Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lubbock Enticed by MedHab Story

The Lubbock Avalanche Journal reported:

A couple of weeks ago, we had a good lunch with Allen McInnes and a hundred or so of his best friends at the Chief Executives’ Roundtable, as ex-Red Raider baseball player Johnny Ross talked about his MedHab business.

That’s the special shoe inserts with accelerometers that assist patients who are rehabilitating knees.

Launch of the new product isn’t all that far away. Jim Wetherbe, chairman of the roundtable, told the audience Ross had gotten a call from the home office while waiting to be seated for lunch asking about colors for the product.

“You know you’re on the downhill slope then,” Ross said.

Through the grapevine, I’m hearing a couple of folks were sufficiently impressed with his product that they approached Ross about putting money into the deal.
Colors?  It sounds like Ross is buying a car.

MedHab hasn't finished its StepRite trademark application process.  It is yet to nail down a production site.  San Angelo city officials believe their $3.6 million package is MedHab's best offer, at least of those publicly made.

After the story ran, someone asked if I knew where the product would be manufactured, and expressed a hope that Ross would make it in the Hub City.

I haven’t asked. Perhaps I’m a little worried about what the answer will be.

After all, this city’s had a habit over the years of watching investors from other cities see the potential of ideas developed here. Ideas have a way of following money, and what’s developed here ends up creating jobs in the Metroplex or elsewhere in the state.

The intriguing part is that there is money here, but there seem to be some broken links keeping Lubbock people who could invest from connecting with the inventors who need the capital.

The reporter didn't have to go far to find out.  This blog, the San Angelo Standard Times and the Abilene Reporter News have numerous stories on MedHab's production site search.

Lubbock's Angel Investor community seems much less developed than San Angelo's.  It didn't hurt that San Angelo Mayor Alvin New is a MedHab equity investor and member of MedHab's Board of Directors.

Will MedHab CEO Johnny Ross follow Lubbock money, currently mobilizing on his behalf? MedHab's 40 day decision to pick a production site is almost 100 days old.  How many more tires does Ross have to kick?  Rest assured, Alvin New knows.

Update 9-7-15:  MedHab's Board now has three members from Lubbock.

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