BackTable / Innovation / Podcast / Episode #25
Next Level Stuff, the Exit: Part III of the Neuwave Story
with Laura King and Dr. Fred Lee
To close our BackTable Innovation series on NeuWave, we invited Laura King and Dr. Fred Lee to speak about growing their medical device company through various stages, from Series A funding to acquisition by Johnson & Johnson.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, April 29). Ep. 25 – Next Level Stuff, the Exit: Part III of the Neuwave Story [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Laura King is the founder and CEO of Elucent Medical, and the former president and CEO of NeuWave Medical.
Dr. Fred Lee
Fred T. Lee Jr, MD is a professor of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Urology, The Robert A. Turrell Professor of Imaging Science, and the Chief of Abdominal Intervention at the University of Wisconsin.
Dr. Bryan Hartley
Dr. Bryan Hartley is a practicing radiologist, host of the BackTable Innovation series, and co-founder of Pulmera in Palo Alto, CA.
In this episode, our host Dr. Bryan Hartley interviews business leader Laura King and interventional radiologist Dr. Fred Lee about growing their medical device company, NeuWave through various stages, from Series A funding to acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. This is the final installment of a three-part series about the origin, rise, and acquisition of NeuWave.
Ms. King recounts her story of joining NeuWave. While she was originally tasked with performing due diligence on behalf of investors, she found that her values and passions aligned with the company and eventually became NeuWave’s CEO. For her, the key pull factor was the company’s identity as a “platform opportunity,” since the microwave ablation device was initially used in the liver, but could also branch out and be applied to other organs and clinical scenarios. Ms. King speaks about the difference between incremental innovation and disruptive innovation. The former is more common in large established companies, while the latter is characteristic of the startup world. She credits her business knowledge to her history of working with large companies and incremental innovation in her past, which helped her in scaling up NeuWave’s disruptive innovation efforts.
Dr. Lee brings up the importance of values alignment between clinical and business leadership in a startup. He shares conversations that the leaders had regarding patient safety in the first physician uses of the device. Ms. King highlights the need to listen to early adopters and integrate their feedback into improving the product; it is this effective response that will build trust and encourage clinicians to repurchase the device in the future.
Finally, we discuss the acquisition process. Dr. Lee describes how venture capital investors brought not only funds, but more connections to the company. He compares the role of bankers in an acquisition to realtors in a property sale. They are both necessary to the sale of the asset and have experience fielding multiple offers from interested parties.
Throughout the episode, the guests highlight their continued partnership in forming Elucent, a surgical navigation company, using the lessons learned from NeuWave.
NeuWave Microablation System:
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