SOURCE: Larta Institute

March 22, 2007 06:00 ET

Medical Device Entrepreneurs in the M&A Spotlight at Bay Area Venture Forum 2007

Close to Two Dozen Leading Device Startups Are Exhibiting as M&A Window Opens for Faster, Go-to-Market Device Products

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 22, 2007 -- Close to 1,000 high technology and life science innovators, venture capital firms, government agency representatives and corporate investors will meet in San Francisco May 1-2 at The Venture Forum's ( annual event to connect early stage innovators with funding sources. Since its inception 13 years ago, The Venture Forum has facilitated $600 million in venture capital, corporate and government investment, thereby helping innovators move high-value technologies closer to commercialization.

Close to two dozen leading medical device startups are exhibiting at the Venture Forum in which exhibitors and panelists will examine the pricing pressures on large companies developing medical device products and explore alternative means of getting new products to market, including collaborations and merger and acquisition activities with smaller, entrepreneurial firms.

"This is the right time for companies to innovate more cost effective devices, at the same time fulfilling the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes," says Neven Karlovac, Ph.D., Vice President of Technology Commercialization Programs for Larta Institute, founder of The Venture Forum.

"Pricing pressures are narrowing the pipeline for the traditional means of getting new medical devices to market, that is multinational corporations developing products and commercializing them," says Karlovac. "Health care providers, private payers and hospitals are all tightening their belts, making it less economically feasible for large companies to bear the R&D cost," he explains. The development life cycle of certain device categories, such as cardiac stents or pacemakers, is as lengthy as pharmaceutical products, adding to commercialization costs, Karlovac says.

Medical Device Panel: On May 2nd the Forum will host a panel titled, "Medical Technologies: Overcoming Obstacles to Growth for Emerging Biomedical Companies." The discussion will focus on the challenges of bringing medical device technologies to the marketplace and look at partnership solutions, including M&A activity, angel investors, venture capital firms investing in the technology, and other options. Members of this panel are leading industry representatives, attorneys, and venture capitalists. The moderator is Casey McGlynn of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

This year's forum will also feature a truly special keynote "conversation": Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, in conversation with Matthew Bishop, Chief Business Writer and American Business Editor of The Economist. Other keynoters for the event are Steve Burrill, CEO Burrill & Company, Scott Horsley, Business Correspondent for National Public Radio, William O'Brien, Senior Vice President NASDAQ, and Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director, Center for Open Innovation, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.

Registration for the two-day event is $995. To learn more about the Forum and to register to attend, go to

Competitive Differentiation

Unlike typical trade shows or conferences, where the event has little follow-up, The Venture Forum is connected year-round to funding sources through the Larta Institute. Larta has commercialization program contracts with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several global R&D Centers to help these innovators commercialize their products. Larta manages the Network T2 Consortium, a major consortium of universities and nonprofit research institutions focused on the goal of connecting innovations spinning out of universities with the marketplace. Network T2 Consortium is one of the largest groups of its kind ever created, with 19 members. The member institutions conduct over $2.23 billion each year in R&D, forming one of the world's largest research networks and one of the nation's leading engines of economic growth. Larta also works year-round with its extensive network of corporate investors, venture capital firms, and other private investors to be the link between concept and commercialization. Since its founding in 1993, Larta has assisted companies in raising more than $1.5 billion in capital investment.

"We're tapping into significant technology generators. That is what The Venture Forum ( and Larta is able to achieve -- this linkage between all major technology sectors and the funding sources they need," says Rohit K. Shukla, CEO and Founder of Larta Institute.

Venture Forum Overview

Now 13 years strong, The Venture Forum is the largest -- and longest running -- showcase of early stage innovation and entrepreneurship on the planet. It is the must-attend event for those seeking access to untapped quality deal flow from around the world.

Venture Forum presenting companies are drawn from Larta's robust pipeline, and prepared by Larta's world-class mentors to deliver presentations focused on a solid business proposition, excellent science, and strong growth potential for an audience of investors, partners and customers.

Venture Forum Advisory Committee members include top technology sourcing, investment, and licensing executives from Samsung Ventures, Johnson & Johnson, Burrill & Company, Intel Corporation, Technology Partners, Allergan, Unilever Technology Ventures, BASF Venture Capital America Inc., Research Corporation Technologies, Inc., DuPont, Advent Technologies, Yahoo! Inc., Lilly Accelerators, Pfizer, Boston Scientific, Cargill Ventures, Genzyme Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Sharp Corporation, BD Ventures, and Siemens TTB.

Attendee Registration

Registration for the two-day event is $995. Register early to receive a 40% discount. To register, go to

Credentialed Media: To register for a press pass, please contact Abigail Pohlman at or 213-765-4836.

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on sponsorship opportunities contact Carlos Gutierrez at 213-765-4833 or email at

About Larta Institute

Larta Institute's mission is to increase economic development through the improved transition of scientific and technological breakthroughs from the laboratory to the marketplace, where they can solve problems, enhance economic opportunities, advance medical care, and better people's lives. Larta Institute is an independent, private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation registered in the State of California.

Since 1993, companies helped by Larta Institute have raised over $1.5 billion in capital. Its programs serve thousands of businesspeople each year. Larta accelerates the transition of cutting-edge technologies to the marketplace by connecting innovators to investors and companies, and leveraging its extensive network of relationships and resources.

Larta Institute was originally formed in 1993 through legislation enacted by the State of California to assist small companies developing innovative technologies. The Institute has expanded dramatically since then to serve thousands of clients in a wide variety of technology sectors globally.

For more information contact Rohit Shukla, CEO & Founder, at

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