, Salem, MA


January 2, 2013

Helping startups find success

North Shore InnoVentures provides more than just lab and office space


Farmer said North Shore InnoVentures, which is supported by state and federal grants and corporate sponsors, is a success, given the amount of investments its companies have attracted.

“It took a lot longer to get started than we thought it would, and then when it took off, it went a lot faster than we thought it would,” Farmer said.

North Shore InnoVentures gives companies two to three years to get started and move on. Right now, it includes 23 companies that employ about 108 people. The incubator itself has two full-timers and three part-time employees. It started out as a cleantech incubator in Lynn in 2008. In October 2010, it settled in the Cummings Center, which itself has a cluster of more than 60 life sciences and cleantech companies.

“It’s a very congenial atmosphere,” Farmer said. “We have a network within the building of companies that have been helpful.”

One of those companies that is benefiting from the relationship is AdvaStim, which is developing a next-generation, implantable neurostimulator. AdvaStim is seeking to tap a $2 billion market for such devices used in a wide range of applications, mainly for controlling pain through spinal cord stimulation. The treatment is also being looked at for anxiety, post-traumatic stress and obesity.

“I learn a lot from Marty (Farmer), Don Freeman (a medical device mentor who sits on eight corporate boards and is a member of North Shore InnoVentures’ Advisory Board), the team that they have, the advisers. It gives me and eventually some engineers that I’ll hire, waiting to fill up those cubicles, the opportunity to be able to have the experience factor and getting another point of view,” said Yomtov, a Marblehead resident who co-founded the company with Larry Derose.

The company is in the process of raising its Series A round of financing within the next three to six months.

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