angelMD Invests in Two Startups from the Johnson & Johnson QuickFire Challenge

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Medical device startup winners to receive up to $300,000 each for future growth

Today, angelMD, the world’s largest network of healthcare startups, announced investments in LifeSprout and Intelligent Implants, two promising startups identified through angelMD’s collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation on the “QuickFire Challenge” competition.

In conjunction with the upcoming grand opening of Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center in Houston (CDI @ TMC), Johnson & Johnson Innovation launched the CDI @ TMC QuickFire Challenge with angelMD to challenge startups to develop early-stage medical device innovations. The CDI @ TMC is the second Johnson & Johnson Innovation facility in Houston, joining the already established JLABS @ TMC.

“Identifying the best science and technology in healthcare is one of our goals at Johnson & Johnson Innovation,” said Tom Luby, head of Johnson & Johnson’ Innovation’s startup accelerator in Houston, JLABS @ TMC. “Joining with partners like angelMD in startup challenges, we hope to find early-stage companies creating new innovations in healthcare, and we will work with these startups to further support their development.”

As part of the collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the angelMD Catalyst Fund will make a $50,000 investment each in LifeSprout and Intelligent Implants. In addition, angelMD will feature the two startups on its investment platform for angelMD members to invest an additional $250,000 or more in each company. The investments were officially announced by Charlie Emley, Catalyst Fund Managing Partner, at the 2017 MedTech Conference in San Jose, California.

“As the largest network of healthcare startups in the world, we see first-hand the innovation taking place among startups working to create better healthcare outcomes,” said Tobin Arthur, co-founder and chief executive officer for angelMD. “We are honored to partner with Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s JLABS facility to help identify some of the most promising medical device startups, and we are excited to invest in LifeSprout and Intelligent Implants.”

LifeSprout is a startup formed by Russell Martin, Hai-Quan Mao, Justin Sacks, and Dr. Sashank Reddy. Together, this group of engineers, scientists, and clinicians from Johns Hopkins University developed an innovative soft tissue replacement alternative. This synthetic alternative can be used to replace soft tissue lost as a result of various cancers or traumatic incidents.

Intelligent Implants is a startup founded by John Zellmer, Erik Zellmer, Juan Pardo, and Rory Murphy. The team worked to harness the latest advances in electro-therapeutics to speed up, control and monitor bone growth. The Intelligent Implants system is known as “SmartFuse” and represents a novel method of delivering electric current to support the process of bone fusion. With SmartFuse, they can stimulate more where they want bone growth, and stimulate less where it’s not needed.

“LifeSprout and Intelligent Implants represent some of the most innovative thinking in healthcare today, and we are excited to invest in these companies’ futures,” added Arthur. “angelMD will continue to help spur innovation in healthcare by being a partner to ground-breaking startups such as these.”

In addition to the CDI @ TMC QuickFire Challenge, angelMD plans to host another startup competition at its upcoming Alpha Conference. More information about the Alpha Conference can be found at:

About angelMD
angelMD is an investment platform and marketplace connecting innovative medical startups, physicians, investors and industry partners. Leading physicians from all over the US have joined the angelMD Scientific Advisory Board and Leaders Club to help source, evaluate and advise companies in biotechnology, medical device and healthcare technology. For more information, visit

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Kent Sholars
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