In Episode 6 of the Persevere Podcast, Patty welcomes Berk Tas to the program. Berk Tas is currently the CEO of SentiAR, whose flagship product, CommandEP, is a holographic Augmented Reality (AR) technology providing physicians with a single source of truth during interventional procedures.
Berk discusses his team’s mission of making interventional (sometimes trans-catheter) procedures more accurate and efficient. They aimed to connect physicians directly to their digital environment via a wearable headset. By giving them a real-time, interactive, 360-degree view of the treatment they’re delivering, CommandEP enables physicians to provide better care for their patients. The technology also delivers better training to physicians and education to patients because procedures can be modeled, explained, and understood more easily.
Berk believes the healthiest things for a startup are to be obsessed with the customer and prioritize learning above all else. In a learning culture, there is no fear of mistakes or time wasted trying to polish something that isn’t right, and thus the team becomes more focused on the customer and the mission.
Patty and Berk celebrate SentiAR’s Series A fundraising round closing, where they raised $5.1 million and FDA clearance for CommandEP. With significant excitement and demand for their technology, the company’s next step before going to market will be to gather more data to validate and improve the product in clinical applications.
Berk and Patty relate on the hardest parts about being a CEO (at a startup) and memories of their parts in interesting pitches to investors. Berk shares how important it is to be vulnerable as a leader. By being vulnerable, Berk opens the door for his mentors and support system to help him through many hurdles of running a company and reassure him that he is on the right path. And finally, Berk shares his thoughts on the factors and milestones that a company must experience to determine if the company will be built to exit or to scale.