Aug 12, 2016 • 23M

#454: When Boundless Optimism Meets Medtech Anything Seems Possible

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Some of the world's great changemakers join host Devin Thorpe to share leadership lessons you can use to increase your impact.
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Never miss another interview! Join Devin here: Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: or on Stitcher by clicking here: ------------------------ Howard Leonhardt is the co-inventor of the TALENT stent acquired by Medtronic MDT +0.58% and used to treat over 200,000 patients. With boundless optimism, 20 patents issued and more pending, he has launched Leonhardt Ventures to form and incubate dozens of companies intended to collectively extend human life expectancy by 30 years. [While I have no business relationship with Leonhardt at present, he has invited me to join his advisory board.] Most of the technologies in the portfolio are at the intersection of electrical stimulation and stem cells. Jeremy Koff, an entrepreneur with a deep background in medical devices himself has signed on as an advisor to Leonhardt’s California Stock Exchange, an early stage effort at creating a stock market for socially conscious companies. Koff calls Leonhardt’s work “pioneering.” The two became acquainted over the music scene Koff helped to create, but bonded over medical devices when Koff learned that Leonhardt was inspired for the former’s uncle Alfred Mann, a giant in the medical device industry. Koff notes that Leonhardt is “combining two approaches that haven’t been combined before.” He adds, “Using electrical stimulation with stem cells is quite a novel approach.” When I asked what Leonhard would ultimately need to do to be successful, Koff harked back to his uncle, explaining that Mann needed twenty years and $100 million to develop Second Sight, which won approval for the first artificial retina in 2013. In other words, Leonhardt needs time and money to bring his advanced technologies to market. Leonhardt’s business model is to build small companies until they are commercially viable and then to sell them to strategic buyers. He’s hoping to reprise his success with the TALENT Stent over and over again, each time retaining a small piece of future revenues. ------------------------ Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: Need a corporate social responsibility speaker? Learn more about Devin Thorpe at