Plug and Play, Zimmer Biomet seek to make Warsaw the medtech capital

Director of Plug and Play Indiana Brandon Noll (far right) leads a Q&A discussion with corporate and state leaders. Also pictured (from left) are Zimmer Biomet CEO Ivan Tornos, Founder & CEO, of Plug and Play, Saeed Amidi, Indiana Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — In what was described by some as a monumental moment in orthopedic history on Wednesday, Zimmer Biomet, alongside Gov. Eric Holcomb, announced a new collaboration focused on fueling innovation and growth in the medical device field.

Plug and Play is a global venture capital firm with a presence in over 50 locations across five continents and formally announced Wednesday that it had chosen Warsaw for its effort to grow medtech with support from Zimmer Biomet and other orthopedic companies in Warsaw.

Officials talked — almost whimsically — about unicorns, the business term that refers to a privately held startup companies valued at more than $1 billion.

In simple terms (and displayed on a large screen), Plug and Play’s mission is to “find, invest and grow the next unicorn in Indiana.”

Officials with the Silicon Valley-based company think Warsaw has immense potential.

“We are thrilled to establish a presence in Warsaw, one of the most dynamic medtech hubs in the United States,” said Saeed Amidi, Founder & CEO, Plug and Play Tech Center.

“This expansion allows us to collaborate with the brightest minds and most innovative startups, driving breakthroughs and transforming healthcare,” he said.

Plug And Play offers corporate innovation programs and helps corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution.

Local companies directly investing in the plan are Zimmer Biomet, Paragon Medical and OrthoPediatrics. Others are expected to follow.

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Zimmer Biomet President and CEO Ivan Tornos said the collaboration is an attempt to make Warsaw “the boldest city in medtech.”

Plug and Play Indiana was initially announced in January and is already attracting entrepreneurs  to Warsaw, including some who were in attendance at Wednesday’s announcement and who were already scheduled to begin pitching ideas.

Amidi said he believes about half of the startups will come from the Warsaw area or the state and the rest would come from elsewhere at the company’s direction.

Plug and Play will seek to bring in dozens of such startups annually.

Tornos said news that Plug and Play would be coming to Warsaw has generated interest from around the world in recent weeks.

“Even from my home country in Spain, I’m getting emails directly from different startups  in Europe that want to be part of the ecosystem … it’s got a lot of potential very quickly.”

Startups showing interest include Alberta, Canada, and Warsaw, Poland, according to Amidi.

Tornos spoke about what makes Warsaw so special.

“I’ve done business literally all over the world (and it’s) hard to find a place like this county or this state where you have all of the basic ingredients,” Tornos said.