About 13 years ago when Mike Tomás decided to leave a highly successful 20-year career in telecom and turn his attention to life sciences, some people thought he was crazy. He believed the next phase of medicine will be regenerative, where stem cells from one place in your body will repair other places in your own body. It hasn’t been an easy fight for him or the company he leads, Bioheart, despite hundreds of success stories.
“The bottom line: We’ve done over 1,000 patients already, 35 countries have already approved it -- one of the countries that haven’t approved it, the United States of America. … Other companies have given up on the USA, I have not. There is a pretty good argument to be made for leaving the country," the CEO of Bioheart said.
It would be much easier to move his company to Australia or any one of the other 34 other countries that has approved the procedure rather than continuing to fight for FDA approval. “My parents and grandparents fought political unrest. … I’m fighting political unrest but a different kind,” Tomás said.
There is much more to his story, including the inspiration of his parents and grandparents -- including how his father would spark creative discussion at the nightly dinner table -- and the role of Dr. William Murphy Jr., founder of Cordis and inventor of the pacemaker and other medical inventions, as well as the overhead projector and even a snowblower (at age 13). Today, Murphy, 90, is a business partner, mentor and his best friend and Tomás still speaks with him every morning, talking business or seeking guidance. Tomás’ advice: Everybody has a Dr. Murphy in their life, a coach, a mentor -- thank that person.
Tomás said he tries to do well by doing good, and his focus locally is on economic development. “In the last 45 days, we have launched six new regenerative medicine companies. My intention is to create a regenerative medicine cluster in South Florida,” said Tomás, who is also the chair of FIU’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center board, on the board of advisors and an investor in Rokk3r Labs, and recently named chair of the eMerge Innovate advisory board of eMerge Americas.
Tomás told his story at the Miami chapter kickoff of Creative Mornings, which brings in local speakers once a month to share their stories. Malik Benjamin, who started the chapter here, said the unique component of Creative Mornings, which has 60 chapters around the world, is that each month each chapter features a local speaker speaking on a particular global theme and the talks get posted for global viewing. Tomas’ theme was “Bravery.”
Each chapter posts a video of its local talk; Tomás’ talk is posted here: http://creativemornings.com/talks/mike-tomas/1
On Friday, Denise Jacobs, writer, speaker and creativity evangelist, is going to talk about White Space Creativity at the second Creative Mornings gathering. The global theme is “Make.” This Friday, Dec. 6, it will be by the pool of the Intercontinental Miami because “we want to make the winter chapters jealous.” Register here: http://creativemornings.com/talks/denise-jacobs
Find more information about the global organization, see creativemornings.com
Posted Nov. 30, 2013