Dr. Sarah Igoe expands Jaunt’s clinical expertise and provides a foundational physician point of view for Jaunt clients. Dr. Igoe will also be leading the growth of the Jaunt Healthcare Leader Network, the firm’s independent clinical advisory committee.
Jaunt is thrilled to welcome Dr. Sarah Igoe to its team as an Associate Consultant. Dr. Igoe brings a wealth of experience and specialized knowledge to the medical device space. She has worked on the buy side as a venture capital investor, which informs both a business- and customer-oriented perspective to diligence for up-and-coming MedTech companies. She is enthusiastic about helping Jaunt clients use scientific rigor and real-world practical research to discover paths to clinical and business success.
Q: Recap your background. What does your clinical experience bring to the Jaunt team?
Dr. Igoe: With a focus on psychiatry and behavioral science during my undergraduate education, I was compelled to enhance the scientific community’s understanding of brain pathologies through bench research after college. I worked with neuropsychiatrists at Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital in investigating gender differences in emotional learning, as well as potential new PTSD treatments for the Department of Defense. After moving on to medical school, studying and rotating through each specialty in depth, I discovered my passion for surgery, specifically orthopedics.
I did my residency training in orthopedic surgery at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. Working with various technologies in the OR, interacting with patients, and navigating hospital bureaucracies all led to my pivot into the business side of medicine, where innovation and evolution begins. I focused on entrepreneurship and investing in healthcare at the MBA program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and went on to work in corporate VC for a large hospital system in Seattle before relocating to Arizona for the exciting opportunity at Jaunt.
My clinical experience allows me to add an end-user perspective to the questions we answer for our clients, offering first-hand knowledge related to the nuances and considerations surrounding how physicians make decisions about their practice. My background lends itself to more rigorous scientific due diligence, which can be key for early stage MedTech companies with innovative technologies that are poised to be paired to the right clinical applications.
Q: You spent time in venture capital. What is the biggest takeaway that you were able to glean that is of value to MedTech executives and entrepreneurs?
Dr. Igoe: The quality and success of a startup’s products or technologies is only a fraction of a VC’s decision to invest in a company. The two main considerations that MedTech executives and entrepreneurs often overlook are the quality of the initial proposal and finding a VC that is the right fit. A clear, concise pitch deck, reliable and easy-to-verify source material, and realistic financial projections can elevate a company with an underdeveloped product. Conversely, too many typos or outlandish revenue predictions can cause a VC to pass on a company, even if it has promising technology.
When it comes to investor-company fit, I encourage founders to do extensive research on the VC’s they seek to engage with – look at their prior deals and see if the check size, investment series, and stage in commercialization roughly match what you are proposing. Asking for too much or too little money or engaging too early or too late in your company’s growth can eliminate a company from consideration before it begins. Find the right investors with the right strategies, then create an impressive presentation to clearly demonstrate and communicate your value.
Q: What are you most passionate about when it comes to medical technology?
Dr. Igoe: Finding the right clinical application for the right technologies! Working at the interface of business and medicine has shown me where disparate incentives can lead to early communication breakdowns between the scientists and engineers who develop the technologies and the investors and executives who sell them.
Particularly in orthopedics, which usually brings in the most – if not among the most – money for hospital systems, I saw countless new technologies being sold to surgeons who had no real need for them. All too often an attempt to shoehorn a product into an inappropriate market leads to improbably large initial promises and companies that flame out early. It is far better – both clinically and financially – to offer something valuable and impactful for a rare or orphan disease than to offer something unnecessary for a common one.
Q: What are you most excited to accomplish with Jaunt?
Dr. Igoe: I love interfacing with entrepreneurs and helping them flesh out the scientific considerations and potential applications of their technologies. I also plan to expand our broad network of physicians like me who can offer in-depth insights and invaluable opinions for our clients and our research. My job is to enrich the group and provide doctors with a place to collaborate with one another while they contribute to innovation in their fields. Our network also has the potential to benefit them personally in their own practices.
As we continue to work with clients on preparing for fundraising, I will be expanding our network of investors as well. Jaunt is a trusted, informed, and well-connected resource for both founders and VC’s, so my goal is to expand that foundation to match the right investment firms with the right startups.