The Development and Expansion of Medtronic, Inc.

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It all started with a man named Earl Bakken who loved electronics. As a self-confessed "nerd", Bakken designed an electroshock weapon; similar to the taser’s of today, and used it to protect himself from bullies. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1948, and a Master’s in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics at the University of Minnesota Graduate School. The use of electronic equipment in hospitals started to become popular after World War II, but the hospitals did not have staff to repair them. Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie, formed Medtronic (the combination of "medical" and "electronic") in 1949, in a small garage, primarily working with the University of Minnesota hospital (Medtronic-history). Even though it wasn’t much more than a repair shop for medical equipment in 1949 but Bakken and Hermundslie had a vision, and the drive to see their vision to fruition. Their first invention was in 1957 where they developed the first external, battery operated, wearable artificial pacemaker, first used on “blue babies” who had heart rhythm problems. It was also in 1957 that Medtronic incorporated. Although Medtronic at this point in time was earning a half million dollars in sales, and had a reputation for being a great company, they invested a lot of time and money into research and development, hiring additional staff, expanding its product lines, getting established in foreign markets and building a new

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