Birds of a Feather (EDITORS NOTE)

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 95 views 

As we reported in a cover story in our Feb. 29 issue, the favorable environment for entrepreneurs and startups in downtown Fayetteville is on the rise.

It’s a setting that apparently has caught the eye of a young company currently based in central Arkansas, but that has decided the best path forward is in Northwest Arkansas.

LineGard Med, a medical device startup, is expected to move to office space near the downtown square in Fayetteville sometime in June.

The company currently has three employees — founder and CEO Spencer Jones of Little Rock, who is a registered nurse, director of engineering Jordan Mykleby of Memphis and chief operations officer Vance Clement of Fayetteville.

The move to Northwest Arkansas would bring all three under one roof to continue LineGard Med’s transformation from a Little Rock-based startup to a successful company headquartered in Fayetteville over the next 18 months.

The company’s patented product is called the SafeBreak I.V. medical device. It prevents dislodgement and pullouts of IVs, which is a significant health care issue that the company estimates costs the U.S. health care system almost $1 billion dollars every year.

The company recently closed its first seed funding round at $800,000 and clinical evaluation of the product will take place this fall at a Memphis hospital.

The next step would be getting the SafeBreak I.V. device approved by the Food & Drug Administration, which could come as early as next spring. A medical device manufacturer in Indiana has already been contracted to make the device and handle inventory.

Clement said LineGard Med is likely to double its staff over the next year, and should employ as many as 12 in 18 months, with most of them working in Fayetteville.

“It’s the right kind of environment for where we are right now,” Clement said. “To be around other companies of our size doing similar things.”