New EU-Based MedTech Accelerator Kicks off with $11.5m

MD Start, the European-based accelerator specialized in developing innovative medical devices, tells us it has raised $11.5 million in a round of funding for its new accelerator, MD Start II.


MD Start is a European-based accelerator, a team of entrepreneurs and a fund that is dedicated to bringing to the market innovative medical devices based on inventions originating from the clinical environment. MD Start incepts, finances, incubates and manages start-up companies developing revolutionary therapeutic solutions and aiming to become international medtech leaders.

Founded in 2009 by entrepreneurs Tim Lenihan and Gérard Hascoët, along with Antoine Papiernik from Sofinnova Partners, MD Start intends to bridge the gap between inventors in the clinical field, venture capitalists, large medtech corporations, contract development and manufacturing companies.

The first accelerator, MD Start I, was launched in Europe, where the vast majority of new medical device concepts were invented over the last century. Medtronic and LivaNova (Sorin Group at the time) later joined MD Start I as investors to get an early glimpse of medtech innovation and potential future products. MD Start I developed 14 projects which led to the inception of 4 companies: CorWave, LimFlow, Advanced Perfusion Diagnostics and Magnetic Pacing Technologies. These companies have attracted venture capital funding up to nearly $45 million to date, with several paradigm-shifting products soon to be on the European market.

The new vehicle, tagged MD Start II  was led by its cornerstone investor, French Tech Acceleration managed by Bpifrance, the French public investment bank. Bpifrance is joined by returning investors of MD Start: Medtronic, Sofinnova Partners, and LivaNova. The ambition is to screen up to 200 inventions from around the world each year, with a deal-sourcing activity focused on unmet clinical needs as well as to evaluate feasibility of over 15 promising projects in order to create and finance 4 start-up companies. These companies will be based in France, and will be able to attract leading venture capital firms or large corporations post-incubation.

Companies chosen for investment will be incubated and managed by the MD Start partners until they reach value-inflexion milestones, requiring a fully dedicated management team and traditional venture capital funding.


“MD Start II is not another fund nor another incubator: MD Start II is the entrepreneur as well as the incubator and the investor. We have both a strategic and a day-to-day hands-on approach to transforming innovative ideas into medical realities, in constant dialogue and partnership with the clinician inventors,” said Anne Osdoit, Partner at MD Start.

“MD Start’s uniqueness in Europe stems from the ability of its team to scout for innovative medical device concepts, screen inventions and ideas, identify projects with the largest opportunity in order to fund them, but most of all to provide the operational resources to develop the start-up companies during a 2- to 3-year incubation period,” said Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners. “The MD Start team takes on the entire management of the projects, including business development, product development, market analysis, clinical and regulatory affairs roles, leveraging its international and hands-on experience in innovative medical devices, serial entrepreneurship and fundraising.”

“By supporting MD Start II, French Tech Acceleration aims to foster the French medtech ecosystem,” said Philippe Boucheron, Deputy Director for Life Science investments at Bpifrance. “We expect MD Start to build a local network with its portfolio companies, and to leverage the exceptional advisor network it has nurtured over the years.”

Source: Ronald Trahan Associates

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