Is Medtech Venture Capital Dead in the Water?




Medsider Radio: Learn from Medical Device and Medtech Thought Leaders show

Summary: Is medtech venture capital like a rare, nearly extinct animal? You know, similar to one of those odd, but interesting animals we’ve all seen on the Discover Channel? Like the Passenger Pigeon. In fact, as recently as 200 years ago, Passenger Pigeons weren’t anywhere near extinction. They were actually the most common bird in North America. So what’s the parallel between the Passenger Pigeon and medtech venture capital? Answer: Scarcity! VCs are becoming less and less interested in healthcare because of diminishing returns. With that said, will medtech venture capital eventually see the same fate as the Passenger Pigeon? Or is well-known VC Terry McGuire right in declaring that, “Darwin was an optimist”? To help answer those questions and a host of others, enter Kevin Bitterman, Principal at Polaris Venture Partners. In this interview, we learn what medtech venture capitalists like to see in a startup and how these early stage medical device companies can best position themselves for success. Here's What You Will Learn - Will the IPO market for medtech companies ever open up again? Also, what requirements would make for an attractive IPO candidate? - Where do large medical device companies see the greatest opportunity for growth? - What questions should medtech startups have already answered before approaching a potential buyer? - In terms of a potential exit, what is more important for a medical device startup – clinical data or commercialization? - Besides venture capital, where else should medical device startups look for money? - What is Kevin’s personal medtech investment psychology? - After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School, what attracted Kevin to the medtech venture capital space? - Kevin’s lasting advice for early stage medical device companies. - And much more! This Is What You Can Do Next 1) You can listen to the interview with Kevin Bitterman right now: Download audio file (KevinBitterman_MedsiderInterviews_2012.mp3) 2) You can also download the mp3 file of the interview by clicking here. Don't forget – you can listen to this interview and all of the other Medsider interviews via iTunes.  And if you get a chance, leave us an honest rating and review. 3) Read the following transcripts from my interview with Kevin Bitterman.  Also, feel free to download the transcripts by clicking here. Read the Interview with Kevin Bitterman Scott Nelson:             Hello, hello everyone.  It’s Scott Nelson, and welcome to another edition of Medsider, the program where you can advance your medical device or med tech career on your own terms without going to school.  And on today’s program we’ve got Kevin Bitterman, who is a principal at Polaris Ventures.  He's been with Polaris since 2004.  He obtained his PhD at Harvard Medical School, earned his BA with honors from Rutgers with a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Philosophy. So thanks a ton for coming on to the program today, Kevin.  Really appreciate it. Kevin Bitterman:      Thanks Scott, glad to be here. Scott Nelson:             Alright, so let's first start out with the one big question, as I mentioned in kind of our pre-interview talk, is making the assumption that the IPO market is pretty dried up.  What do med tech startups need to do in order to see an M&A exit as that's the most likely option probably moving forward, at least for the foreseeable future.  So that's the big question that we’re going to try to answer in this interview.  But before we go there, do you agree with that assumption, that IPO market for med tech is pretty dried up and almost nonexistent? Kevin Bitterman:      Yeah, I would say ...