Justin Klein and Kirk Nielsen entered venture capital separately 13 years ago, taking roles at two of the top firms in Medtech. Over that time, the two VCs have led investment in more than a dozen Medtech companies that have either gone public or been acquired. Now, the pair have joined forces to create Vensana Capital, a new investor in Medtech. In this episode, you’ll hear why they decided to venture out on their own and where they’ll be investing $225 million in capital from their first fund.
Justin Klein, MD, JD
Justin Klein, MD, JD is a co-founder and Managing Partner at Vensana Capital, a leading venture capital and growth equity firm dedicated to medtech innovation. Justin was previously a partner and leader of the medical technology investing practice at NEA, one of the largest and most active venture capital firms in the world. Justin also worked at the Duke University Health System where his experience included roles in strategy, finance and operations as Duke built one of the nation’s first integrated healthcare delivery systems. Justin currently or previously served on the board of directors of Cartiva (acquired), ChromaCode, CV Ingenuity (acquired), Epix Therapeutics (acquired), FIRE1, Intact Vascular, Metavention, Personal Genome Diagnostics, PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals (IPO), Relievant Medsystems, Senseonics (IPO), Topera (acquired), Ulthera (acquired), Vertiflex (acquired), Vesper Medical, and VytronUS. Justin graduated with an AB in Economics, a BS in Biological Anthropology & Anatomy, and a Minor in Chemistry from Duke University. He also concurrently earned his MD from the Duke University School of Medicine and his JD from Harvard Law School.
Kirk Nielsen is a Managing Partner at Vensana Capital, a venture capital & growth equity investment firm dedicated to partnering with entrepreneurs who seek to transform healthcare with breakthrough innovations in medical technology. Kirk co-founded Vensana in early 2019 as a Managing Director at Versant Ventures, where he led the firm's medtech practice. He joined Versant in 2006 from Medtronic, where he worked in sales & marketing in the company’s Cardiac Rhythm Management division. Previously, he spent time at Fluidigm (a Versant portfolio company) and he also served as a consultant at Bain & Company, where he advised clients in healthcare, private equity, and other industries. Prior to his business career, Kirk was a professional hockey player. At Versant, Kirk led or co-led investments in numerous companies that have successfully exited, including Biotie Therapies, Cameron Health, CardiAQ, Ceterix Orthopaedics, Lutonix, NeuWave Medical, and Sequent Medical, and he remains active with Inari Medical, Metavention, Monteris Medical, Nuvaira, Respicardia, and Veran Medical. Kirk graduated with a BA in Biology from Harvard College, where he won the John P. Reardon award as the school's top scholar-athlete, and he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.
Meet Our Host
A follower and fan of medtech for nearly two decades, Tom Salemi is the former bureau chief, venture capital, at Elsevier Business Intelligence, where he oversaw coverage of venture investments in medtech.