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The Musculoskeletal New Ventures Conference: A Pop-Up Think Tank That Delivers in a Storm: Session Four

by Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed.

The Musculoskeletal New Ventures (MNVC), now in its 18th year, will host the fourth and final session of its 2020 conference on November 20 in a two-hour online session. Attendees will benefit from insider insights on the orthopedic market and details on new and emerging therapies and diagnostics delivered by a robust mix of investment bankers, Wall Street analysts, venture capitalists, business development specialists, and entrepreneurs.

Gary Stevenson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Memphis, Tennessee-based MB Venture Partners, has hosted the MNVC each year. “The 2020 MNVC finishes strong with Session 4,” says Stevenson. “In the past, the panel of business development leaders has always been a favorite and this year will be no different. Recently, the most active companies include Medtronic, Smith + Nephew, and Stryker. We’re so fortunate to have all three on our panel.”

“The Viscogliosi Brothers have funded so many of the most successful start-ups and carve-outs over the years. Anthony, John, and Marc are back this year and will tell us more about VB’s current activities, including two of their active portfolio positions in Centinel Spine and Woven Orthopedics.”

On the agenda for November 20, 2020:

  • Medtronic – Kip Roberts
  • Stryker – John Speer
  • Smith & Nephew – Eric Heinz
  • Viscogliosi Brothers – Anthony, John, and Mark Viscogliosi
  • Centinel Spine – Steve Murray and Varun Gandhi
  • Woven Technologies — Brandon Bendes and John Viscogliosi
  • Surgio Health — Chris Stewart and Dan Whetten

Commenting on the recent landscape was Medtonic’s Kip Roberts, who said, “Our first priority has been the health and safety of our employees while simultaneously ensuring we maintain the integrity of our supply chain to support customers and their patients. Apart from that, we have continued to maintain an offensive posture with respect to M&A. Where it makes sense, we have executed on tuck-in opportunities that we believe furthers our growth strategy. Our recent Medicrea acquisition is a terrific example of this.”

As for emerging trends in the orthobio musculoskeletal space, Roberts opined, “From a general market perspective, we expect player consolidation across the orthopedic markets to continue. And of course, we anticipate the outpatient and surgery center trends from the past few years will continue and accelerate. On the product side, our perspective is the landscape is changing. It’s simply not enough anymore to compete with implants alone. It may not even be enough to have a robotics offering. To compete meaningfully in the future, we believe true differentiation will be built upon technological ecosystems.”

Asked about guidance for early-stage companies on how to interact with large strategics, he noted, “Personally, I love partnering with start-ups…it’s probably the best part of my job. They’re full of enthusiasm and laser-focused on making a difference in patients’ lives. When possible and when we can provide value to the mix, we enjoy being a part of the journey. With that, what is oftentimes surprising to many early-stage companies are the numerous internal processes within the large strategic players. Each company has its own flavor; some longer, some shorter. But, on average, all are longer than start-ups expect or plan for. Therefore, I’d recommend cultivating your relationships early. Don’t wait until you are approaching a funding or resource crunch to reach out.”

Commenting on Smith & Nephew’s contribution to the session was Eric Heinz, Director, Business Development (M&A), who noted, “In late 2018, Smith & Nephew announced our new corporate strategy, which includes the imperatives of expansion in high-growth markets and transforming the business through enabling technology. As we heard from J.P. Peltier and Charles Hamilton during their Med Tech Market Update during MNVC Session #1, Smith & Nephew has significantly increased our M&A activity relative to our peers over the last 18 months. In 2020, we’ve continued our agenda of adding growth through M&A, specifically with the planned acquisition of Integra’s Extremity Orthopaedics business, Tusker Medical, and MiJourney, which forms the foundation for our recently launched ARIA Care Management Platform.”

“Our cultural pillars of Care, Collaboration and Courage have been demonstrated by our management as we’ve managed through the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m especially proud of our team’s successful integration of several acquisitions, and the positive experience that employees from acquired companies have had as they integrate into Smith & Nephew.  In speaking with 3rd parties, we have a reputation as a company that conducts M&A transactions and integrations well. We strive to continue to develop positive interactions with entrepreneurs, and it is our goal that Smith & Nephew is the first company entrepreneurs call when they are looking for strategic transactions.”

As for the famed Viscogliosi Brothers, what is their recipe for success? “To be clear, we are business builders,” said Anthony Viscogliosi. “We discover, create, develop, and operate neuro-musculoskeletal companies deploying capital to create and develop surgeon innovated, life changing, neuro-musculoskeletal technologies of tomorrow, today.”

Our three goals are to:

1) improve the quality of human life 

2) create innovation that transforms healthcare 

3) create profitable returns for their investors, partners, lenders, and themselves. 

Being first generation American-Italian, says Viscogliosi, they learned well the family value of doing good first so that you can do well later. “In this MNVC session, we will discuss the four keys to their success, the four pillars forming the foundation for success, the five tenets that maximize opportunities in the NMS field, and finally the VB approach that has resulted in creating and developing 11 #1 ranked technologies in orthopedics.”

Viscogliosi Brothers will elaborate on its track record of 3.5x multiple on invested capital on their investments and how, in carve-out transaction, their specialty, they have generated a 3.7x multiple on invested capital.

In particular, says Viscogliosi, participants hear about their view where to deploy capital, why and how.

So join us at the MNVC…where new ventures come alive.

To register for the third of the four “pop-up think tanks” on November 20, please visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_9lVhDlNpTUK0HwuOPFbakA

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Elizabeth Hofheinz

Two time winner of the MORE award Ms. Hofheinz was the first writer employed by Orthopedics This Week. The MORE award is granted annually by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to recognize excellence in journalism. Ms. Hofheinz is currently the Director of Communications for Ortho Spine Partners (OSP).

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