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

    • Indiana's Regrettable Struggle to Pass Hate Crime Legislation

      It shouldn’t be this hard. The Senate’s Public Policy Committee voted 9-1 in favor of SB-12 this week, a bill that would have codified (as written) hate crime bias to include protections for race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, and age. SB-12 then made its way to the full Senate. Preceded by a lengthy deliberation by the Senate’s Republican caucus, the Senate voted 33-16 in favor of a watered-down...

    More

Subscribe

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

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Scotty McCreery will perform at Elkhart’s Lerner Theater on Idea Week’s Elkhart Day.

      Country Singer Joins Idea Week Line Up

      The University of Notre Dame has announced a new act joining this year's Idea Week innovation festival. The award-winning country singer got his start by winning “American Idol” in 2011. 

    • Indiana's Regrettable Struggle to Pass Hate Crime Legislation

      It shouldn’t be this hard. The Senate’s Public Policy Committee voted 9-1 in favor of SB-12 this week, a bill that would have codified (as written) hate crime bias to include protections for race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, and age. SB-12 then made its way to the full Senate. Preceded by a lengthy deliberation by the Senate’s Republican caucus, the Senate voted 33-16 in favor of a watered-down...

    • New Leader Aims to Expose International School's Assets

      The new head of school at the International School of Indiana says she wants to build on 25 years of growth. Elizabeth Head, who became the school’s first female leader last month, says the school’s reputation for contributing to the workforce and attracting talent from around the world excited her about the job. She says the ISI is the only school of its kind not just in Indiana, but throughout the Midwest. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick...

    • Indiana is one of five states without a specific hate crimes law.

      Senate Passes Amended Hate Crimes Bill

      The Indiana Senate has passed a hate crimes bill, which includes a controversial amendment approved Wednesday in committee. The bill, which no longer includes a list of targeted groups, was approved by a vote of 39-10. The bill now includes a line stating criminal sentences can be lengthened for reasons "including bias."

    • Indiana Rural School Clinic Network Expands to Pekin

      East Washington School Corp. has announced that East Washington Elementary School is now a participant in the Indiana Rural School Clinic Network. Supported by Ascension/St. Vincent Salem, the school now has a telehealth clinic available to its students and staff.