Ask the Investor: MedCity INVEST offers new opportunities for startup-investor meetings

by Bailey Amber
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Given that we are still practicing physical distancing, the annual MedCity INVEST conference is launching a novel way to facilitate interactions between innovative startups and investors looking for the next new thing. INVEST is scheduled for April 19-23 and will take place virtually.

Called “Ask the Investor” these intimate meetings with healthcare and life science investors throughout the week will provide startups a unique opportunity to connect directly with traditional VCs and Corporate VCs, hear about their investment strategies, and ask questions. Each virtual meeting will feature one investor and last for 45 minutes. Following the investor’s presentation on their investment strategy and area of interest, startups will be asked to provide a 1-minute company overview. There will be an opportunity for Q&A. Investors will receive executive summaries for each startup with contact information. Space is limited to 10 startups per meeting. Please register here

These are the following health tech investors who will present their strategies from their respective perspectives as a traditional VC, payer VC and provider VC and more will be added to INVEST’s agenda page as we confirm speakers:

Ellen Herlacher Principal, LRV Health
Ellen is a healthcare investor with over a decade of experience in investment management, healthcare operations, and corporate strategy. She joined LRVHealth in 2020 and was previously director of Tufts Health Ventures (corporate venture arm of Tufts Health Plan), manager of Emerging Businesses at athenahealth, investment manager at Goldman Sachs, and consultant at Bain & Company. She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and M.B.A. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dennis Depenbusch, Director New Ventures, BCBS Kansas Dennis is responsible for the direction, coordination, evaluation, and management in developing and leading strategic investment for BCBS Kansas. The focus of the initiative is to develop a portfolio of investments that, as a whole, focus on improving the Kansas (and national) healthcare market, enhance the core business of the company and generate revenue. These strategic investments are expected to be integrated into the company as part of its overall long-term strategy. Dennis brings more than 20 years of experience in creating, building and leading high growth enterprises in the United States and abroad. He most recently served as CEO/president of Ulterius Technologies in Wichita. Previously, he was in leadership and board roles for various technology and health-related start-ups in the USA and Europe. He holds two degrees from the University of Kansas: a bachelor’s in business and a master’s in business administration. Depenbusch is the outgoing president of the board of trustees for Bishop Seabury Academy, Lawrence, Chairs the MBA advisory board for KU’s School of Business, and is the current President and Board Member of MHIN.

Austin Duke, Senior Venture Associate, UnityPoint Health Ventures
Austin Duke currently serves as Senior Venture Associate at UnityPoint Health Ventures where he helps lead all investment activities including sourcing, diligence, execution and post-investment support. Austin brings more than 10 years of biomedical research and development experience along with a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented to startup companies.

Prior to joining UnityPoint Health, Austin served as Chief Science Officer at Nexeon MedSystems Inc, where he led scientific, clinical and regulatory activities in support of the development and commercialization of Nexeon’s neurostimulation technology platform. Prior to Nexeon, Austin served as Vice President of Emerging Therapies at Rosellini Scientific and co-founded Nuviant Medical. Austin obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

More investors within other healthcare sectors will be added soon. Space is limited to 10 startups for each “Ask the Investor” session. Please register here

Photo: Adam Taylor, Getty Images

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