2015 WSGR Medical Device Conference – Venture Capital Today


Wilson Sonsini Medical Device conference, this year, focused on understanding the challenges facing the medical device industry, and highlighting the emerging strategies that counterbalance the new and complex world of medtech. During the sold out dinner interview, on the night preceding the conference, Steve Blank joined David Cassak, in conversation on Lean Launch Pad approach to building Medtech startups. Here is link to my previous write-up on Lean Launch Pad http://bit.ly/11yF4EM .

Venture Capital Today – Panel

The conference began with a panel moderated by Casey McGlynn, with medtech investors sharing their insights on investing in the changing times. Early stage life science companies emerge in an environment of ever shrinking pool of investors. McGlynn was joined by Steven Hochberg from Deerfield Management, Alan Kaganov from US Venture Partners, Evengy Zaytsev from RIM Partners and Eric Milledge from Endeavour Vision Ltd.  Prolonged regulatory and reimbursement challenges and the need for real sales traction to attract interest from potential acquirers has made early access to large capital, imperative. Acknowledging the changing reality, the panel noted “our filters are tighter”.

However, the conversation was not all bleak. The panel also observed that “if you have a solution and a strong product, and strong IP, then it can’t fail”. Acknowledging the changing reality, it was also noted that partnering has become an important element of the new medtech world and financing through series A, B, C, D, E is not going to happen anymore. It was acknowledged that majority of the funds for future innovation are likely to come from outside the US. One of the panelists was bullish on medtech, and observed that people’s fundamental desire to live longer and healthier, is a huge driver for medtech innovation, and advised startups on having clear and strong IP position. “If you don’t have strong IP, you don’t have a business”, he said. Underscoring the importance of a good team, he further observed, “You have no room for a weak link, in a startup”.

Stay tuned for other blogs on the conference, in the coming days.  Medtech Jobs are posted at the link http://bit.ly/1EXGy7T .

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