healthcare startup outgrows launchhouse, expands to heights rockefeller building

Eugene Malinskiy already is on his third startup and he's not even 30 yet. He created his first company when he was 16, later selling both for a profit. Now he's launched Dragon ID, a healthcare innovation and design firm that has grown from zero to 20 employees in the span of just two years.

Dragon ID is a biomedical startup that helps doctors and hospitals solve healthcare problems. The firm focuses on the medical device, health IT and surgery markets, and has a cross-functional team of whizzes to help healthcare professionals create solutions. The Dragon ID team is working on a number of products, but one that's getting buzz is EuCliD, which will be used in transcatheter aortic valve replacements to help prevent emboli from breaking away and causing blood clots or strokes.

Recently, Dragon ID moved from Shaker Launchhouse to the Heights Rockefeller building, where it is currently customizing its own space, including a lab, to accommodate growth. Malinskiy says the firm will benefit from having more professional offices and a location that's closer to where employees live.

"The City of Cleveland Heights was very welcoming," he says, referencing financial incentives that helped seal the deal. "They really want us here."

Malinskiy attributes Dragon ID's growth to the booming healthcare sector in Cleveland, where he can do business with the Clinic and other big players. "Being here, companies can come to us and say, 'We have this idea, what can you do?'"

Typically, Malinskiy and his cohorts receive an inquiry, then spend time vetting it, including attending surgeries, to understand the scope of the problem and potential solution. Once a solution is identified, the team builds a digital or physical prototype. Then, if the client decides to move forward, the company invests in bringing the product market through animal and human trials.

Dragon ID is internally funded through contracts with hospitals and doctors. The company has also won grant awards from MAGNET and the Innovation Fund.

Read more articles by Lee Chilcote.

Lee Chilcote is a journalist, essayist and poet whose work has appeared in many regional and national publications. He is Managing Editor of Fresh Water Cleveland and Editorial Director of Issue Media Group. He has earned Master's degrees in English/Creative Writing and Public Administration from Cleveland State University. Originally from Cleveland Heights, he lives in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood with his family.
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