Too often we define the Medtech sector by the number of dollars raised, IPOs helped or companies sold. But the focus neglects the very foundation of the sector - the People. Join the Medtech Talk Podcast each week to hear from entrepreneurs, investors and executives who spend their days developing the tools that make sick people well and health care more efficient.
Now a seasoned medtech entrepreneur and leader, Amar Sawhney first became interested in the industry starting in graduate school. He was studying chemical engineering and developing biodegradable polymers for adhesion prevention and hydrogels for light-activated polymerization within the body. He and his advisor were then approached by Mayfield Fund to spin out the technology into the startup Focal. Amar was fortunate to learn a lot from then CEO Mark Levin, including some hard lessons that drove him and Fred Khosravi to found Incept, an IP holding company for creating operating companies based on field of use. As CEO/Founder of Confluent Surgical, AccessClosure, Augmenix, Ocular Therapeutix, and now Instylla, Amar learned how to transition from scientist to executive and is truly a medtech influencer. In this interview with host Geoff Pardo, Amar shares many of the valuable lessons he’s learned founding and managing various startups, including how to find the right application for a technology, when a platform solution really makes sense, how to effectively lead and build successful teams, the value of a diverse workforce, and tips for overcoming the funding gap for early-stage companies, plus his candid thoughts on the differences in funding/entrepreneurship between the East and West coasts.
Amar Sawhney, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Incept
Amarpreet (Amar) Sawhney, Ph.D., is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Instylla. He is also the CEO of Pramand LLC, and Rejoni, Inc. Prior to this Dr. Sawhney served as CEO and Chairman of Augmenix (acquired by Boston Scientific) and Ocular Therapeutix (NASDAQ: OCUL). In addition, he is a general partner of Incept, LLC, an intellectual property holding company. Previously, Dr. Sawhney founded Confluent Surgical and served as its President and CEO prior to its acquisition by Covidien plc. He also was a technology founder of Focal, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Genzyme Corporation, and a founder of AccessClosure, Inc., acquired by Cardinal Health. Dr. Sawhney’s innovations are the subject of over 120 issued and pending patents. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a B.Tech. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi India.