Alon Mozes of Neocis

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Alon Mozes, the co-founder and CEO of Neocis, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Neocis – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

My co-founder, Juan Salcedo, and I met when we were principals at Mako Surgical, which revolutionized orthopedic surgery using haptic robotics. That company had tremendous success, ultimately selling to Stryker for $1.65B. But as it grew, innovation slowed down. We thrive in fast-moving, innovative environments, so we looked for other markets where robotic surgery could add significant clinical value. My father is a now-retired endodontist, so we found the dental implant market. The dental implant industry is huge and mostly untapped by new technology, and after further exploration, we found it was also a great clinical fit for this kind of technology. With more than 200,000 dentists in the US capable of performing dental implant surgery, and more than 4M implants placed annually mostly completely freehand, we saw a great opportunity to provide consistent, reliable technology to ensure that every single surgery is performed at an expert level.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

Early funding was a challenge. We had a great team and great technology, but we lacked the network connections in the investor community. After years of effort, while we were prototyping the system, we finally raised our first significant round of funding at the end of 2012 and hired our first employee in January 2013. Our first investor was Fred Moll, who founded Intuitive Surgical and Auris Health, and is a pioneer in the surgical robotics industry. It was a challenging beginning to our venture, but we learned priceless lessons in persistence and overcoming hurdles.

What does the future hold for Neocis?

Commercial results are starting to take off as we sell more systems across the country and see them used in surgery on a daily basis. Our recent round of funding will help us to expand commercial efforts as well as to continue R&D to streamline the current technology and expand into areas beyond dental implants. Within the dental industry, there is a broad spectrum of opportunities, ranging from everyday procedures in the general dentists’ offices to more complex procedures in the oral surgeons’ offices. Through the Yomi system, Neocis has the chance to address many steps along the digital dental workflow and become an essential part of every dentist’s office.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Miami?

As someone who grew up in Miami, it has been great to see its emergence as an up and coming tech startup center. Miami’s growing startup scene presents a great opportunity outside the more traditional hubs of San Francisco or Boston. Miami already has a great long-standing community for medical research, international business, and other well-established industries. With the more traditional tech hubs becoming too expensive, Miami has an opportunity to grow its tech entrepreneurship side as well. Local neighborhoods like Wynwood and a revitalization of downtown will make the community very attractive for entrepreneurs and businesses to find a home here.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Aspiring entrepreneurs should read “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law”, “Straight From The Gut”, and “Founders at Work”. Dive in. Be persistent. You don’t need 20 years of experience to get started. Many lessons you can only learn by going through the experience. There will be a lot of hurdles and naysayers. Be open-minded to constructive criticism. Find ways to solve problems. Fight through it.


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