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Reference no. 1-12-002
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Published by:
The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT (2012)
December 1, 2012
21 pages
Data source:
Field research


In late 2003, Mexican ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, Dr Alberto Osio, Sr, made a breakthrough in finding a safe, practical, nonsurgical method for treating presbyopia - the inability of the eye to focus on near objects - that could potentially improve the vision health of millions. Dr Osio’s treatment used rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses and proprietary eyedrops to improve vision by reshaping the cornea. It represented an alternative to existing presbyopia solutions, and extensive testing had demonstrated that TVT corrected near-vision problems without diminishing distance vision. There had been setbacks, however, notably the death of Dr Osio. Over the next nine years, Alberto Osio, Jr (an MBA student at MIT’s Sloan School of Management at the time of the breakthrough), with his brother Eduardo and a virtual team of advisors, researchers, and practitioners, reached many of the milestones required for commercialization. Yolia Health provides background for several issues encountered by start-ups and early-stage companies in developing countries: the challenge of raising money locally, surviving the loss of the technical expert / inventor, attracting and motivating a team of technical advisors and highly skilled product developers, managing limited capital over years of business and product development, and developing a marketing strategy for a medical device. This case is part of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology free case collection (visit for more information on the collection).


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