Author Archives: Eugene Aquino

065: Big Tumors, Brain Surgeries, OssDsign AB, and Burst Biologics feat. Aaron Jennings

Aaron Jennings has been through quite the journey with his health and after another surgery 3 weeks ago, he remains strong and healthy and is enjoying time as a father and husband. His story is pretty unique as he’s been able to use some of the products his company makes in his latest surgery as well as be on the forefront of medical innovation by staying in touch with his industry connections. Listen to his amazing story and get inspired!

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In addition to being a patient, you work in the medical industry. What drove you to do that?

He met someone in his mid twenties that recruited him to be in medical device sales. He got his start in orthopedics and moved out to the West coast.

How has it been managing work, personal, and family life with everything going on?

Aaron’s wife is amazing and has managed the household well. He has a strong support group of colleagues and he’s been lucky to leverage his industry connections for him to work with top surgeons

What’s the story with your brain surgeries?

Back in 2012 he had symptoms of headaches and vomiting and found he had a benign tumor the size of a tennis ball in his head. He was lucky enough to have it removed the next day. The tumor grew back at a rapid pace so he had it removed again then had radiation therapy. He got MRSA with that surgery and they had to remove his bone flap so he had an unprotected area of his skull. Aaron was the first patients to have a vascularized plate put in his head so his tissue has a lower chance of rejecting the plate.

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064: Winner of Pitch Makeover + June LIVE Q&A

drumroll….the winner is…..James Davis! Check out his video here. We’ll keep you posted on his journey through a pitch makeover and you’ll be able to see the transformation.

James was one of several entries that made a video and shared his plea for why he should get a pitch makeover. The entry with the most amount of social shares won.

Every month, I do a live Q&A show answering questions that were submitted to me as well as answering questions directly on the live stream and here’s a synopsis of what I covered:
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063: Hackathons, winning pitch competitions, and the startup grind feat. Nick Delmonico

Nick has struggled with asthma and when his school was hosting a hackathon, he thought there’s got to be a better solution to managing this huge medical condition than what’s already out there. A few years later and many years wiser, Nick has founded Strados Labs and is moving his medical invention to market. Learn what he’s overcome and advice that’s helped him get here.

Highlights from this interview:


Nick entered this field with experience in finance and was inspired by his struggles with asthma to create something better

Big progress lately:

Strados Labs has been winning several pitch competitions lately and getting lots of press (along with this podcast of course)

Feedback they’ve been getting that’s helped them win pitch competitions:

Define your problem, identify how you’re going to solve that problem, and make sure there’s a big enough market for it
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062: Mindset & Motivation Special Interview from Kate Erickson

Entrepreneurship and startups can be a tough environment and take a steely personality for sure. Combine that with several life transitions all at once and you’ve got a perfect storm of things to deal with. Most people will give you technical advice but business is more than just that which is why I want to be completely transparent and share my journey… to keep you motivated.

My life the past 100 days has been anything but easy with some HUGE life transitions and problems all happening at once…..then to top it off, the day I recorded this episode (Memorial Day), I had to drop my husband off at the airport to head to Afghanistan for a few months (his 7th deployment…but this one as a contractor).

I was featured on the Kate’s Take podcast (which is AMAZING by the way and you can listen to our episode on her show here) to talk about what I’d been through and the struggles that entrepreneurs and startups go through in terms of mindset and motivation and so many people reached out to me to let me know they enjoyed the episode. I thought it should be shared on my podcast too so this is the same audio.

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061: Pitch contest and tips for pitching to celebrate my birthday

It’s my birthday June 11 and I want to celebrate by helping others and have a fun contest going on. The winner will receive a pitch makeover or get help putting their pitch together if they don’t have one yet. I cover the details in this episode + I give some tips on pitching based on my experience and from working with the original Shark from Shark Tank, Kevin Harrington when we wrote our book “Put a Shark in Your Tank” together.

Here’s how the contest works:

Click here to enter

  1. Record a short video on why you should win a pitch makeover or why you want a pitch that’s going to help you win competitions. Upload that video to youtube on a public setting
  2. Enter the contest above by clicking the link. You’ll enter your name, your email, and add the URL of your youtube video
  3. You’ll receive a confirmation with instructions on how to SHARE IT.
  4. The person with the most social shares (this is you sharing, your friends, family, and co-workers sharing) by June 12 wins.
  5. I’ll announce the winner on my Facebook Live video Q&A podcast on June 12 at 5pm Eastern. Like us on Facebook here so you can watch

Click here to enter

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060: The startup journey: beyond the $500k cash prize feat. Ezequeil Aleman

It’s no surprise startups are in constant fundraising mode for a while and Ezequiel of Apnosystems is no exception however, he shares with us what’s beyond the cash prize he’s currently chasing and gives us a glimpse into life as an Argentinian startup with some of the team in San Francisco.

Ezequeil and I discuss how a startup goes through phases just like that of his 2 small children.  When they’re in the infancy stage, there isn’t much going on but as they mature, more things happen, new challenges arise, and it takes cooperation to address those challenges.  The life of a startup is to get past those challenges and to keep going.  He has 3 daughters and he makes time for his family and gives a HUGE shout out to his wife for keeping the family together.

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059: May Q&A Live Podcast: Just getting started, how much projects cost, and what to focus on in a pitch

I’m starting a live Q&A podcast on Facebook live and you can catch it by following Imua Services on Facebook.
the next live Q&A will be on Monday June 12. This will be a special episode because it’s the day after my birthday and I’m going to run a birthday challenge the week of June 4-11 and I’ll announce the winner LIVE on the podcast on June 12. Stay tuned for details. This episode I answer questions that were submitted to me beforehand. Some have to do specifically with med device product development, there are some personal questions, funny questions, and I give some great direction for those of you in the midst of product development. What do you think was the most random question asked and…keep an eye out for a cameo appearance if you watch the video version

Join our FREE book club and get a FREE audio book with a trial from!  This month and next month we’re listening to / reading “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.  More info and details here.

Questions & Answers:

#1.What should I do when I’m first starting out?  If I have an idea and I’m not sure what to do with it?

I have the perfect fun little quiz for this you can check out at  Over there you’ll be able to find out some info about your idea and where you can go from there.


#2. What kind of food do you feed Abby?  She looks like a really healthy pup.

She loves her Honest Kitchen Marvel formula which is turkey based.  She used to really like the Zeal formula that’s fish based but she got kind of tired of that so we changed it.


#3. I’ve identified a pitch competition that I want to enter.  This will be my first one and I want to know what I should focus on.

It’s difficult to answer this question without seeing what you’ve done so far but my Invention Idea to Profitable Product program may help.  It’s designed to get you pitch ready and a fundable business in 100 days.  All tricks of the trade in pitching plus the work you need to do beforehand to be successful. There is a video you can check out on this page for more info here.

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057: Medical Devices in Minneapolis: Highlights from the Design of Medical Devices Conference


When visiting Minneapolis for the Design of Medical Devices conference, I saw how much the innovation cycle is at work in the medical device / medtech industry. I interviewed the lab supervisor from the Medical Devices Center along with several students as part of the student design showcase that took place there. I’ve got several events coming up soon and for the details, visit our home base here.

This conference was an overview of what’s happening in the world of medical devices in the Mid West. University of Minnesota is a key player in feeding the innovation cycle. If you go back and listen to my podcast with Dr. Art Erdman, you’ll find that University of Minnesota has quite the impressive Medical Devices Center in which the university hosts a unique fellowship program comprising of Ph.D’s, M.Ds, engineers, and MBA’s to move medical innovation forward. The center takes on 9-12 teams each year to work on projects and push them towards commercialization.

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056: Bootstrapping a Startup while Balancing Family Life feat. Aaron Hardin

It’s been about 3 1/2 years since Aaron started his company, Hardin Scientific and he’s now taking orders for pre sales on his lab incubator. Aaron has bootstrapped his way forward while working a full time job along with raising his son Lincoln and keeping his marriage strong. I got to help Aaron along about a year ago when I was building my Invention Idea to Profitable Product program and his feedback helped shape what it is today. Listen to how he’s made huge momentum in the past year.

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055: ls Virginia becoming the “Biosciences State”? A 360 view from the Thrive Conference hosted by Virginia Bio


The theme of the Thrive Conference this past week in Virginia Beach was branding Virginia as the “Bioscience State”. There’s several initiatives to boost economic development in the state like grants, complimentary working space, and innovation challenges. Is that enough to achieve the goal of becoming the Biosciences State”? Listen to the 360 view of service provider, startup, investor, grant assistance, and economic development to see how Virginia is uniting to achieve this goal together.

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