TNInvestcos form device company

Start-up getting $4M to develop promising technologies

Two Nashville TNInvestcos have partnered to create and fund a new company focused on developing early-stage medical devices.

TriStar Technology Fund and Limestone Fund this morning announced the formation of Device Innovation Group. The business, based in Nashville, is looking to develop medical devices that fulfill unmet clinical needs and underserved markets.

In partnership with medical device firm MDI Partners, Device Innovation Group will source new device innovations from universities and health care providers, then quickly move those devices through the regulatory approval process with the goal of spinning out a commercially ready device into its own company or growing it within Device Innovation Group, said TriStar Partner Brian Laden.

“We’re looking at, over the course of probably two to three years, investing in probably four to five different devices,” Laden told NashvillePost.com. “This company came together with an existing robust pipeline of device innovations.”

To get started, TriStar and Limestone have provided Device Innovation Group’s seed funding. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company recently raised $4 million in equity. Laden said both TNInvestcos have committed to $2 million, though the company may take on additional investors, as well.

Leading the business to start is Josh Nickolas, who is VP of business development and Device Innovation Group’s first employee. Nickolas previously worked as chief technology officer and VP of research and development for Nashville-based Insight Genetics and managed the sports medicine R&D program at BioMimetic Therapeutics.

The TNInvestco program was created by the state of Tennessee to foster early-stage companies with the potential to create jobs and attract additional capital to the state and help grow its economy. One of the goals, Laden said, was to diversify the state’ economy to create “clusters” of business innovation — he hopes to create a device cluster

The partnership with MDI, Laden says, gives Device Innovation Group the expertise necessary to build a medical device footprint in Nashville. TriStar is familiar with MDI from investing in the company’s spider vein technology business, VenX Medical.

“We believe that bringing together this team of experienced investors, entrepreneurs and medical device professionals will prove to be a successful venture for not only our three groups, but for the medical device industry as a whole,” said Navroze Mehta, Managing Director of MDI.