According to PWC’s recent quarterly MoneyTree report, no new medical device companies achieved Series A fundings in New England in either Q2 or Q3 2013. Zilch, zip, zero, nothin’, no, nada.
I’ve been tracking first-time venture financing of medical device companies in Nw England since 2005. You’ll find the link to my latest list of these companies at the bottom of this post. I wish I had a better update to offer.
In the eight years of data I’ve collected on New England medical device company venture funding, I’ve never seen it this tough. Only four new companies were funded in 2012 (see my complete list below).
You might be tempted to blame VC belt-tightening or the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” You’d be wrong. While the macro environment has its challenges, four new NorCal medical device startups were funded in Q4 alone.
It’s been about a year since I published a list of newly venture-funded New England medical device companies, so it’s time for an update (see below). The Series A rate continues to trend at two-per-quarter, despite the purported decrease in the number of active VC’s.
Bijan Salehizadeh of NaviMed Capital recently presented more statistics on the great returns that VC investors have realized in the life science industry over the past decade. Life Science investing has outperformed IT over the past 10 years. Really.
You might be surprised to learn that quite of few of those successful investments were New England medical device startups.
In the last half-dozen years, there have been more successful exits than you may think. While a handful have exited in the hundreds of millions, success for many was defined as a solid return on a less-than-$20M total investment.
Somehow these exits have managed to stay under the radar screen. Until now.
Who are these New England medical device startups? Who are the entrepreneurs who led their companies to success?
I recently co-founded a medical device startup, and I’m loving every minute.
Two years ago, as COO of Candela (one of Massachusetts’ largest medical device companies), I had one of best jobs in the industry. When we merged with Syneron, I was in a great position to move to a senior role at another big company. Instead, I was determined to join a startup. I know lots of big company execs who can’t envision joining a startup, and lots of big company engineers who feel the same way. The medical device industry doesn’t have the same sexy startup culture as the software industry, where two or three coders can get together and start the next cloud-based phone service, social network, mobile photo-sharing app , or cloud-based note-taking tool. In Massachusetts, only a handful of new medical device startups get VC funded each year (see prior post).
Yet I was determined to go early-stage. Very early stage. Not only is a startup absolutely the right path for me, it’s probably the right path for you. I can’t believe that everyone doesn’t want to work in a startup. Here’s why.
Want to learn more about the medical device industry and its key issues? The greater Boston area hosts a ton of medical device events, but it has always been a pain to try to find them. So, I’ve added a new page to my blog, a Medical Device Events Calendar. Check it out here.
If you have an event that you’d like me to add, leave me a comment at the bottom of the calendar page.
I’m fortunate to live in one of world’s great medical device hubs, so I hope you’ll forgive this unabashed promotion. Massachusetts is home to hundreds of innovative medical device companies, and we are well known as a source of med-tech start-ups. What’s less known is that Massachusetts is the best place for European and Israeli companies to set up their US operations.
Last year, Syneron merged with Candela in Wayland MA, becoming the largest Israeli medical device company in New England. Israeli start-up Odin Medical located its US HQ in MA prior to its acquisition by Medtronic, and Israeli start-up rcadia has their HQ in Newton, MA. EarlySense is the most recent Israeli company to locate here.
Ireland-based Creganna, a leading provider of medical device contract R&D, set up its first US location in Massachusetts and later expanded to locations in California and Cleveland. Ireland’s Shimmer Research, designer of new devices for wearable health sensing, set up their US operations in Boston.
I’d love to see more European and Israeli companies set up shop here. If you are developing a great new medical device outside the US, and thinking about entering the US market, you should be thinking about Massachusetts. Here’s why.