Brian Conyer, a part-time business administration student at the USC Marshall School of Business, has raised $1 million to fund GIBLIB, the startup he founded to help surgeons learn from each other online.
The company aims to partner with academic institutions, where each institution would have its own channel with medical lectures or surgical videos of different areas.
GIBLIB will enable the surgeons to do a live surgery so that other people can have either a 360-degree or a split-screen view of procedures. This way, prospective physicians will be able to see the surgery along with what is actually happening inside the body.
“This is a great way for medical students and physicians to access information from the thought leaders in the field,” Conyer said. “It is digitizing the conference experience and giving them a safe place to have clinical discussions.”
According to Conyer, the goal of the startup is to connect the global community of surgeons who wish to communicate with each other but otherwise lack the ability to do so.
“Not everyone has the same resources and access to top medical schools and top surgeons,” Conyer said. “This will now give them access to that content.”
Conyer got the idea for GIBLIB while working in the sales department at Intuitive Surgical, a company that manufactures robotics surgical systems.
“My job was basically to convince surgeons about the use of robot as a new technology,” Conyer said. “I noticed that they were passing videos and flash drives between each other and spending hours on YouTube, trying to find good videos. So I quit my job and decided to build this centralized platform for them.”
Conyer received the funding for his startup from an angel investor group of healthcare executives and doctors residing on the East Coast after a long period where Conyer struggled to receive funds.
“It was a very long process,” Conyer said. “I was frustrated with the lack of progress in the fundraising.”
However, after pitching his idea to an acquaintance he met at his sister’s restaurant, Conyer found the support he was looking for.
“From there, it just went ahead, and we got our funding from his group,” Conyer said.
Conyer’s team consists of several USC alumni such as Jihye Shin, Marshall MBA class of 2014, and Annie Chi So, a Viterbi School of Engineering graduate of 2008. Director of Neuroradiology at Keck School of Medicine of USC Meng Law, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Keck Gabriel Zada, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Keck Daniel Oh and Associate Professor of Engineering Practice at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Ashish Soni are on the advisory board.
Conyer emphasized the role that USC had in helping him begin building his startup.
“Being [an MBA candidate] got me thinking as an entrepreneur,” Conyer said. “After meeting the speakers [Marshall] brought from USC alumni, I realized that they had the same backgrounds. It gave me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone, quit my dream job and pursue this.”
Conyer also received support from the team that worked to develop GIBLIB from start to finish.
“I think this product is exciting, but mainly it is because of the investors, advisors and everyone who jumped on board as a team, which made it a success,” Conyer said.
The Beta version of GIBLIB will be out by the end of this month and can be found online.