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Northstar's Second Chance

Executive Summary

For Northstar Neuroscience, which is exploring new approaches for neurostimulation devices, the decision to take the money and run when the device IPO window was open in 2006 has meant the difference between survival or closing up shop. The FDA's recent approval of the company's second study of its Renova cortical stimulation device for the treatment of major depressive disorder is one sign that reports of Northstar's demise may, have been premature. The company's second chance can largely be attributed to the fact that it flew in the face of conventional wisdom that held that it was too early for the company to go public in 2006.

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A New Chapter for Device VCs

This article first appeared in the March 2009 issue of Start-Up. The current economic crisis is hard on everyone, including investors and start-ups. But the news isn't all bad for medical device VCs. Those with capital will find the prices to be right in today's depressed economy. On the flip side, those venture firms without new funds or sufficient reserve capital will get penalized by declining valuations and punitive terms offered up by some new investors in their companies. Medical device companies, meanwhile, face tougher scrutiny from investors. During all this, both VCs and start-ups must answer new questions being posed by regulatory bodies, public investors, corporate acquirers, and potential customers.

A New Chapter for Device VCs

This article first appeared in the March 2009 issue of Start-Up. The current economic crisis is hard on everyone, including investors and start-ups. But the news isn't all bad for medical device VCs. Those with capital will find the prices to be right in today's depressed economy. On the flip side, those venture firms without new funds or sufficient reserve capital will get penalized by declining valuations and punitive terms offered up by some new investors in their companies. Medical device companies, meanwhile, face tougher scrutiny from investors. During all this, both VCs and start-ups must answer new questions being posed by regulatory bodies, public investors, corporate acquirers, and potential customers.

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