To say the COVID-19 pandemic affected business at Seattle-based medical device startup Vantec Life Systems would be a vast understatement. Two months ago, President Donald Trump tasked the company with producing ventilators alongside automotive giant General Motors. And the rest, they say, is history.
Today, Ventec is working with General Motors to produce 30,000 ventilators by August at the behest of the federal government, giving tours to senior Trump administration officials, receiving national media attention, and working round-the-clock to exponentially increase production.
“The team feels the weight of the world on our shoulders in terms of the obligations before us, the commitments we’ve made, both to the federal government and states, to countries around the world, to hospitals, to try to get the tools into the hands of the real heroes, the medical professionals battling this every single day,” Kiple said.
The goal is to produce 12,000 ventilators per month by July, 60 times the number Ventec was shipping before the pandemic struck, with only a slightly larger team. Ventec has 140 employees today. But the GM partnership is a game-changer for the Bothell, Wash. startup.
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Featured image: Ventec CEO Chris Kiple, left, with Vice President Mike Pence and General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, right, on a tour the GM manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Indiana. (GM Photo/AJ Mast)