Humble beginnings to wildfire growth: EndoChoice's successful business model

Mark GilreathMark Gilreath began working in the GI field in 1992. He is now the founder and CEO of EndoChoice, a GI company that boasts a portfolio of more than 600 products.

Mr. Gilreath started in the GI field as a sales representative with Pentax and grew into a number of different managerial roles. He left in 1999 to join a then-small Israeli company — Given Imaging. Throughout his eight year tenure with the company, Mr. Gilreath gained experience from growing a small company through an IPO to navigating the terrain of clinical trials and advocating for product reimbursement.

In 2008, he left Given Imaging to found EndoChoice. "I enjoy building companies and there was just such a need," he says. "We have such a fragmented market in GI." From its inception, EndoChoice was driven by the goal to create the broadest, most comprehensive GI product portfolio possible. The company's very first product was a simple endoscopy cart. Now, EndoChoice offers devices ranging from biopsy forceps to complex video imaging systems.

In the six years since the company's founding, few GI products have demanded as much attention as the Full Spectrum Endoscopy System, also called Fuse™. Shortly after the product launch, The Lancet Oncology published a study comparing Fuse endoscopy to standard forward-viewing colonoscopes. Fuse scopes detected 69 percent more adenomas than standard colonoscopes.

The idea for a 330-degree view scope was the brainchild of a small RD team based in Israel. EndoChoice acquired the company and helped bring the idea to fruition. "Since we completed the acquisition, that small company has gone from a handful of people to more than 70 employees in Israel," says Mr. Gilreath. The company also acquired the Hamburg, Germany manufacturing company, which now staffs more than 100 employees.

Inc. Magazine has recognized EndoChoice as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States for five consecutive years. There is no doubt the company's growth has set a rapid pace, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down. "We were in my basement six years ago with an idea and now we have 430 employees around the world," says Mr. Gilreath. Within the past year alone, EndoChoice hired 200 new employees. "We expect to continue to expand aggressively with new product introductions," he says.

"Our mission is to serve the GI caregiver," says Mr. Gilreath. "Our goal is to make sure they have the best tools to provide the best possible care for their patients."

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