What did you study?
Studied science subjects, science astronomy, and physics. First project happened to be about
cancer, the field he works today.
Originally what did you think you would be
Thought that he would be a lab scientist. Physics or biology, science from an early age. He was
still interested in business, he could also want to be in real-estate, or real estate sales. He was
into the stock market by the age of 13. He always thought of his career of science, he would be
interested in business
When did the idea of the company come to you
It came to him around 1996, the year he received his PHD. He began on-staff at a cancer
treatment facility on the Montreal Children’s hospital. He was also teaching courses at the
university. He was building up a student research team. He realized that it wasn’t enough just to
write about new ideas and publish them. He had tested and proved that they worked, brand
new ideas that he published about. He wanted to use those ideas in the real world. Instead of
just publishing them, he pushed to take those ideas that were just that, ideas, and make it into a
commercial product that could be used for the masses. By that time, he had published ten
papers. He wanted to be his own boss as well, a big part of his motivation
He was studying a mix of physics and medicine. How to apply physics principles of radiation on
human tissue to the treatment of cancer patients. Physics, biology and medicine mix. Relied on
his basics in Nuclear, particle and solid state physics.
What is his success attributed to
Perseverance, hard work, skill and people skills. Good adaption skills and having a small ego.
Also a good understanding of the market. You can have a great idea, but without these skills, the
business will die out. A good team could even take a bad idea, and make a highly successful
business. Idea is 5% of a business
Production of the company?
They produce image guidance products. It guides the radiation treatment to hit the immediate
area of where cancerous cells are growing. They use advanced ultrasound to find the tumour
accurately. It then helps the radiation producer to align itself to hit the tumour at all time. IGRT
is used for these cancers:
Gynaecological (uterine cancer, cervix cancers)
Breast cancer (huge market boost, close to double)
Head and neck cancers
What the market size of the company?
They work in a 10B$ market, the radiology market inside of the diagnostic market. Diagnostic
market 40B$. Pre-Elekta they had regulatory clearance to sell in Canada, USA and Europe. They
had FDA, Health Canada, and CEmark clearences. After Elekta, they sell in everywhere except
China, Brazil, Japan.
Investors and Growth
There are many types of investors. Angel investors, people that made money prior, and have
money to spend on new money growth. Venture capitalists raise money from the government,
and try to invest and turn it into more money. They manage other people’s money. Banks are
the last investors, but they are very conservative
He founded his company Resonant Medical in 2000. For two years he built the backbone of the
company while still working. He ran clinical trials in the university and developed the prototype.
He ran the first trial in 2003 based off of 1M$ he got in 2002. The VC investors paid for that one.
In 2004 he raised 12M$ to be able to FDA the product and receive approval for USA. Same thing
for the Canadian health administration. He had also hired 20 people (engineers, mathematicians
etc.) to be able to commercialize the product
Of the 12M$, 2M$ was angel, and 10M$ was VC. By then, they had sold their products into
about 12 centers. 6 top name clinics.
In 2006, one of his biggest competitors tried to sue them to kill them off. They claimed that their
idea had infringed on the big company’s patent
Even though the claim was false, it had drained them out. They weren’t concentrating on the
business as much; they were fully put into the court case for 9 months.
After the court case period, they settled out of court in order for survival. They spent close to
5$M on top of the money that Varian Medical (undisclosed number)
In the middle of the court case, they raised 24$M. The second biggest investment round in
Canadian history. The idea that the biggest company in the market attacked them meant that
they had an idea worth something. So they received money from those investors on the idea
that if they won, they would have the whole market to use
That 24$M took them to 2010. 2007 was a back to business; they were hit pretty badly by the
court case. They had lost a year of sales and many customers because they thought they would
die out. They had to restart the commercialization effort
In 2007, they decided that they would invent a new product, a revolution in the imaging sector
for breast cancer. 4$M went into the development of the product
In 2008-2009, they jumped from 12 centers to 60 customers. 4 times the customer base in 2
years in USA, Canada, and Europe.
In 2008 he started to talk to the big companies about a global distribution of his products. They
two options they had were to use big company’s established sales infrastructure to sell the
product, or to be bought out and have them at the disposal.
Originally they wanted to go global organically, but Tony objected to that. They needed even
more money than they had then, and that the recession had hit right at the wrong time. They
couldn’t raise money then.
They decided to distribute, and had difficulty setting them up. They wanted more and more
money for each product. It took long to set up agreements, and some companies offered to buy
them out instead
They did alot of cost benefit analysis, and in the end they decided to be bought out
They were bought out by a Swedish company Elekta, for 30$M. They are the second biggest
company in the space behind Varian. HE had set up multiple interested buyers, causing a
competitive increase on the price.
He had no doubt of the future of the company, and he sees now that it was the right decision, it
was the best decision he could have made at the time.
The problem with Canada he says is that they don’t use enough of their money in order to global
and create more money off of it. They don’t use enough of their own money to create and help
make more jobs off of entrepreneurs.
They were successful at keeping the employment in Montréal, instead of what many other
companies do is being bought out, and then moved somewhere where the company is based at,
removing employment from the company.
Do you consider yourself successful
Yes, they developed a marketable product. They were attacked by the biggest company in the
market; they grew based off of their ideas. They went global, and still kept the work in
Montréal, which was very rare. They have treated 600,000 medical procedures with their
products since 2004.
Elekta has even agreed to grow the skilled job market inside of Montréal.
In Resonant’s history, they gave jobs to 120 people.