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Could a Manufacturing Wave Return to Endicott?

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ENDICOTT, N.Y. -

Endicott-Johnson. IBM. Manufacturing giants whose legacies cast long shadows in Endicott, even as the village sees it's once booming industries fade. But could a new name - Sonostics and what's called a Heart Partner - jump start the village's economy from it's new office on Washington Ave.?


"This is something like a pacemaker. You think of a pacemaker for your cardiac muscle, this is a pacemaker for your second heart," said Dr. Kenneth McLeod, President of Sonostics.  


McLeod calls the soleus muscle in the leg the second heart because it is responsible for pumping blood back up to the heart. Sonostics claims the Heart Partner can provide a host of wellness benefits.


"This is a health and wellness product. It addresses many issues like nighttime leg cramps, varicose veins, dizziness, unexpected weight gain. These things are very important health issues. They're not medical issues. But there are medical directions we can go in," said McLeod. 


Sonostics is marketing to large companies looking to provide wellness benefits to employees. As of now, Sonostics can't claim the Heart Partner provides medical benefits. However, McLeod is working to get approval to do so. If he's successful, McLeod feels the potential market for the Heart Partner could be in the billions.  


"We're trying to expand downstate. Then from this hub in Binghamton where we're based we want to start expanding out nationally. The product will work fine in Mexico and Canada so we'll expand internationally. The next generation product will operate in Europe and Asia," said McLeod.


"Next is obviously ramping up sales. We want to take this nationally in a big way," said Kyle Washington, V.P. of Sales and Marketing for Sonostics. 


McLeod developed the technology for the Heart Partner at Binghamton University and has been working to bring it to market for about a decade.
Sonostics began selling the heart partner in January. Sales have grown 20 percent per month since, with the company now selling an average of over one heart partner per day. The company's seven-year plan is to create 135 jobs in the village. 


"People around the world are buying a Heart Partner. And when they buy a Heart Partner, the money flows back to Endicott," said McLeod.


McLeod is not only the President of Sonostics, but he is also Binghamton University's Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He would like to see Sonostics lead the way for other ventures from the school to develop in the area.


"What if 30 students a year stayed here to launch a venture? It doesn't sound like much, 30 new ventures. But if they start hitting and become big-time it adds up very quickly. In 10 years that's 300 new ventures, that's 300 new companies in the area," said McLeod.


That kind of future could bring Endicott back to it's past. 


"I hear stories about what Washington Avenue looked like in the '60s and '70s. I came here in 2003 so I never saw that. I've seen photographs of it but there's no reason we can't rebuild it," said McLeod.