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.
Dr. Josh Makower is one of the few multidisciplinary leaders making a tremendous and broad-reaching impact on the medical device and consumer product industries. As an inventor, professor, CEO, and venture capitalist with experiences in medicine, bioengineering, business, and big pharma, Makower has led the charge in creating some of the most unique and practical designs.
In this episode, host Geoff Pardo speaks with Makower about his interests in science and technology at an early age, his college transition from music to engineering, and what he believes is the future of biodesign. Makower details the mechanics of his inventions for incontinence, chronic sinusitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and women’s health as part of the nine companies he created in the past 25 years. Finally, he speaks about the joy of teaching and offers sage advice to up-and-coming medtech innovators: “My classic piece of advice for anyone getting into any health-related field is you really have to be perseverant. You have to never give up because there are so many reasons to turn away and give up, but if you have a dream and believe in what you’re doing and are willing to listen and adapt, that’s key. I think anyone can win, and it’s just about believing in yourself and your vision.”
Dr. Josh Makower is the Boston Scientific Applied Bioengineering Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering Professor at the Stanford University Schools of Medicine and Engineering. He is also the Director of the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, the program he co-founded 20 years ago with Dr. Paul Yock. Josh helped create the fundamental structure of the Center’s core curriculum and is the chief architect of what is now called “The Biodesign Process.” Over the past 20 years, the Biodesign curriculum and associated textbook have been used at Stanford and across the world to train hundreds of thousands of students, faculty, and industry leaders on the advancement of medical innovation for the improvement of patient care.
Before starting Biodesign, Josh served as Founder and Executive Chairman of ExploraMed, a medical device incubator, creating nine companies since 1995. The ExploraMed portfolio includes NeoTract, acquired by Teleflex, Acclarent, acquired by J&J, EndoMatrix, acquired by C.R. Bard & TransVascular, acquired by Medtronic. Josh is also a Special Partner at New Enterprise Associates, supporting the healthcare team and medtech/healthtech investing practice. He holds over 300 patents and patent applications. Josh received an MBA from Columbia University, an MD from the NYU School of Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Josh is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the College of Fellows of The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He was awarded the Coulter Award for Healthcare Innovation by the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2018.