and funding. Especially in the life sciences and tech start-up industries, initial funding is crucial because there is a delay in revenue while you meet regulations and get FDA-approved equipment.”
He believes that the translational aspect of the start-up industry — taking the knowledge gained in the lab and putting it to work or in the hands of consumers — is a vital piece of the puzzle.
“As an inventor and engineer, I think it’s important because innovative products drive advancement,” he says. “In this career, I get to choose my own destiny to a large extent. I’ve been drawn to medical devices specifically because I really, really enjoy seeing a device that I helped create being used my someone and having it improve their health.”