As Vice President of Investments at VCapital, it’s my job to make money for our investors, and while we consider ourselves to be sector agnostic, we do like the idea of investing in emerging MedTech companies for a number of reasons. First of all, these kinds of companies are providing valuable products and services to mankind, and it’s nice to support companies who have some pretty noble aspirations like that. Yes, we’re primarily out to get a return for investors, but backing companies which help society is a win-win situation for all of us.
Our Involvement with MedTech Companies
For instance, Intensity Therapeutics is a company which is developing technology that will significantly extend the lives of cancer patients. Another company we’re currently working with is conducting research and developing technology to reduce the cases of blindness. Our CEO, Len Batterson, has a particularly strong feel for these kinds of MedTech companies, with a strong background in healthcare himself.
The VCapital model itself allows us to find out about emerging medical technologies and companies like this because our advisers and our investors are always listening for news about such opportunities. Since each one of these people has perhaps 10 or more contacts in various industries like medicine, we have a large pool of information available to us at any given time, and it then becomes a matter of making some good choices. This gives us tremendous reach, and alerts us to situations where we might want to get involved.
Chicago Presents Numerous Opportunities
In addition to the foregoing tendencies toward medical and health care organizations, there is simply an abundance of these kinds of companies here in the greater Chicago area, so it’s natural that we have a chance to take a good look at many of them. There are also a number of great universities in the region which are becoming more involved in entrepreneurship in the medical arena.
Given the fact that there are at least 200 startup companies at Matter (a Chicago-based incubator for healthcare startups) working on and developing medical technologies and drug development, plus world-renowned hospitals, there’s just a wealth of opportunity in this one particular industry. As a matter of fact, that can be a little bit of a problem, because it requires a lot of digging, a lot of checking, and a lot of old-fashioned research, to separate the really promising ones from those which seem less likely to catch on.
The Camras Vision Opportunity
This opportunity was brought to the attention of VCapital by one of our friends who’s an Angel Investor in Durham, NC. We did our due diligence on the company, and found that they were offering a unique medical device for those with late-stage glaucoma.
This device is a shunt which is put on the outside of the eye, but underneath the eyelid, and it allows for external drainage, and helps significantly with dry eye syndrome, which can be a major problem for people with glaucoma. Camras Vision will be marketing this device as the first-ever unit which allows for personalized pressure control, to hinder the progress of glaucoma and the deterioration of the eye.
There’s also much more to like about this company. The CEO, Ray Krauss, is pretty much a living legend in the field of medical devices, having spent more than 30 years developing cutting-edge technology of value to society. He was the #2 man at Summit Technology which developed PRK, which is now known as Lasik. He spent 10 years with J&J’s ophthalmology division. He’s already worked with startup companies with as few as two people, and as many as 200, and has also worked with Angel Investors and venture capital firms to secure funding for some very important projects. Lucinda Camras is the Chief Scientific Officer, and she has five patents pending right now for various medical devices. So you can see that there’s a pretty strong leadership in place at Camras Vision, as well as having a product that we feel is likely to become very popular by around 2020.
Opportunities on the Horizon for VCapital
We have a number of opportunities currently which might be described as being in the ‘deep due diligence’ phase, and we’re very excited about how some of these prospects might turn out. One of these involves a company which has developed ground antennas that communicate with satellites, and even though we don’t have a lot of expertise in that particular field, we’ve done an enormous amount of homework to get up to speed on what we need to know. Another very promising possibility has to do with a company doing work in the area of breast cancer, and we’re very hopeful about what that might lead to.
Probably more than any other single factor, we here at VCapital like to give preference to companies based in the Midwest, and particularly in the greater Chicago area. We now have about 175 investors involved at VCapital, so we have a lot of potential for growth, because we can find the funding for quite a few startups, if they meet our criteria. The more deals we make the stronger we get, and the better we position ourselves to make even bigger and better investments in the future.
Undoubtedly, many of these will be in the MedTech field, but regardless of the specific industry, we feel we can educate ourselves to whatever degree is necessary, so we can make intelligent decisions and reward our investors accordingly. To find out more about our company, and how you might become involved, please visit www.vcapital.com.
Check out our current opportunities.