Duke Rohlen recognizes Medtech is facing some challenges, but he also knows over the past decade – a troubled time for the sector – he’s sold two companies for more than $1 billion.
“I believe out of every dislocation comes opportunity,” says Rohlen, who led and sold Fox Hollow and CV Ingenuity. “If you look at what is driving innovation in healthcare it’s Medtech and drugs. There is a lot of money going into drugs and not a lot going into medical technology, which means there is a way to fix that.”
One way may be Ajax Health, a venture between Rohlen and private equity powerhouse KKR. Together, the pair are providing sufficient capital and senior management to Medtech companies needing one or both.
As part of Ajax, Medtech companies will be run by Rohlen and a team of professionals including those who saw success at CV Ingenuity and Fox Hollow. The managers will follow a very familiar formula – “You have to be incredibly capital efficient until you have value-creating data” or a catalyst moment, notes Rohlen.
A successful start-up “can’t just be neat technology,” he adds. “It has to be a neat technology combined with a really, really strong business model, and then it needs to have the appropriate team to affect that business model.”