Team Spotlight: FlexDex Inc.

FlexDex is a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgical instrument which offers a surgeon the natural motion and dexterity of open surgery. The user interface attaches to the surgeon’s wrist by a gimbal which has an elongated shaft that enters the patient’s body. It utilizes a pair of jaws, capable of clamping or grasping, that articulate to reach more difficult locations within the body. A patented mechanical system finds the center of rotation of the instrument’s handle at the same point as the surgeon’s wrist.

Impact of I-Corps

The I-Corps program taught Dr. Awtar and Dr. Geiger to focus their market discovery efforts on finding a procedure where the dexterity offered by the FlexDex system was critical for successful surgical outcomes. This focus allowed them to streamline product development efforts and tell a more compelling market value story that helped enable future funding of the project.

University Affiliation: University of Michigan



Dr. Shorya Awtar, PhD [left] and Dr. Jim Geiger, MD [right]

2008 Invention Disclosed to University of Michigan Tech Transfer
Jan 2013 Engineering Prototyping Award ($20,000)
May 2013 Participated in U-M Regional I-Corps
July 2013 NSF SBIR Phase I and IB ($180,000)
Dec 2014 NSF SBIR Phase II and IIB ($1.37M)
Dec 2014 Angel Funding ($2.4M)
Nov 2015 Accelerate Michigan Business Plan Competition ($25,000)