HOLLAND — A West Michigan firm that invests in medical device companies has completed a capital raise of more than $1.1 million.
Genesis Innovation Group LLC will use the funding to support ongoing investments in two portfolio companies and to expand its workforce as it looks for other prospects in the medical device field.
With the raise that closed this month, the Holland-based fund has brought in $2.35 million since it formed in 2013.
Partners in Genesis Innovation are all engineers with experience in the industry, particularly in the orthopedics field where “innovation really isn’t happening inside the large companies,” which are more focused on distribution channels and acquiring innovations, said co-founder and CEO Rob Ball.
The group’s partners have built professional networks across the U.S. and globally. Four years ago, they raised more than $1 million and continue to seek out medical device innovations for investments “where our engagement would add significant value,” Ball said.
“What we are looking for is technologies that, at least in our minds, we believe will solve real and known and understood problems in the marketplace and that are sufficiently developed that we believe we can take it through a commercialization process,” Ball said. “We are focusing on getting engaged (at the) pretty early stage where our types of experiences and backgrounds can bring a team to a technology and cultivate a company by marrying those two assets together.”
Genesis Innovation’s staff consists of 20 people with expertise in management, manufacturing, finance, regulation and engineering.
The firm presently works with four organizations, including two Holland-based medical device companies: Magnesium Development Co. LLC, which uses an alloy material licensed from a Livonia company, Nano Mag LLC, to develop screws used in orthopedic procedures; and Shoulder Innovations Inc., which last year brought to market a new shoulder replacement implant requiring fewer instruments and fewer steps during surgery, resulting in lower costs.
Other ventures include Cultivate(MD), which “is an innovative new model for medical technology investment,” according to the Genesis Innovation website, plus a partnership with a French company to develop software for preoperative planning for shoulder surgery.
By investing in medical startups, usually with other investors, Genesis Innovation aims to position a company to bring its product to market and license the intellectual property to another party, or take a possible exit with a sale to a strategic buyer.
“We’re focused on de-risking technologies to the right level, which would make them attractive to larger distribution organizations that we are able to assemble,” Ball said.
Investment prospects for Genesis Innovation typically come from word of mouth and the personal networks of each partner, as well as pitch competitions for startups. The company has good deal flow and does not lack for investment opportunities, according to Ball.
“We have a really broad network in this space,” Ball said. “We have no difficulty getting in-bound requests. ‘We’d like you guys to take a look at this technology. We know you’ve done this in the past. Can you consider it?’”