Imagine you're sitting in a doctor's office, listening to your physician describe the potential benefits and pitfalls of an operation you need to undergo. The fear of going under the knife, coupled with a dash of confusing medical terminology, is petrifying.
But what if that doctor could use his computer to show you a 3-D model of that same operation - let you "see" what he will be doing, showing you the danger spots and what the positive outcomes might be? Imagine that - because Harlon Wilson and a band of fellow IUPUI graduates from the IU School of Informatics can. And they do on a daily basis at a downtown Indianapolis company called Medical Animatics.
Wilson and Kurtis Rush, one of those fellow new media grads, launched the company a little over two years ago with two other graduates who have since left the company. Their work has already generated a lot of publicity - not to mention recent investors - which means the future is looking bright for Medical Animatics and its sister entities, Legal Animatics and Sports Animatics, even in the always-choppy waters of entrepreneurial technology companies.
For Wilson and Rush, the world of 3-D technology and animation was a logical step after graduating from Informatics. They launched the company, with Wilson as president and CEO; Rush eventually opted to sell his portion of the company to Wilson and now heads up graphic design and creative development for the firm.
The two also created permanent positions for fellow Informatics graduates Stephany Shankel, Medical Animatics' lead 3-D animator, and Tony Cardinali, a video production expert. The company also has brought another IUPUI alumnus from Informatics, Jason Silverman, to fill multiple roles. Wilson plans to stay in touch with his old school when new positions emerge within the firm.
"We had the passion to start a company and see if what we had learned the past four years of college could actually be applied to the 'real world,'" says Rush. Thanks to "a few small projects" that kept the company afloat, things improved.
"We were working crazy 16-hour days and bringing our pillows to the office so we could sleep under our desks," he says, adding with a laugh that it "was exactly what I was doing my junior and senior year. In a weird way, it felt normal."
For Cardinali and Shankel, the opportunity to apply their new media skills in the work world "is a dream come true," according to Shankel.