From an Idea on the Back of a Napkin to an Eventual $240 Million Exit – The Amazing Story of Sapheon


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I’ll be candid. This is an interview I’ve wanted to do for quite some time.

During my time at Covidien, I considered myself fortunate to be involved with the acquisition of Sapheon, a startup company that manufactured a disruptive therapy for venous reflux.

The more I learned about Sapheon through the diligence process (as well as the post-acquisition activities), the more enamored I became with their story. Great idea. Huge market. Really solid execution by people like Don Crawford, Dr. Rod Raabe, Gary McCord, and Monte Madsen. To this day, I still think it’s one of the more unheralded examples of success within medtech.

In this interview with Don Crawford, current President of Analytics 4 Life and former CEO of Sapheon, we learn how they went from an idea on the back of a napkin to a $240 million exit through unconventional financing, disciplined compliance, and much more.

Interview Highlights with Don Crawford

  • How Don and his team at Sapheon celebrated after officially closing the deal with Covidien.
  • How the Sapheon team went from an initial idea on the back of a napkin to an eventual multi-million dollar exit.
  • Don’s methodology for evaluating startup medical device ideas.
  • The unique story of how Sapheon was funded almost completely by private, angel investors.
  • How Sapheon’s disciplined compliance led to regulatory efficiencies.
  • The offshore clinical trial work that allowed Sapheon to expedite their regulatory approvals.
  • The lessons Don learned at Sapheon and how they’re translating to his new company, Analytics 4 Life.
  • The CEO that Don follows, as well as the advice that he would give his 30-year old self.

This Is What You Can Do Next

1) Listen to the interview with Don Crawford right now:

2) You can also download the mp3 file of the interview by clicking here.

Don’t forget – you can listen to this interview and all of the other Medsider interviews via iTunes.  And if you get a chance, leave us an honest rating and review.

About Don Crawford

Medsider Interview with Don Crawford, Former CEO of Sapheon

Don Crawford is the President and CEO of Analytics 4 Life (A4L), a medical information technology company that uses advanced signal processing techniques for the purposes of assessing and diagnosing disease. Prior to his role with A4L, Don was president and CEO of Sapheon, which was acquired by Covidien in 2014. Before Sapheon, Don held various leadership positions with Guidant, Medtronic, DVI, Ventritex, and WebMD. He received a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a MBA degree from Emory University.

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