There is a misconception among many healthcare entrepreneurs that starting a fast-growing company will one day lead to a strategic buyer appearing at your doorstep with a sizable check in hand.
In reality, the vast majority of healthcare and life sciences exits to “strategics” result from long-term relationships that have already created sustained value for both the startup and the strategic acquirer. By the time of an actual acquisition, the conversation is no longer about potential synergies, but rather about how an acquisition will leverage an existing successful partnership and amplify the creation of new value.
Orthogonal and MATTER Chicago hosted a webinar on how to prepare your MedTech early stage company for an eventual acquisition that creates as much value as the actual exit. Seasoned industry pioneers and experts, including David Van Sickle (founder of Propeller Health, which was acquired by ResMed) and Christian Johnson, Founder and CEO, ScoutMedix shared case studies and hard lessons learned from their own experiences sitting on both sides of the table, as startups and as “strategics.”
David Van Sickle, Healthcare Executive and Strategic Advisor
David has over 15 years of experience developing and commercializing digital health technologies. He was the co-founder and CEO of Propeller Health, a digital health and therapeutics company dedicated to improving the management of asthma and COPD. In 2019, the company was acquired by ResMed, where David continued to lead the business until stepping aside in 2021 to become an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Since 2022, he has been advising and consulting part-time for various startups and organizations, and currently serves as non-executive director at Closed Loop Medicine, a UK-based company working on personalized dosing for high-value medicines.
David received his PhD in medical anthropology from the University of Arizona in 2004.
Christian Johnson, Founder and CEO, ScoutMedix
Christian is a MedTech and digital health consultant committed to global, purpose-driven and strategic innovation and entrepreneurship devoted towards advancing the health and well-being of people and planet. This mission is shaped by Christian’s collective experiences traveling and working across the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, whether providing clinical care in rural Nicaragua, conducting research in the Peruvian Amazon or working in 15 countries with various stakeholders on projects related to medical devices, digital health, sustainability, social enterprise and nonprofits.
Since 2014, Christian has delivered a TEDx Talk, hosted a TEDx event, been published on Forbes.com, been honored as 2017’s 100 “Best & Brightest” MBA’s and been honored with global accolades such as a Certificate of Appreciation from the Lord Mayor of Perth, Australia. He has spoken at a wide range of conferences including the The Pacific Rim Summit, the BIO World Congress in Montreal, the BIO World Congress in San Diego, NASA Space Apps Challenge and LEAP Foundation.
Randy Horton, Chief Solutions Officer, Orthogonal
Randy Horton is Chief Solutions Officer at Orthogonal, a software consulting firm that improves patient outcomes faster by helping MedTech firms accelerate their development pipelines for Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), digital therapeutics (DTx) and connected medical device systems. Orthogonal makes that acceleration happen by fusing modern software engineering and product management tools and techniques (e.g., Agile, Lean Startup, User-Centered Design and Systems Thinking) with the regulated focus on device safety and effectiveness that is at the heart of MedTech.
Horton serves as Co-Chair for AAMI’s Cloud Computing Working Group, as well as AAMI CR:510(2021) and the in-process Technical Information Report #115, all of which address how to safely move medical device computing functions into the cloud. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and webinars, including events hosted by AdvaMed, AAMI, HLTH, RAPS and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES).