Dan Purvis, CEO
Dan Purvis started his career as an applications engineer at National Instruments, where he completed and taught over 20 LabVIEW courses. He has obtained over 25 years of experience working in various domains like software, electronics, and medical devices. In parallel, Tim Carroll worked as a test engineer for Intermedics in the 1990s and has over 27 years of experience in the medical device industry. Both, after having gained significant experience in the industry, saw that the majority of organizations are driven solely by revenue generation and not directly focused on changing people’s lives. Hence, even before they started their new venture, both of them had absolute clarity that culture would be the bedrock that defined their company. With this in mind, both of them established Velentium, a professional engineering firm in 2012, intending to change the world one patient life at a time. Purvis, as a CEO, leads the company’s culture development with a strong emphasis on positively affecting both patients and employees’ lives. Carroll, as President and COO, oversees a majority of the company’s business development operations.
Today, Velentium specializes in the secure design and development of therapeutic and diagnostic active medical devices. As consultants, the company assists medical IP holders through all stages of the medical device lifecycle, be it automated test systems, embedded cybersecurity, electrical design, firmware, or mobile apps. Besides these, an essential service they provide is system engineering, overseeing the successful interfacing of technologies and subsystems that might otherwise cause projects to fall behind. In such instances, Velentium has the expertise to bring together all project elements to ensure a quality product. Moreover, as security is increasingly recognized as a critical challenge across many verticals and demand for highly secure products is continually growing, Velentium has positioned itself as an industry leader in cybersecurity. They have hired a top subject matter expert in embedded cybersecurity, Chris Gates, who has over 30 years of experience in the secure development of medical devices.
With stricter expectations put forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), traceable hazard analysis, and mitigation of every device has become mandatory to limit patient-related risks to acceptable levels. As a result, Velentium helps clients identify and address these risks right at the outset of the project.
With all the service on offer, what differentiates Velentium from others is how they deliver these services. The company has an influential culture in place, defined by its core values, that governs their workday-to-day.
Aspects of this culture are easily broken down into ‘Who,’ ‘Why,’ ‘How,’ ‘Where,’ and ‘What.’ Having a distinctive culture helps Velentium to keep their team tightly knit. Purvis elaborates on the various cultural aspect that they religiously follow, beginning with ‘Who,’ that defines the name ‘Velentium,’ a portmanteau of VELocity, momENTum, and ingenIUM (Latin for talent).
‘Why,’ signifies Velentium’s passion to change lives for a better world. It starts with their staff being unleashed to complete challenging, meaningful work at speed, which then translates to positive supplier and client interactions, as a fulfilled employee will put more zeal towards the task assigned. “When you interact with us, we are not only providing a service, we are interacting with you as human beings,” says Purvis. Hence, Velentium does not see their clients as a source to generate revenue. On the contrary, they are focused on the quality of the product they build and work as partners, guides, and collaborators with their client’s team.
‘How,’ describes the company’s operation. To this end, Velentium operates on three core values, which were painstakingly chosen over a series of many meetings. They are Honorable, Results++, and Humble Charisma. ‘Honorable’ means that the company takes a principled approach and stays transparent with their clients. Challenges and threats to achieving milestones are communicated clearly within the organization as well as with clients.
'Results++’ means striving to deliver the best possible outcomes. This translates to maintaining focus on a clear real-world objective, rather than simply writing code, building the firmware, or laying out electrical boards with no thought for the ultimate goal. “We shine most when the client has a problem but has been unable to identify a potential solution, and for these reasons, we always strive for the best, simplest, and most elegant design,” Purvis explains.
Furthermore, some companies will only do exactly what the client says. Velentium is not one of them. They are thought leaders, working with their clients to build a robust solution. “We will look for better, faster, less expensive, more durable, more energy-efficient, and on a smaller form factor in order to achieve the end goal. We are not only going to follow the lead blindly, but we are also going to challenge,” adds Purvis.
Finally, ‘Humble Charisma’ is about striking a balance with the client, including forging a strong bond with their team to achieve success. “We strive to be the kind of people our colleagues, clients, and suppliers want to be around,” says Purvis. “We hire people who are not only excellent at what they do but are also the kind of people you enjoy spending time with.”
Similarly, ‘Where’ and ‘What’ describe aspects of the company’s culture. ‘Where’ signifies the roadmap of Velentium to employ 1000 staff in order to positively influence 1000 families as part of Velentium’s growing culture. ‘What’ is the vision for Velentium to continue to be a one-stop-shop solution provider for end-to-end medical device development, where they can cater to any requirements that customers may have.
Elaborating on how Velentium is making a difference in the medical device market, Purvis mentions clients at opposite ends of the spectrum. First, big medical device firms having sufficient research and development capability, but at times require additional support to accelerate their processes, needing speed and agility which their existing staff might not be available to provide. Or, the company wants to outsource the task to offload an extra burden. Velentium has collaborated with the largest of the medical device firms, augmenting their engineering teams as well as completing full projects on their behalf. “Often, we will train our personnel on their quality system, and then author all the documents in their quality system as if we were their employees,” Purvis adds. On the other end of the client spectrum are medical device startups. Many of these startups, even before they dive into their first funding round, contract with Velentium to ensure a quality medical device can be brought to the market once they are funded.
Looking to the future, Velentium is expanding along multiple vectors. In addition to growing toward 1000 families as part of its ‘where’ philosophy, Velentium is increasing its capital, its capabilities, and its geographic footprint. The company is currently in negotiations for a 20-acre parcel where they plan to build a 175,000 square foot corporate campus. Very recently the company also added a new board member, Larry Lawson. As the founder of Proxima CRO, a clinical research organization, Lawson’s involvement with Velentium gives the company the ability to offer clinical trial services as a part of a seamless manufacturing process.