Joe Kiani, founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Massimo Corporation, has been named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Life Sciences Award Winner. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is the country's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Kiani was recognized for revolutionizing the health care industry by taking risks to create and commercialize non-invasive patient monitoring devices, which include a wide array of sensors that lead to improved accuracy, a reduction in the overall number of false readings, and ultimately, reduced cost of care. Kiani was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Springs, Calif. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from 244 regional award recipients.
"We are pleased to honor Joe Kiani with this esteemed award and recognize him for his perseverance, passion, and innovative mind – all of which continue to make a positive impact on health care and patient monitoring technologies," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. "Joe's innovative approach, discipline and triumph over the years truly demonstrate the meaning of the entrepreneurial spirit we've come to celebrate over the last 26 years."
The early rise and collapse
By training, Kiani is an electrical engineer, graduating from highschool at the mere age of 15. Kiani's entrepreneurial spirit sprouted early on at his first job, a smaller company with pulse oximeter technology, where he worked in exchange for stock – not cash. Kiani's aptitude and contributions led to his swift rise to the top as president of the company at an early age. But as hasty as the rise, Kiani quickly learned an important aspect of ethics and integrity. In an effort to ensure the company would not be sold under false pretenses, Kiani was blamed for the collapse of the company's pending merger. It was this decision and outcome that ultimately led to Masimo Corporation
Passion & discipline: never settle for less
With Kiani's developed passion for adaptive signal monitoring, he took the money he had saved and a $40,000 bank loan and began to developing non-invasive patient monitoring technology from his garage. Within three short years of maintaining a strong financial discipline, Kiani had raised substantial capital and was well on his way to creating medical technology that has transformed the health care industry today – technology that would not exist today if it was not for Masimo Corporation.
Despite hospital administrators and clinicians embracing Masimo's superior technology, Kiani still faced barriers. Larger, more established companies and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) were reluctant to let Masimo Corporation succeed in the market. Kiani stuck by his belief of always doing what is right for patient care and emerged victorious after a seven-year patent infringement legal battle – a battle that threatened to bankrupt Masimo.
Giving back and thriving
As Masimo emerged as a success story in the medical industry, many advised Kiani to buy out his existing shareholders. But instead, he distributed much of his profit in a special dividend and offered a substantial appreciation bonus to employees. Soon after, Kiani knew Masimo could achieve bigger and better things, and in order to do so, he took the company public. In its first five years as a public company, Masimo Corporation revenues increased by more than 70 percent, and net income increased by more than 175 percent. Throughout it all, Kiani never stopped taking risks to grow what is now a multi-million dollar public company with more than 2,500 employees.
National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Life Sciences finalists
In addition to Kiani, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Life Sciences national finalists were: Dr. Rajesh Shrotriya, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Henderson, Nev., an oncology-focused biotechnology company with fully integrated commercial and drug development operations; Cynthia LaConte, CEO, Dohmen, based in Milwaukee, Wis., a leading family of companies that create efficiencies within the health care supply system; Michael and Staci Gauthier, President and Vice President, Gauthier Biomedical, Inc., based in Grafton, Wis., a proud manufacturer of high-quality instruments for spine, trauma, hip, shoulder, knee, ankle and small bone surgical applications.
National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Overall Award winner
Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of Chobani, was named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2012 Overall Award winner.