Roundtable Participants 4123

September 1, 2006

5 Min Read
Roundtable Participants


Anne De Gheest founded the investment and executive management firm MedStars (Los Altos Hills, CA) in 1986. Since then, she has specialized in starting and developing new life sciences companies with innovative products and services. De Gheest previously held operating executive positions at Raychem and in the founding teams of Nellcor, OmniCell, and MedPool, the last of which she founded while an entrepreneur-in-residence for Institutional Venture Partners (Menlo Park, CA). She had key roles as acting executive or hands-on advisor in the early days of Pyxis, Aspect Medical, VISX, Visicu, and ProDuct. And she was an early investor and advisor to Thermage and Masimo. She is on the board of directors of Pixel Optics and on the device screening committee of the Life Science Angels (Menlo Park, CA). She has a master's degree in commercial engineering from the University of Brussels and an MBA from Harvard. She can be reached at [email protected].

Lars Enstrom is a managing director in the Drawbridge Special Opportunities business of Fortress Investment Group LLC (New York City), which invests in loan originations and corporate securities. He was previously a director in the healthcare investment banking group in the New York office of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin. Before that, he served as an executive director in the healthcare group of CIBC World Markets, the investment banking arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Enstrom's professional experience also includes positions in real estate development and acquisitions. He began his investment-banking career with the First Boston Corp. as an analyst on the mortgage-trading desk. Enstrom received a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He can be reached at [email protected].

Allan W. May is a cofounder of Life Science Angels (Menlo Park, CA), the largest angel organization on the West Coast focused solely on early-stage medical device and life sciences start-ups. May was previously chairman and CEO of Vascular Architects (San Jose), a venture-backed company focused on commercializing a less-invasive surgical procedure and bare-metal and drug-eluting stents for treating peripheral vascular disease. Between 2000 and 2003, he was a member of the board of directors and chairman of the investment screening committee of Tenex Medical Investors (Burlingame, CA), the first angel group on the West Coast focused exclusively on the life sciences. May is an investor in more than 30 medical device and biotech companies, and has been a founder, board member, or CEO of a number of early-stage companies in the life sciences arena. In 2001, May was named Biotech Angel of the Year by the International Association of Angels. He can be reached at [email protected].

Baiju R. Shah is the president of BioEnterprise (Cleveland), a business formation, recruitment, and acceleration initiative designed to grow healthcare companies and commercialize bioscience technologies in the Cleveland area. Since the initiative was founded, in July 2002, BioEnterprise companies have attracted $270 million in new funding. Shah focuses primarily on BioEnterprise's medical device and healthcare services companies. For those clients, he counsels on strategic, business development, and operational matters as well as on growth financing. Shah came to BioEnterprise from McKinsey & Co., where he played a leading role in both the growth and business building and the economic development practices. Shah received a BA from Yale University and a JD from Harvard Law School. He can be reached at [email protected].

Dennis W. Wahr, MD, is a managing director at RiverVest Venture Partners (St. Louis). He has more than 25 years' experience in medical device development, management, and operations, as well as in clinical practice as a board-certified interventional cardiologist. Prior to joining RiverVest, he was the founder, president, and CEO of Velocimed LLC, where he led the invention, development, clinical evaluation, and commercialization of three innovative, minimally invasive cardiovascular and neurovascular devices. He led Velocimed through four financing events that raised $45 million. Ultimately the businesses of Velocimed were acquired by St. Jude Medical in April 2005. Wahr previously spent approximately 20 years in the medical field in various capacities, including director of interventional cardiology and chief of cardiology at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Ann Arbor, MI). He received his BA from Albion College and his MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine. Wahr performed his fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and his residency in internal medicine at the University of Michigan. He can be reached at [email protected].

Jay Watkins is managing director of De Novo Ventures (Menlo Park, CA), a healthcare investment firm that currently has $350 million under management. Watkins was a cofounder of Origin Medsystems, a venture-funded medical technology start-up that was purchased by Eli Lilly & Co. in 1992. When Eli Lilly divested its medical device businesses to form Guidant in 1995, Watkins became a member of the corporation's management committee, serving in this role from 1995 to 2002. In addition, Watkins was president of Compass, Guidant's corporate business development and new ventures group. He has been a member of the board of directors of several public companies, including Gynecare, Cardiogenesis, and RITA Medical Systems. Watkins received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He can be reached at [email protected].

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