Investment Firm Aims to ‘Mend’ Healthcare Industry

Posted: Updated:
Mend Medical executive team (left to right): Bryce Isch, Ben Joseph and Seth Nash. Mend Medical executive team (left to right): Bryce Isch, Ben Joseph and Seth Nash.

A unique investment firm in Fort Wayne dedicated to “healing healthcare” is now open for business—with a special focus on northern Indiana. The medical-focused affiliate of Fort Wayne-based philanthropic equity firm Ambassador Enterprises, Mend Medical is searching for its first investment, which will spark its other two goals: funding smaller early-stage companies and launching Mend Labs to incubate new ideas.

Mend Medical President Ben Joseph says Ambassador’s legacy in northeast Indiana will benefit the young firm, as well as its business model of making long-term commitments.

“Mend has to make money—that’s a requirement. But that’s not what solely drives us; it’s bigger than that for us,” says Joseph. “It’s about helping people, helping patients, making a difference—all of those are really important to us, so I think [Ambassador’s] DNA transfers there.”

Joseph says the overarching goal is to “heal the brokenness” in the healthcare industry, but a special focus on orthopedics and musculoskeletal health “makes sense for us.” Warsaw, the “Orthopedic Capital of the World,” is in Mend’s backyard, and Joseph—the firm’s main visionary—has years of experience in the orthopedic sector, as does most of the executive leadership team.

“We started to have conversations [at Ambassador] about the sectors that are important for economic activity and vitality in Indiana, and obviously, orthopedics came up with my background and the proximity to Warsaw,” says Joseph. “That led to us asking, ‘Are there things we can do in this space that could be interesting and profitable?’”

Joseph says Mend prefers to invest in companies in northern Indiana and throughout the state, but is open to other opportunities, regardless of geographic location. Two of Mend’s three partners are Indiana companies: SpeechVive in West Lafayette and Theratome Bio in Indianapolis, both of which were earlier investments made by Ambassador; Mend now manages the investments.

Mend’s first investment will likely aim to accelerate growth in a mature company that is generating revenue and already has regulatory clearances or approvals. Mend plans to also make smaller, targeted investments in startups and early-stage companies and, ultimately, create its own incubator called Mend Labs.

“As [Mend] makes its first acquisition…there are going to be opportunities that develop that [Company A] hasn’t been able to focus on because of capital or bandwidth,” says Joseph. “That’s where Mend Labs might come in and say, ‘We have some capabilities here that could create some technology that is complimentary to what Company A is already doing.’ We get that to proof of concept, and once vetted and validated, we can deploy that into Company A. Then Company B, C and D use Mend Labs as a vehicle to help accelerate value and bring technologies to market quicker.”

Joseph says, although in its infant stages, Mend is generating great interest; the young company believes that affirms its direction and mission.

“We may buy and acquire companies and technology, but we also might incubate our own, if we find areas of healthcare where we’re not seeing meaningful solutions come to market,” says Joseph. “It’s this blend of investment, private equity—along with the Mend Labs environment—I think is really intriguing to people. There’s been a lot of affirmation and encouragement in the market, and we hope that will be a precursor to big things.”

Joseph says Mend has a unique model, which he describes as a “hybrid.”
Joseph says, while the U.S. is blessed to have a great healthcare system, Mend sees an opportunity to make “meaningful change.”
  • Perspectives

    • What Makes Up Quality of Place?

      Economic development is a hot topic these days. With the economy continuing to chug along in robust fashion and unemployment approaching historic lows, communities are refining their objectives and priorities to eek every drop of benefit they can from these financially strong times. Nowhere is this focus greater than with “quality of place,” As cities and states think about how they can distinguish themselves from their peers, a common starting point is developing a...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • Ball State Approves Room And Board Increase

      Ball State University trustees have approved a 1.6 percent room and board increase for the 2018-2019 academic year. President Geoffrey Mearns says the increase keeps the school's costs competitive while allowing it to provide modern residence halls to attract and retain top students. The average cost to live on campus for the 2017-2018 academic year is $10,032, which the school says is about $500 less than average for peer and ins-state institutions.

    • 'Fresh Energy' Keeps Bloomington Indie Music Label Moving

      After more than 20 years, a Bloomington-based music label is continuing with its mission of showcasing the independent music scene locally and globally. Secretly Group, which includes the Secretly Canadian, Dean Oceans, Jagjaguwar and The Numero Group labels, has worked over the years with artists including Grammy-winner Bon Ivar, Major Lazer, Yoko Ono and Dinosaur Jr. It has grown to include the labels, a distribution business and a presence in New York, Chicago, Austin...

    • The Amazon Effect: How Big is The Economic Impact?

      Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, increased his net worth by $6.44 billion dollars just by saying a few words. He announced the company's earnings on October 26, 2017, and Amazon stock jumped 8 percent. How are you impacted by the Amazon Effect?

    • (Image courtesy of Pat McAfee Show 2.0)

      Pat McAfee Leaves Barstool

      Less than a year after announcing its launch, former Indianapolis Colts punter-turned-media personality Pat McAfee has exited Barstool Sports. McAfee helped launch Indianapolis-based affiliate Barstool Heartland with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, but said on his own, independent podcast that he's quitting and has not made plans for his next steps. During the first edition of "The Pat McAfee Show 2.0," McAfee said dealing with the business side...

    • St. Vincent Names Manas Regional President

      Julie Manas has been selected to serve as regional president of the St. Vincent North Region, which includes St. Vincent Anderson, Carmel, Fishers, Kokomo, Mercy, Randolph and Williamsport hospitals. She has more than 30 years of healthcare experience and most recently comes from Hospital Sisters Health System, Western Wisconsin Division, where she held the role of president and chief executive officer.