New England Venture Funded Medical Device Startup List 2013 Q3

English: Fall in New England.
Fall in New England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

What’s causing this New England drought?

Is it a lack of VC’s with active life science funds?

Ernst and Young’s newly published “Pulse of the Industry Report” notes that in medtech,

…financing options for smaller, emerging companies have slowly eroded. Venture capital investment was down 21% in 2012-13 to its lowest level in more than a decade, while the total value of IPOs was cut in half from the previous year and was down more than 80% from pre-crisis levels. The venture capital that is flowing into medtech is increasingly skewed toward later rounds.

In May, PWC attributed the decreased number of  healthcare venture funds raised to the capital intensity of life science companies.

But wait a minute. According to a recent Boston Business Journal article, “Local med device companies buck the national trend toward less VC money.” In other words, VC’s do have money – but perhaps not for Series A investing. (Want more data? Check out my list of VC’s with money here.)

Is the New England drought caused by a paucity of exit opportunities?

The Wall Street Journal said last month that:

So far this year, 27 venture-backed biopharmaceutical companies have gone public, compared to just one medical device company, according to industry tracker Dow Jones VentureSource.

Yet earlier this year, CB Insights reported that “Medical Device M&A Deal Activity Ticks Up.” In July, FierceMedicalDevices noted “2013’s hot M&A start

No, I think Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller hit the nail on the head when he asked if too many of our “best and brightest” college graduates choose careers on Wall Street instead of Main Street.

It’s no secret that our best and brightest are also starting internet and tech companies. Just try to find medical device news on the Boston Globe’s Innovation Economy blog.  “Medical Device” isn’t even an industry category on Jay Neely’s extensive Graduate-founded medical device startups like Rhythmia, Lantos, and Claros are the exception, not the rule.

We have an amazing history of great medical device entrepreneurs in New England.  Without medical device entrepreneurs, healthcare venture capitalists have nowhere to invest, and established device companies have nothing to acquire.

As I’ve written before, it’s a great time to start a medical device company. The economic and clinical problems of chronic disease demand it. Venture investors need new investment opportunities. Large device companies need new engines for growth.

And I can’t handle another quarter with no additions to my  list.

Find it here: New England Venture Funded Medical Device Startup List 2013 Q3


2 thoughts on “New England Venture Funded Medical Device Startup List 2013 Q3

  1. Dear Jay,

    Your presumption is that startup medical device companies *want* VC money. I think that companies using Eric Ries’ lean startup principles can get their medical devices to market *without *VC money. That is certainly our plan.

    Take care,


    Jerrold M. Shapiro, Ph.D./Bioengineering President Floelle Inc. Acton, MA 01720-5932

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