I Need Your Help

I’m trying to get some sponsors lined up for one of the teams, and after considering the different businesses in the area, I wanted to know: 1) How many teams have received technical-type medical sponsors, and 2) What is the “spin” (for lack of a better word) that you used for recruiting this sort of business?

I’m not too savvy in this field, but I know there are some ties somewhere between medical research and FIRST Robotics. I don’t know if anyone here is familiar with The Cleveland Clinic, but I’d like to try and gain their support, among others in the area, even if it’s on the Regional level.

Is it an actual clinic? If so, I’d stay away from even bothering asking for any monetary donations. If its an actual business like a medical supplier then yes, a lot of teams have medical companies that sponsor them. I know 25 has Bristol Myers Squibb and us and 1902 have Siemens which are both huge medical companies.
Hope that helps, although I don’t fully understand your question.

When presenting to a Company such as a private hospital, do what you can to try and get an audience with the Board of Directors, They are the big shots, they make all the calls about the direction of funding, if you know anyone who works in the administrative sector of the Organization, ask them for help, trying to get an “In” could be relatively difficult otherwise,

make sure you are well organized when going into the presentation, begin with discussing FIRST, and why it was founded, stray a little bit away from the generic “Engineering rar rar rar rar” stuff and into the Science and Technology part, Use Dean Kamen’s Qoute about one of the students involved being the one that will solve cancer (i cant remember it off hand). Elaborate a little into Robotic Surgery, how students of the FIRST program will one day be building these machines, and better. Talk about how Engineers designed the mechanisms they cling to(eg. X-rays, dialysis machines, CT Scans, so on)

Next, be sure to discuss your team, focus on community impact, graduation rates, the amazing experience it is for these students, include a quote or two from a student, parent, or educator about the program and its effects(eg. First Means XXXXX and XXXX to me because XXXX…) make sure your presentation is almost emotionally moving.

Discuss why sponsors have made FIRST what it is today, how they’ve helped develop thousands of minds and support the effort to change a culture with its “priorities confused” The individual impact on students as well as how FIRST is about building partnerships, mention a few other teams who work closely with their sponsors to achieve great things. Then, go into what you guys are looking for, dont be too direct and just say (give us money) but talk about how you are always looking for support and the opportunity they have to make a difference. List ways they can get involved in the program, dont stress they must donate to you as if they happen to like the idea of getting involved, you will be the first people they contact. Make sure you have a robot there to demo if possible, let them drive, make it interactive, awe inspiring, get their minds going.


Its not an infallible plan, but its somewhere to start, just my 2 cents… Email/PM me if youd like more info or help with this

Do some research on micro-surgery. Where the docs use joy stick controls to operate robotics arms to operate on the patient. There is even research going on for remote surgery… patient could be thousands of miles from the doc doing the operation.

There is a growing connection between medicine & robotics. :yikes:

Rohith! You forgot Dean’s ARM!

If you’re talking to the medical community, you’ve got some leverage. Dean invented the infusion pump that is currently used, IIRC. Plus, take a look at:
-Johnson and Johnson is a big FIRST sponsor.
-The iBot (Dean’s invention) is meant to help wheelchair-bound people lead a normal life.
-Dean is working on a robotic arm to replace arms lost in battle (or otherwise).

Remember, you need to present to your audience. Medical establishment people will want to hear about how FIRST can help the medical establishment.

Thanks for all the replies so far, I truly appreciate it!

Rohith -=- I’ll contact you within the week before I start making the calls. I know it’s not a perfect plan, but it’s a heck of a lot more than what I had before.

lilstogi -=- Yeah, sorry for the vague post, I was in a rush. Basically, I needed advice as far as how to show them the benefits of sponsoring us within the medical business. And yes, it is an actual clinic, but it’s the leading one in the world (last I knew) so there’s a very good chance they’ll help form the students who will form the future of the industry.

EricH -=- Wow, I forgot about every one except the ARM. I’ll be sure to integrate that into the presentation.

Actually Dean has invented more for the medical community than just an insulin pump. Between him and the rest of his company DEKA he has also invented a home dialysis machine, a stent, and an irrigation pump

I said infusion pump. I think the irrigation pump is the new version.

Come to think of it, most of Dean’s and DEKA’s inventions have been for the medical community. The exceptions would be the catapult and the water machine. (And I could make a valid argument that the water machine is for the medical community.)

The insulin pump and the infusion pump are the same thing, the most common use of the AutoSyringe portable infusion pump is for insulin.

The irrigation pump is used for a number of surgical procedures such as arthroscopy. These surgical techniques use small incisions and cameras to view the procedure. The irrigation pump pumps fluid into the area (a joint in the case of arthroscopy) to distend it and make space to perform the surgery.

Cool, I’ll get back to you on that then.

Huh. Maybe it’s the IV pump… That’s generally what I remember him doing. I think that’s also referred to as infusion pump. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a DEKA project, though. This was B.D., or Before DEKA. It wasn’t the irrigation pump.

Off the top of my head, I know that Medtronic and Boston Scientific have done a lot here in Minnesota. I know Ecolab (think soaps), St. Jude Medical, and Nonin Medical are all sponsors here in MN as well. Baxter is a big supporter of Baxter Bomb Squad (team 16) from my understanding, others can probably comment more on this.

Sorry if this seems to be a comment towards anyone-its not and I don’t mean to offend anyone.

But to me, I don’t think you should really ask a hospital for money no matter how much they have. I know that hospitals are also corporate owned and that the board of directors is usually comprised of corporate heads, but the thought of say 5 grand going to your team when it could have gone to a patient just kind of seems wrong. You know what I mean? Trying to be a little sincere here and also not to put down anyone’s ideas.

+$0.02- my views, not my team’s

The Cleveland Clinic is one of America’s finest not-for-profit private hospitals – like one of the five best in the country. It’s big, with 1,600 doctors on staff, and has a huge endowment (think billions of dollars). As a not-for-profit they are much more likely to be a seeker of donations than a grantor. Not surprisingly, their outreach programs are all about medicine and health: http://cms.clevelandclinic.org/community/.

Go for it, but you will probably get more donations from private companies than from this big hospital. (Actually, they run many hospitals…)

Oh wow, just realized that one of my cousins actually used to be a lawyer for the clinic. IF he has any contacts left from there I’ll see if I can get them for you:)

Thanks for the info. I’ll take it into consideration. That was just one that I named. I’m not trying to ask for thousands from a company if they don’t have it to give. We’re working on different sponsorship levels right now.

You must also consider that companies aren’t necessarily sponsoring you because you are going to help them in some way, but they are investing in the future, they know this (or at least they should) when sponsoring your team. Engineers are everywhere, and a good headed member of the board of directors should be able to see that investing in your future is an investment in their future too.