For our LaunchPad Success Series, I spoke with Michael Landreville, COO, LensGen. LensGen® is an ophthalmic medical device company that has developed a biomimetic, Curvature Changing Fluid-Optic Intraocular Lens designed for the treatment of cataracts and presbyopia. LensGen presented at OCTANe's Ophthalmology Technology Summit in 2018 and has raised a total of $42M. LensGen will be presenting at OTS 2019 as the Success Story as part of the LaunchPad Presentation panel.
Here is what they had to say when we sat down to talk about their experience with LaunchPad and OCTANe.
How did you hear about OCTANe & LaunchPad?
We learned about OCTANe and LaunchPad through numerous sources, including but not limited to discussions with potential investors, our corporate legal counsel and former colleagues/contacts affiliated with ophthalmic companies operating in Orange County (OC).
What was your relationship like with the LaunchPad team? How often did you speak and meet with them?
We had frequent interactions with the LaunchPad team, especially in the early phase of the process. Most of the conversations focused on understanding our needs and connecting us with corporate services providers and other resources within the local ecosystem.
We also attended OCTANe events to hear presentations by community business leaders and corporate executives, either in or relevant to our space. The networking events were especially beneficial since we meet and interacted with numerous individuals, some of whom have become valued partners and/or consultants that have contributed to our progress and success.
Tell us more about your first LaunchPad experience.
One of our first experiences end up being extremely beneficial. LensGen was invited, along with other early stage med tech companies to compete for a Johnson & Johnson Science and Technology. At the time, LensGen was in the concept phase with a novel intraocular lens implant for cataract surgery and was seeking capital to build prototypes and testing equipment to validate our technology. LensGen won the competition and was awarded a $240K grant. The proceeds were used to build prototypes and demonstrate technical feasibility, which enabled us to raise our initial seed capital from angel investors. We are very grateful to OCTANe and LaunchPad for facilitating this opportunity, which ended up being an important milestone in the early formation and history of the company.
Were your meetings and panels beneficial? What are two or three key items that you have kept with you after going through the meetings and panels?
Yes, absolutely the meetings and panels provided meaningful and constructive feedback that enabled us to further fine tune and optimize our presentation materials. The panel exchanges gave us an excellent forum to capture valuable insights and feedback from seasoned executives and entrepreneurs. Each time it was like a dress rehearsal to further prep for prime-time meetings with prospective investors, leading venture capital firms and corporate players in the ophthalmic space.
How did your presentation change from start to finish?
From start to finish our presentations evolved from being good to great. In fact, we recently received feedback from two major venture capital firms attending the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference that our presentations were among the best. Thank you, OCTANe, and LaunchPad team!
How did presenting at OTS set you up for success?
Participating in OTS as a presenter gave us a platform to generate broad exposure to a targeted group of potential investors, strategic acquirers and various other stakeholders. By participating in OTS we could effectively reach our target audience and by doing were able to generate greater awareness and interest for our technology and company.
Juvene™ Modular Fluid IOL