Panel Announcement – Medical Device Investors Panel @ RESI Boston

11 Jul

By Karen Deyo, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Medical device startups often face difficult challenges when seeking funding. Many investors have limiting criteria in their investment mandates when it comes to medical devices – whether limiting the regulatory pathway or the need for regulatory approval at all, consideration for traditional devices vs. the combo devices with digital components that are becoming so prevalent, or even the size of the market or complexity of use. With the increased challenge of either penetrating an already crowded market with an improved iteration of an existing device or attempting to introduce a new type of device to the market, it can seem like medical device startups can’t win.

At RESI Boston, taking place on Sept. 11th, the Medical Device Investors panel will feature the following five speakers who will share their perspective on investing in early-stage device companies, whether as strategic partners or financial investors. They will share their thoughts on what startups can do to catch the attention of investors, despite the challenges that may exist in today’s market. The panelists are:

Shahram Hejazi, Partner, BioAdvance

Shahram Hejazi, Ph.D., is a life science investor & entrepreneur. Over his 25+ year career, Shahram has invested and/or directed more than two dozen startups.  Since 2008, he has been a Partner with BioAdvance, where he serves on the Boards of 6 portfolio companies and is responsible for leading investments in medical devices, diagnostics, digital health. Shahram has also been on the faculty of Princeton University, since 2014. Previously, Shahram was the president of Kodak’s life science division, and before that, he was the founding CEO of Zargis Medical Corporation (a Siemens’ spin off). Prior to that, Shahram was the Global Head of the Strategic Business Development at Siemens Medical. Shahram is also the Chairman of the advisory board of Integral Molecular Inc., and the Chairman of PPDC at CHOP. Shahram has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and an executive business education.

Darshana Zaveri, Partner, Catalyst Health Ventures

Darshana Zaveri is a Managing Partner of Catalyst Health Ventures (CHV). Darshana joined CHV in 2006 and has 13 years of experience in the life science and pharmaceutical industries. She is actively involved in all aspects of fund management including investments and capital raising. She led investments in nVision Medical (acquired by Boston Scientific), Augmenix, Inc., (acquired by Boston Scientific), Lantos Technologies, Inc., Maxwell Health Inc. (acquired by Sun Life Financial), and Aria CV Inc. She previously represented CHV on the Boards of nVision, Augmenix, and Maxwell Health, and is currently a Director of Lantos Technologies and Aria CV. Prior to CHV, Darshana was an investigator within the cell biology department at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she led drug development programs in oncology, metabolic disease, and immunology. Darshana received an MPA from Harvard University, a Master in Cell and Molecular Biology from Boston University, and a BS in Biochemistry from Bombay University in Bombay, India

Lu Zhang, Managing Partner, Fusion Fund

Lu Zhang, Founder and Managing Partner of Fusion Fund. Recently, Lu is selected as 2018 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Before this, she also got selected as Silicon Valley Women of Influence 2018 and Top 10 all America Chinese Youth. In 2017, she was awarded the Forbes US 30 under 30 & Featured Honoree of VC category and also awarded as the Town & Country 50 Modern Swans Influencer. Prior to starting Fusion Fund, she was the Founder and CEO of a medical device company (acquired in 2012). Lu is active in the entrepreneur and investor communities providing mentorship and serves as an advisor to programs like Microsoft AC, Singularity University, StartX at Stanford, and Youth Council of Future Forum. Lu received her M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and holds several patents.

Michael Thomas, Director, Inova Strategic Investments

A veteran med-tech CEO, Michael Thomas is venture capital investor with the Inova Health System Strategic Investments team (ISI and IPHA). Prior to Inova, Michael was CEO of Appian Partners, an Annapolis, MD-based life sciences consulting practice. His med-tech experience spanned several early stage, growth stage, and turn-around ventures as CEO of Appian Partners, ReGear Life Sciences, NuSomnea, Tanzen Medical, Appian Medical, iSonea, and Sleep Solutions. Mr. Thomas was founder and CEO of Appian Medical, a digital health firm that developed an algorithm to diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Mr. Thomas spent 2.5 years as CEO of iSonea Ltd (ASX:ISN), a publicly traded global, asthma digital healthcare company. He raised $25MM for iSonea and increased the company’s market capitalization from $4MM to $250MM. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Circadiance, a specialty CPAP mask manufacturer. Thomas graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Microbiology.

Aaron Sandoski, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Norwich Ventures

Aaron Sandoski is Co-founder & Managing Director of Norwich Ventures, a specialized venture capital firm focused on early-stage MedTech.  Aaron’s current investments include Affera, Arterys, Lexington Medical, Pelvalon, Podimetrics, ReThink Medical and Vaxess Technologies.  Previous investments include Rhythmia Medical (acquired by Boston Scientific) and Intelligent Bio-systems (acquired by Qiagen).  Prior to founding Norwich Ventures, Aaron worked for DEKA R&D, the engineering think tank of Dean Kamen.  He has also worked in start-up operations where he helped launch a subsidiary of Express Scripts and helped launch a venture-backed payments company. Aaron began his career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he advised healthcare clients ranging from leading medical device companies to a rural hospital system.  Aaron is co-author of How the Wise Decide (Crown Business), a book on best practices in making tough decisions, which has been translated into 11 foreign languages.  Aaron earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a double A.B. in Chemistry and Economics.

If you would like to attend this and other exciting panels taking place at RESI Boston, make sure to register!

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