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Monday, August 15, 2022

MEDICAL DEVICE NEWS MAGAZINE

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Engage Venture Partners Launches as New Medtech Venture Capital Firm, Announces Initial Investment

Founded by a team with proven track records in healthcare, medical devices, investing, and startup operations, the firm’s innovative investment approach leverages industry access and provides a flexible, investor-friendly structure

Engage Venture Partners, a new venture capital (VC) firm focused on medical technology companies, announces its launch and inaugural company investment. Backed by deep technical expertise, extensive due diligence capabilities, and specialized industry knowledge, Engage was established to address the need for a more accessible, lower-friction funding community for seed- and early-growth stage medtech companies and their investors.

Engage also announced its first investment with Minnesota-based medical device manufacturer Melodi Health. Melodi offers surgical solutions to women undergoing breast surgery by developing a novel absorbable scaffold intended to support soft tissue and improve patient outcomes.

“The Engage team pulled together a group of mature angel investors that aligned with our timeline and investment stage and who were uniquely qualified to invest in our platform, including surgeons and seasoned medtech investors,” says Sarah Worrell, CEO of Melodi Health.

Engage organizes Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), each of which is a legal entity created for the specific purpose of investing in a single startup. This next-generation investment model offers investors lower management fees, individual flexibility and control, and lower investment minimums that allow for broader participation and access.

“The Engage SPV was an efficient, well-organized way for Melodi to raise a meaningful amount of capital that significantly funds our pre-commercial development activities aimed at impacting outcomes for women with breast cancer undergoing post-mastectomy reconstruction on their journey to recovery,” notes Worrell.

Located in Minnesota’s Engage Venture Partners, one of the top health tech clusters in the world with more than 1,000 healthcare technology companies, Engage offers investors access to extensively vetted medtech startups and an advisory network with deep domain expertise in selected subsectors, including medical device, biotech, pharma, and digital health.

“Minnesota is a global center of medtech innovation,” says Steve Sigmond, founder and managing director at Engage. “Our team’s deal flow, combined with our proprietary research and due diligence capabilities, allow us to offer value to investors on day one.”

The Engage Venture Partners team consists of four founders, two of whom serve as managing directors. With more than 25 years of experience in investing, advising, and running early stage companies, Sigmond was most recently founder, CFO, and vice president of marketing for Carrot Health, a Minneapolis-based healthcare analytics SaaS company that was acquired in 2021. Kelly Prchal, founder and managing director, is an active angel investor with nearly 20 years of experience across the healthcare continuum and co-founder of AlliedVirtualCare, a technology health and wellbeing company focused on age-related hearing loss and related conditions.

Joining Sigmond and Prchal as Engage founders are Morgan Evans and Ryan Spanheimer. Evans is a medtech founder and executive who is also co-founder and CEO of Agitated Solutions, Inc., a medical device company; co-founder of Moonshot Medical, a medical device incubator; and founder and executive director of Highland Circle Innovations, a medtech services firm.

Evans notes: “We have institutional-quality deal flow and the highest rigor in due diligence, but at the end of the day we are most passionate about directing resources to people who are doing amazing work.”

A practicing patent attorney with a specialization in medical technology, Spanheimer has worked extensively with medical device companies in a variety of fields. He offers a detailed understanding of technology development and market commercialization and works regularly with both early stage and mature medtech businesses to spot technical disruption and growth opportunities in relevant target markets.


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