Cinde Dolphin’s experience as a four-time cancer survivor made her determined to help other patients. Her medical device company, KILI Medical Drain Carrier, provides a better way for people to wear and access wound-care drains. A JP drain is made of two parts: a tube and a bulb that is about the size of a lemon. The tube is inserted in the body and removes fluids from the point of incision. The bulb collects those fluids outside of the body.

Dolphin’s invention is a mesh bag that looks like a small, half-apron with a zipper. It holds both parts of a JP drain and can be tied around a patient’s waist and secured. Prior to Dolphin’s work, the traditional method of securing a JP drain was to use a safety pin to fasten the device to a patient’s clothing.

The conventional method of securing the bulb on a patient’s shirt was cumbersome and had the potential to make patients self-conscious. Even though wound-care drains are commonly used post-surgery, many patients opt to stay at home during recovery so they do not have to visibly carry around a bag of bodily fluid. By comparison, the Medical Drain Carrier can be worn discretely under clothing, thereby increasing mobility and independence following surgery.

How SCORE Helped: 

Dolphin’s SCORE mentor, Venki Venkataraman, helped her create a business plan and a sales forecasting template. He also guided her company through the process of converting from a Sole Proprietorship to a S Corporation, gave her counsel on how to land a small business loan, and worked with her to secure operations so that her device could be produced overseas. “The key to my success is a wonderful and professional SCORE mentor,” she says.

My Successes: 

The KILI Medical Drain Carrier is sold online and is distributed in a number of hospitals including the University of Chicago Medical Center. Sales of the device have increased 130% in one year and the company has secured investors. Dolphin’s company was named the Startup of the Year by the Sacramento Region Small Business Association, was declared a finalist in the MedTech Division of Sacramento’s 2017 Innovation Award, and has been nominated as the Small Business of the Year by the Sacramento SBDC. KILI has also been named a finalist in the 2018 American Small Business Championship. 

Dolphin has also worked with the Mkombozi Women’s Group in Tanzania, Africa. “The fact that I survived cancer so many times put me in a position to give back to the global community,” she says. She provided business education to the women’s micro-finance group. She also worked with their business to design and produce colorful versions of the KILI Medical Drain Carrier.

KILI Medical Drain Carrier