Jim Kregel and Larry Panzer were looking to apply their expertise in medical device development after their former employer, Gardner Denver Inc., moved its Thomas Products division out of state resulting in the loss of 350 jobs in Sheboygan. Fifty miles away in Green Bay, Dan Laundrie had an idea for a device that could address a problem he experienced while working as a nurse doing surgical preparations. The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay brought these three together and ultimately the Surgical Site Solutions team was formed. In March 2011, Surgical Site Solutions debuted its innovative medical device, the ClipVac, at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses in Philadelphia.
The ClipVac is a surgical clipper that efficiently removes body hair as it is clipped during surgery preparation. It was a practical solution to a problem, and it had a short timeline from concept to production. That piqued the interest of Kregel, now CEO/President of Surgical Site Solutions.
“In my prior job, I would see a whole lot of inventors come in with ideas for new product development,” says Kregel. “After reading Dan’s business plan, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. The more I looked at it, the more excited I got. With the experience I and my partners have, I really thought we could make this happen.”
And they did make it happen. ClipVac went into production just months after its March 2011 debut.