The Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign last night announced a new director with a familiar face – its co-founder Josh Makower, one of the more successful and prolific medtech entrepreneurs.
This represents a homecoming of sorts for Makower, who co-founded the Stanford University center with Paul Yock in 2000. For years he’s also led the ExploraMed medical device incubator at the center. He also recently served in a general partner role at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.
“At this stage in my career, I am thrilled to spend more of my time training the next generation of health technology innovators and working with the Stanford Biodesign team to advance medical innovation at Stanford and around the world,” Makower wrote on a LinkedIn post. “I am also grateful to be able to continue my relationship with NEA, an organization that has been a strong financial partner for the companies I’ve created and invested in over the past 25+ years.”
Makower will remain a special partner at NEA. But the medtech industry leaders are excited at the idea of having him back at the innovator’s work bench.
“Josh Makower taking the reins at Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign is very exciting news,” Paul Grand, CEO of the Medtech Innovator, posted on LinkedIn. “Paul Yock is a legend, and it’s not easy to fill those shoes. Their flagship Biodesign program remains one of the most prolific sources for biomedical innovations and, more importantly, for training the future medtech leaders that our industry needs.”
The appointment follows Makower’s appointment to the National Academy of Engineers in February, an honor given to him and fellow medtech pioneer Dr. John Simpson. Makower was honored for “inventing balloon sinuplasty, and for leading the commercialization of this and multiple other innovations,” according to the NAE.
Makower launched ExploraMed in 1995. According to Makower’s biography, the incubator launched eight companies over the past two decades, including Acclarent, the start-up that developed and commercialized the balloon sinuplasty technology before being acquired by Johnson & Johnson.
Other successful companies that were acquired are EndoMatrix (C.R. Bard in 1997), TransVascular (Medtronic in 2003 and Neotract (acquired by Teleflex in 2017.)
Makower co-founded Stanford’s Biodesign program with Yock, according to Stanford.