MD Start Adds Investment from Versant Ventures, Sorin

MD Start, a European venture investor and incubator focused on medical device technology, has added backing from venture capital firm Versant Ventures, and European medical device company, Sorin Group. Terms of the investment were not released. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, MD Start aims to provide capital for European inventors focused on medical devices.


MD Start (, the first and only European-based venture capital- and industry-backed medical device technology incubator, announced today the addition of two new shareholders: US-based venture capital firm Versant Ventures, and European medical device company, Sorin Group.

Shortly after being founded by European medical device entrepreneurs Tim Lenihan and Gerard Hascoet along with the Paris-based venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners, MD Start partnered with global medical device leader Medtronic to identify and develop revolutionary early-stage medical device technologies in Europe.

“We are extremely proud to welcome Sorin Group and Versant Ventures as investors in MD Start. Sorin and Versant are both leaders in their respective fields and, like Sofinnova Partners and Medtronic, have impressive track records in medical innovation. No doubt, their involvement will strengthen our capability to create and build successful medical technology companies in Europe,” said Tim Lenihan, CEO of MD Start.

“Our mission is to accelerate the development of revolutionary medical device technology ideas in Europe through capital efficient means to realize entities ready for future financing or licensing. An inventor’s idea does not have to be developed before he or she submits it to us. We will consider ideas at all stages of development,” added Lenihan.

Inventors who would like to share their idea with MD Start are encouraged to visit the “Submit your idea” page at the MD Start website.

About MD Start
Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, MD Start’s mission is to accelerate development of revolutionary medical devices in Europe by providing inventors a way to develop their ideas without having to abandon their careers. This unique concept represents the first and only collaboration between venture capital and the medtech industry to ‘accelerate’ the development of revolutionary medical devices in Europe.

About Sorin Group
Sorin Group ( is a global medical device company and a leader in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The Company develops, manufactures, and markets medical technologies for cardiac surgery and for the treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders. With 3,600 employees worldwide, the Group focuses on three major therapeutic areas: cardiopulmonary bypass (extracorporeal circulation and autotransfusion systems), cardiac rhythm management, and heart valve repair and replacement. Every year, over one million patients are treated with Sorin Group devices in more than 80 countries.

About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures ( is a US-based leading healthcare-focused venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments in medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, and healthcare information technology.

About Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology — alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic’s European headquarters is located in Tolochenaz, Switzerland.

About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners ( is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France. For over 35 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at different stages of development — pure creations, spin-offs, as well as turnaround situations — and worked alongside Europe’s key entrepreneurs in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors. With EUR1.1 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova Partners’ experienced team and hands-on approach in building portfolio companies through to exit have created market leaders, from landmark historical investments including Genentech, Actelion and Vistaprint to more recent successes such as CoreValve, Novexel, Fovea, Sensitive Object, Movetis et PreGlem. With a global mindset, the firm has a sister organization in San Francisco, California.