Mark Darrah, President and CEO of Athena GTX in Johnston, received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Iowa State University and then, as so many of the state’s best and brightest do, he took his education and started a business in California. But Iowa called him back. In 2007, he was recruited back to Iowa by the IEDA, and he has been growing his business, Athena GTX, ever since.
Athena GTX has grown and expanded with the help of three state awards: a $135,000 Demonstration Fundy grant in 2010; a $100,000 Propel loan in 2014 and a $250,000 Expansion Fund loan in 2014.
The company designs and engineers medical devices for the telemedicine market including wireless, patient-worn miniature medical monitors for military and civilian markets, and smart monitors for first responders. Their latest device, WiCap, used mostly in surgical settings, is scheduled to receive FDA approval soon.
Athena has recently moved its headquarters from the south side of Des Moines, near the airport, to Johnston, where they report helps recruit and retain younger workers. The company currently employs about 25 people, including engineers, and plans to expand soon.