Economic Development and Health Care

Partnership launches med-tech venture fund

April 18, 2014
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The medical field is gaining a new investor for entrepreneurs pursuing the launch of innovative technology products or services.

A new Lansing-based venture fund, Quantum Medical Concepts, will provide initial investment and business support for entrepreneurial organizations in the medical technology market.

Quantum Medical Concepts is a partnership between Common Wealth Enterprises, an investment and portfolio management consulting firm, and the Michigan State Medical Society, a professional association with more than 15,000 physician members.

Benjamin Louagie, chief operating officer for the Michigan State Medical Society, said the partnership with Common Wealth Enterprises aligns with the mission of the association.

“Michigan State Medical Society has a goal to promote health and the health care environment that supports physicians in their effort to care from Michigan citizens here,” said Louagie. “We see an opportunity to work within the medical sector with some of the innovative opportunities to further that goal of enhancing health care.”

Quantum Medical Concepts will provide an initial investment for eligible startups between $50,000 and $150,000, which is solely funded through the Michigan State Medical Society at this time. With the added network of the more than 15,000 physicians the society brings to the partnership, QMC will be able to identify and support products or services with high likelihoods of success, according to the venture fund’s website.

Louagie said the alliance with Common Wealth Enterprises also adds a unique value and opportunity by providing management and support to the entrepreneurial companies. The consulting firm focuses on activities including: early investment and portfolio management; organizational design, development and creation; and entrepreneur education, advocacy and outreach.

Tom Stewart, managing partner at Common Wealth Enterprises, said QMC will actively seek out companies interested in launching a company in the medical technology sector, in addition to interested individuals seeking out the fund.

“We will be actively sourcing and going to events. Ben and I both have been to Start Garden in November just to see what is out there,” said Stewart, in reference to the Grand Rapids-based venture capital fund. “I am sure some of the sourcing process will also be seeking out entrepreneurs as we continue to build our network around this specific initiative.”

During the process of selecting potential businesses to invest, QMC analyzes functionality of the company using nine core factors: strategy and planning; accounting and finance; human resources; business law; operations management and logistics; branding and identity management; strategic communications; product and customer development; and organizational leadership.

Based on the needs identified, QMC will assist the company in defining its market, improving its operations, and accelerating its growth in the medical technology industry, according to the venture fund’s website.

The medical device sector has been identified as a growth industry for Michigan, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

West Michigan has more than $1 billion in investments and expansions, and more than $2 billion in life sciences research and development each year, and as a region it has the highest concentration of medical device manufacturers in the state, according to The Right Place. The West Michigan region also is ranked as the fourth-largest collection of medical device suppliers in the Midwest.

Although headquartered in Lansing, Louagie said the venture fund will service entrepreneurs statewide.

“The main criteria we are looking for is Michigan-based opportunities and opportunities that will relocate to Michigan,” said Louagie.

At this point, QMC has a couple of potential candidates in the pipeline but has not made an official investment.

“This is our official launch … so I don’t want to make any promises that we have our first investment, because we don’t,” said Stewart. “Before we make any kind of decisions, we really want to see what is out there and make sure we are making the right deal.”

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