On September 15th we spoke exclusively to a panel of MedTech CEOs and investors in the sector for the latest in our webinar series, discussing the new funding models for MedTechs and key strategies for accessing capital during the current slowdown in earlier stage investment.
The panelists were:
Martin Frost, CEO, Cambrige Medical Robotics
Martin Frost has been involved in founding, financing and leading a wide range of technology companies in Cambridge for over 15 years, including Absolute Sensors (sold to Synaptics Inc.), Sensopad (sold to TT Electronics), Sphere Medical (now listed on the AIM market), and RedCloud Technology. Martin is a Director of Easdale Ventures and Omnisense, both of which he co-founded.
A qualified Chartered Management Accountant, Martin had a mainstream finance career including with GEC-Marconi and the Simon Group before joining the Generics Group (now Sagentia) where he led the IPO in 2000 before being appointed Group CEO.
Christoph Ruedig, Partner, Albion Ventures
Christoph joined Albion Ventures as an Investment Manager in October 2011 and now, as Partner, focuses on investments in healthcare and renewables.
He initially practised as a radiologist, before spending 3 years at Bain & Company. In 2006, he joined 3i working for their Healthcare Venture Capital arm and most recently he has worked for General Electric's healthcare division, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions in the medical technology and healthcare IT sectors.
Wolfgang Rencken, CEO, Spehere Medical
Dr Wolfgang Rencken is CEO of Sphere Medical having joined the Board in February 2014. He has extensive experience in the healthcare and medical diagnostic equipment industries. He has been responsible for the development and launch of many innovative medical devices and has a proven record of revenue and profit growth.
His previous roles include CEO of MAQUET Cardiopulmonary AG, COO of Definiens AG, Vice President of Engineering in the Software Components and Workstations business unit of Siemens AG. Wolfgang has a doctorate in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford. He has written many scientific publications in the area of robotics and has authored a number of patents.
Peter Dines, Investment Director, Head of Life Sciences, Mercia
As a highly successful entrepreneur and investor, Peter brings 20 years’ experience in the healthcare sector, holding numerous directorships across a wide range of life sciences businesses.
Over this period, Peter has been involved with a number of high profile turnarounds and exits within the sector, including the acquisition of Surgicraft’s loss making business where, as Managing Director, sales quadrupled within three years and the business was subsequently sold to ISIS Equity Partners. Other key healthcare positions held, both previously and currently, include Bridges Ventures, Cisiv, Diagnostic World, Spring Active and Newtech Ortho.
The discussion was wide-ranging, exploring a number of topics including the different types of technologies within MedTech and their relative differences, alternative sources of funding such as family money and the rise of crowdfunding, connecting with investors and partners from different parts of the world, the sweet spots for different investors and acquisitions in the sector and when companies should be looking for a trade exit.
Listen now and find out our panelists views on the above, as well as details on the key takeaways:
- Team work is dream work – the panel was unanimous in the importance of ensuring you have the right people around you (advisors, non-execs, chairman) with the experience and who can help leverage their networks
- Solve, don’t create problems - find a problem and unmet need look to solve it, don’t take a technology and try to apply it to a need
- A picture paints more than a thousand words – appreciate the importance of a good video and pictures to demonstrate your technology
- Where’s the money? - focus on the market and opportunity very early on and make sure you clearly understand your route to commercialisation
- The world is your oyster – be prepared to travel, and potentially travel far
- Take it personally – investors are investing in you as well as your technology. Sell yourself and your commitment and desire to make your product a success
- Don’t undercapitalise – the financing risk is massive at the early stage, capitalise sufficiently and plan accordingly
The audience were also asked to vote on which type of investor they felt would be the most important for early stage MedTecc companies over the next 5 years, with interesting results...