Donor Spotlight – Hank Plain

by | Dec 3, 2016 | Alliances, Education, Funding, Mentoring

CEO of a successful public medtech company. Co-founder of eight medical device companies. Board member of nine companies that have achieved significant exits. Successful venture capitalist with Lightstone Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures.

Without question, Hank Plain has made a tremendous impact on the medtech industry.

And while pursuing a prolific career in arguably one of the toughest industries, he has also given back to the next generation of innovators.

Since Dr. Tom Fogarty launched the Fogarty Institute in 2007, Plain has been involved on a personal level by mentoring and advising young entrepreneurs and as a generous financial donor supporting the Institute, Lefteroff and Ferolyn funds.

“Both Tracy Lefteroff and Ferolyn Powell were close friends who epitomized what is best in our industry,” said Plain. “Their loss had a tremendous impact on all of us and supporting their legacy has been very important to me.”

Plain enjoys meeting with the startup entrepreneurs, Ferolyn fellows and the Lefteroff interns. “I am always amazed at the creativity of young entrepreneurs and energized by their enthusiasm and focus to help patients through medical device innovation.” Plain often shares his expertise and advice on the industry during the Institute’s informal Lunch-n-Learn sessions.

Plain first met Dr. Tom Fogarty in the early ’90s, when Dr. Fogarty was an advisor to Perclose, Inc., where Plain was president and CEO. Plain eventually led the startup to $100 million in sales, a successful IPO and a $680 million acquisition in 1999 by Abbott Laboratories. And he always looked up to Dr. Fogarty as a close mentor and inspirational figure.

“Tom was the ultimate mentor to so many of us. He taught an entire generation how to serially incubate innovative medical devices. With the Fogarty Institute, he’s established the right framework to support the selection, capital efficient development and mentoring for promising new projects.” he says.

Plain believes the Fogarty Institute provides an unequaled public service in supporting medical device entrepreneurs and helping them shepherd their technologies through research and development to eventually reach the market, despite the dramatic cut backs in available medtech venture capital.

Thanks to the ongoing support of individuals like Plain, the Institute’s internship program is thriving. More than 30 interns have benefitted from the experience of working hand-in-hand with our companies-in-residence to gain a first-hand perspective on what it takes to launch a startup.

Likewise, the Ferolyn Fellowship is off to a strong start with the recent selection of three accomplished first-year candidates who will benefit from this unique mentorship program. The Ferolyn Fund was established by her family and friends to support young entrepreneurs who show strong leadership skills and aptitude to transform the medical technology and healthcare industries.

Working with the Fogarty Institute is a natural fit for Plain, who counts among his proudest career moments the times he has seen his teams achieve success by improving patient care. Most recently, that included work with companies like Twelve, Access Closure, Ardian and Acclarent.

Plain continues to invest in medtech startups with Lightstone Ventures and remains optimistic about the outlook of the industry – thanks, in part, to the role that organizations like the Fogarty Institute play in nurturing the next generation of innovators.

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