Jessie Becker came to Cal Poly to study business in 2007. “At some point, I knew I had to choose a focus and heard about the new Entrepreneurship Concentration,” she explained. “I didn’t know I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but the description immediately made sense to me. I loved that the focus was on problem solving versus one particular area of business, so I became a part of the first cohort to go through the concentration.”
That same year Jesse joined the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs Club and offered to help coordinate a number of the CIE’s earliest programs.
“This was in the early days, before the CIE had become what it is today,” Jessie says. “As students we were ready for this program and as entrepreneurs we wanted to help build it. So, I jumped in and asked CIE co-founder Jon York and others what I could do to help.”
One of those things was running Innovation Quest.
“It was through Innovation Quest that I learned about InPress Technologies, a medical device for postpartum hemorrhage. The two bio-med students who were working on it made it to the finals and took second place. With that came $10,000 and a spot in the CIE’s Summer Accelerator program.”
Within weeks Jesse joined the founding team and over the course of that summer learned how to turn a life-saving medical device prototype into a viable business.
“We basically got an MBA in 13 weeks and met people through the Cal Poly network that were willing to help out and open doors,” Jessie explains. “All of our mentors, advisors and, later on, our earliest investors came from connections we made through the CIE. I can’t even imagine what would have come of InPress had we not had that network to support us.”
Things progressed quickly from there. Jessie took over as the company’s CEO and helped secure its first round of funding. With her growing team, she led InPress through its first set of clinical trials in Indonesia in 2015.
“That was such a critical time,” she remembers. “That was our proof of concept, and it worked! It literally saved women’s lives.”
Along the way, Jessie earned some recognition of her own by making the Forbes 2015 “30 Under 30: The Entrepreneurs Making Healthcare Digital.”
Today, InPress Technologies is in the midst of its U.S. trials and recently announced that it has successfully closed a $9.5M Series B led by the Global Health Investment Fund. With that investment comes a commitment to adapt the technology to serve developing countries around the world, something Jessie couldn’t be happier about.
“It has always been my goal to ensure that the technology we developed would be made available to those who need it most; with the Global Health Investment Fund behind us, that will be the case!”