Too often we define the Medtech sector by the number of dollars raised, IPOs helped or companies sold. But the focus neglects the very foundation of the sector - the People. Join the Medtech Talk Podcast each week to hear from entrepreneurs, investors and executives who spend their days developing the tools that make sick people well and health care more efficient.
Kurt Azarbarzin grew up valuing discipline, hard work and a can-do attitude, and he credits much of his success to continuing to work and live by those principles. Having moved to the United States from Tehran, Iran in late 1970's as a senior in High School, Kurt was fortunate to live with an American family who knew his own family well. He enjoyed math and science, so he studied manufacturing engineering in college and had his first exposure to the medical device industry from a professor who was then consulting at U.S. Surgical. This professor helped Kurt obtain a part-time job there, and although he was not initially interested in medtech, Kurt quickly became fascinated with surgery as he worked with surgeons in the OR. He learned that if he truly aimed to help the surgeons achieve better outcomes, and not just pitch them products, then a mutually beneficial partnership could develop. After 21 years at U.S. Surgical, the company was acquired by Tyco, and Kurt decided to continue his passion for innovation by first becoming a consultant and then an entrepreneur. In this interview with host Geoff Pardo, Kurt shares how his family values and early learnings at U.S. Surgical helped shape his success as a founder and leader, including starting and exiting SurgiQuest, leading Verb Surgical, and now overseeing ColubrisMX Robotics. Tune in to hear these stories and insights, plus the three most pressing questions you need to be able to answer if you’re considering surgical robotics.
Kurt Azarbarzin is a 39-year medtech industry veteran, having led the development of over 90 new products representing over $910 million of annual sales at companies including U.S. Surgical, Tyco Healthcare (now Medtronic), Spine Wave, Respimetrix, SurgiQuest, Verb Surgical, and J&J. He has experience in surgical, robotic, cardiovascular, interventional, orthopedic and urological markets. Kurt founded SurgiQuest in 2005 and sold it to Conmed, and the company’s lead technology AirSeal became the standard of care for advanced Lap and Robotic Surgery. He then became CEO of Verb Surgical, a Joint Venture between Google and J&J consisting of over 550 employees, that was acquired by J&J in January 2020. After that, Kurt became and is currently the CEO of ColubrisMX Robotics, which is developing the first endoluminal robotic platform in the world, thus truly enabling scarless surgery through existing lumens. Kurt currently lives in Greenwich, CT and is a funding member of the MIS Revolution.