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In Spine, a New Kind of Corporate Venturing

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Innovative Spinal Technologies was founded in 2002 by the Texas Back Institute and spine surgeons Stephen Hochschuler, MD and Barton Sachs, MD, to bring together inventors, clinicians, and industry partners to help stakeholders in the spine industry get to rapid proof of principle of early stage intellectual property in spine. Corporate partners provide investment capital and industry expertise. The corporate partnerships take different forms, but generally, partners get the right of first bid for technologies emerging from IST in defined fields of use that don't overlap among partners. IST thus gives companies a foothold in spine that's less risky than an outright acquisition and a broader scope than venture capital investments in selected companies.
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