IMAGINALIS: FROM INNOVATIVE START-UP TO SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Imaginalis began as an innovative start-up in Calenzano (FI) in 2013, with the aim of using its innate aptitude for human and veterinary interventional radiology to develop cutting-edge technology for the medical diagnostics industry.
Imaginalis is the natural product of a temporary consortium (ATS) brought together to work on the network project MILORDS, which was co-financed by the Tuscany Region. In 2011, the project saw the collaboration of a diverse partnership coordinated by El.En. SpA, and included companies in the Tuscan opto-mechatronic cluster, as well as prestigious research institutions, such as the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, the CNR-IFAC in Sesto Fiorentino, UNIFI, and UNIPI. All partners participating in the project possessed complementary skills in mechatronics and optoelectronics and shared a strong vocation for scientific research in the field of technology transfer, as well as in process and product innovation.
The aim of the project was to develop and manufacture an imaging device (flat-panel CT scanner) that could act as a guide system for an anthropomorphic robotic arm positioned on board the scanner in order to carry out minimally invasive laser surgery. The dual mechanical and functional integration of the two devices (the CT scanner + robotic arm) aimed to guarantee the best possible precision during surgery.
As a capital intensive technology company, Imaginalis understood the need to acquire adequate capitalization and to open up a commercial route to the world’s leading market: the US. With this in mind, within the same year, Imaginalis’ management team, together with its US partners, and Italian colleagues at Scienzia and Fabrica Machinale (https://www.roboticom.it/it/), founded Epica International Inc. in California (https://www.epicainternational.com/). Epica’s main aim is to raise funds through its robust, profitable partnership with Facilitated Growth (https://www.facilitatedgrowth.com).
In fact, thanks to the placement of private bonds, enough capital was raised to allow Imaginalis SRL to expand, along with other Italian and US companies in the group. Today, Imaginalis is 100%-owned by Epica International Inc.
The role played by the robotics experts Scienzia Machinale and Fabrica Machinale in Epica has allowed Imaginalis to focus on the development and consolidation of flat-panel CT technology – the technological cornerstone of isovolumetric 3D CT scanners.
Thanks to the resourcefulness, skills and insight of the team at Imaginalis, as well as the sales skills of its US sister company, Epica Medical Innovation (Animal Health Division), the company has rapidly grown and gained the trust of its customers, thus becoming the perfect partner for veterinarians around the world. To date, Epica/Imaginalis has installed more than 300 units worldwide.
Turnover has soared in the past few years, as has the number of employees, 60% of whom possess a Master’s degree.
In 2016, the company moved its headquarters from Calenzano to Sesto Fiorentino, expanding from an 800 m2 space to a 3,000 m2 space. This was a necessary investment in order to comply with stringent quality standards and to meet increased production demand.
In March 2020, Imaginalis obtained an ISO 13485 certification, thus acquiring authorization to develop, produce and market medical devices.
Over the course of just seven years, the company has been granted more than 30 international patents and has protected itself with two freedoms to operate (FTO).
As an innovative technology company, Imaginalis invests more than 20% of its turnover in R&D, safe in the knowledge that the continuous expansion of its expertise is its strongest competitive advantage.
Imaginalis currently designs, manufactures and markets computerized axial tomography scanners (flat-panel CT scanners) for veterinary imaging needs. The company has also recently developed an innovative human scanner, destined to become a game-changer in the orthopedic sector in particular.
Imaginalis markets two product families in the veterinary field: Vimago and Pegaso.
Vimago is a three-in-one, multi-modal platform allowing just one scanner to perform: CT3D/MPR, Fluoroscopy, and Direct Digital Radiology. In addition, the scanners are mobile, powered at 32A/220V (Vimago), and can be used in non air-conditioned environments. Our scanners are extremely easy to install and simple to use, both in terms of software and hardware. In addition, specific attention has been paid to ergonomics, and the scanners have been specially designed for veterinary use.
Pegaso possesses integrated Fluoroscopy and 3D CT systems. Pegaso is also equipped with a motion compensation system that allows medical professionals to scan the head and neck of a horse in standing position (up to C7-T1). When under anesthetic, horses can be scanned down to the stifle and elbow. Pegaso is also a mobile device.
SeeFactor is a new family of scanners for the human medical industry. At this moment in time, we have certified a preliminary version, in addition to two additional configurations featuring “SeeFactor on Board”, which can be used on board mobile diagnostic units such as ambulances, rendering them particularly useful in crisis scenarios.
To summarize, Imaginalis owes its success to its employees’ passion, their commitment to providing a quality service, and their dedication to putting their hearts and souls into what they do, allowing the company to rely on a cohesive, skilled and passionate team capable of making current dreams a future reality.