In May 2010, three recent graduates and co-founders of what is now Intellijoint Surgical greeted Dr. Allan Gross, the esteemed orthopaedic surgeon, in his office at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. "The three of them came into my office," recounted Dr. Gross, "and said to me: 'we are here to make you a better surgeon.'"

Co-founders Armen Bakirtzian, Andre Hladio and Richard Fanson didn't exactly walk off the street into Mount Sinai Hospital. They had earned their meeting by placing first in the Ontario Centres of Excellence Next Top Entrepreneur contest in 2010. Dr. Gross listened to the young men describe the idea for their first product, intellijoint HIPTM. He responded by explaining that in order to be successful, the product would have to be safe, fast and inexpensive –and of course, accurate.

Intellijoint Co-founder and CEO, Armen Bakirtzian told Invest in Ontario that Intellijoint actually began as a fourth year engineering design project at the University of Waterloo back in 2008. "I was in the operating room observing my father performing a hip replacement," said Armen, "when he told me that he lined up the prosthetic hip by eye. We knew there had to be a better way. The solution we came up with is intellijoint HIPTM."

The company's intellijoint HIPTM flagship product launched on July 13, 2015 for use by orthopaedic surgeons across Canada. The tool is simple and easy to use, providing surgeons with vital intra-operative measurements that can enable proper cup position, equalization of leg length and restoration of hip offset. This critical information has the potential to assist in the prevention of recurrent instability, hip dislocation and leg length discrepancy, which can potentially reduce costly readmissions and revision surgeries while improving clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Intellijoint Surgical is a graduate of the Accelerator Centre and based out of Waterloo. We asked Armen how much Ontario's culture of innovation and entrepreneurship helped his team realize their vision of becoming a world-class medical device manufacturer. "Becoming entrepreneurs was not something we planned," answered Armen. "In fact, none of us had really considered it an option. The assistance we received from the Accelerator Centre was crucial to our success in developing our first product and commercializing it." Armen has since served as a Canadian Delegate at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit, explaining that he would like to inform young, innovative minds across Canada that entrepreneurship is an exciting and viable career path.

Learn more about Intellijoint Surgical



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