Episode 10: Jonathan Rourke, Co-Founder & CEO, MitraSpan

Jonathan (Jon) is co-founder & CEO at MitraSpan —a medical device development company that is exploring minimally invasive mitral valve repair techniques for treating type IIIb functional mitral regurgitation in heart failure patients.

Jon's career in medical devices and cardiology began in 1991 in the ultrasound imaging business at Hewlett-Packard Medical Products (now owned by Philips). He worked on engineering challenges related to manufacturing high-frequency ultrasound transducers for both TTE and TEE devices. In 1995, he led the IVUS catheter program, a joint venture first with Boston Scientific and later Guidant. This business was later spun out to Volcano and then recently acquired back by Philips.

In 1999, Jon moved to the venture-backed startup world where he has remained for now 20 years first as VP of R&D at Endotex where he focused on the development of a carotid stent. He led this program through successful feasibility studies and pivotal study launch. Following that and FDA-PMA approval, Endotex was acquired by BSX. In 2001, Jon joined TransMedics as VP of R&D and lead development efforts through the successful completion of the first full venture round. Transmedics recently filed for an IPO and is a pioneering company focused on the normothermic, sanguineous, functional preservation of organs for transplantation.

Since 2002, Jon has led a succession of development and clinical trial efforts in the structural heart and mitral repair fields. First, at Viacor he served as both VP of R&D and CEO; and later at Harpoon, he helped arrange for the spinout of IP and the securement of initial program funding. Now, at MitraSpan he continues to innovate on potential breakthrough structural techniques.

Prior to the Medtech industry, Jon worked for ten years as a consultant and contract engineer in the automotive industry with a focus on manufacturing processes for cooling components. Jon's academic credentials include B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Worcester Tech and MIT respectively. Learn more.