Innovation Workshop

General Page Media
"Becoming a Medical Technology Innovator"

Workshop Co-chairs: Paul Iaizzo and William Durfee, University of Minnesota

This fast-paced workshop takes you through the process of early-stage innovation for medical devices. Through lectures from experts, hands-on design activities, and networking you will learn the steps needed to develop a new medical device including understanding and refining needs, creating and testing prototypes, regulatory and reimbursement, and what investors and company managers look for when you pitch your idea.

2024 Agenda

Workshop Welcome and Networking (8:00 am)
Paul Iaizzo & Will Durfee, University of Minnesota

Trends in Device Development (8:30 am)
Will Durfee, University of Minnesota

Identifying Opportunities (9:00 am)
Eric Richardson, Duke University

Testing Your Idea & FDA (9:20 am)
Paul Iaizzo, University of Minnesota

Ethnography and Design Process (10:00 am)
Danny Gelfman, Medtronic

Networking Break (10:20 am)

Sketching and Notebooks (10:40 am)
Paul Iaizzo, University of Minnesota

Innovation Exercise #1 (11:00 am)

Lunch & Networking Break

Protecting Your Intellectual Property Through Patents (12:30 pm)
Will Durfee, University of Minnesota

What You Need to Know About MedTech Reimbursement (1:00 pm)
Edward Black, Edward Black and Associates

How to Fund your Idea (1:20 pm)
Mary MacCarthy, Strategy by Process, LLC

Early Stage Prototyping (1:40 pm)
Carlye Lauff, University of Minnesota

Networking Break (2:00 pm)

Innovation Exercise #2 (2:20 pm)

Corporate View of Med Tech (3:50 pm)
Eric Schantz, Medtronic

Expert Panel (4:10 pm)

Adjourn (5:00 pm)

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Edward Black, Edward Black and Associates

Edward Black - DMD Conference Workshop Speaker

Edward Black, MBA

Edward Black has been active in medical technology consulting for over 15 years advising companies around the world on reimbursement, market access and health economics in the highly complex U.S. market. Prior to consulting, Mr. Black worked for 25 years in medical management and hospital and physician relations within the Blue Cross Blue Shield system and served on two national advisory boards. During this time, he served as the executive director of three managed care business partnerships with large multispecialty clinics for which he was awarded the 1995 Outstanding Contribution to the Healthcare Industry citation by the Medical Alley Association.

Mr. Black has been involved in several global medical technology initiatives and has been a frequent international lecturer in eleven countries including Canada, Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Australia, and Japan. His newest company, Edward Black and Associates, LLC, works with reimbursement and health economics professionals around the world to offer these services in the major markets of the US, Europe, and Asia. He is a co-author on three health economics analyses in major international journals. Mr. Black is a member of the University of Minnesota Business Advisory Group, the U of M Encore Group, and the National University of Ireland-Galway medical technology accelerator.

William Durfee, University of Minnesota

Will Durfee

William Durfee is Professor and Director of Design Education in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, and Director, Bakken Medical Devices Center. His research and professional interests include the design of medical devices, rehabilitation engineering, muscle physiology, wearable robots, product design and design education. Dr. Durfee is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the Editor-in-Chief of the ASME Journal of Medical Devices and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Minnesota.

Danny Gelfman, Medtronic

Danny Gelfman - Workshop Speaker and Session Organizer

Danny Gelfman is Distinguished Designer - Innovation Lab at Medtronic where he directs innovation activities corporate wide, working with teams to create clear product, system and service solutions that address identified user needs. Before Medtronic he was an industrial designer with redgroup. He received his BSID in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati.

Paul Iaizzo, University of Minnesota

Paul Iaizzo, University of Minnesota

Paul A. Iaizzo, PhD FHRS ([email protected]) is a Professor is the Departments of Surgery, Integrative Biology & Physiology and the Carlson School of Management, at the University of Minnesota. He also serves on the graduate faculties in Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, Integrative Biology & Physiology, Biological Science, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and Mechanical Engineering. He is the Director of the Malignant Hyperthermia Diagnostic Center and Medtronic Professor of Visible Heart® Research. Additionally, he is the Associate Director and Medtronic Chair of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine, also at the University of Minnesota. He earned both MS and PhD degrees (Focus: Physiology/Neurophysiology) from the University of Minnesota. His main research focus is translational systems physiology, where his research group does a broad range of studies. The Visible Heart® Laboratories are well known for their multimodal imaging techniques of functional cardiac anatomies and device testing within large mammalian hearts, including human: see the Atlas of Human Cardiac Anatomy ( Other research areas include: cardiac pacing and ablation, muscle pathophysiology and biophysical properties, thermoregulation, black bear hibernation, 3D computational modeling and printing and educational uses of virtual reality. In 2002, he was acknowledged as a “Distinguished University Teaching Professor”. Since 1990, he has trained over 200 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical students in his laboratories. Dr. Iaizzo, has authored more than 280 original articles, over 100 book chapters, edited 5 books, and is on numerous patents related to medical devices. In 2012, he was named to College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for "outstanding contributions to research and education in translational systems physiology and cardiovascular engineering". In 2015 he was named a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society and in 2016 was made a Senior Fellow of IEEE.

Carlye Lauff, University of Minnesota

Carlye Lauff - 2023 Workshop Speaker

Professor, Product Design

Dr. Carlye Lauff is an Assistant Professor of Product Design at the University of Minnesota. She earned her PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow studying the role of prototypes in companies. Carlye’s research is in the field of Design Theory and Methodology, and she studies how designers engage in the product development process and then improves tools and methods to support them. Carlye works at the intersection of multiple disciplines including engineering, product design, education, management science, and the social sciences. She often draws on qualitative and mixed methods research in her work and collaborates across diverse disciplines. Dr. Lauff has worked with more than 25 global companies, ranging in industries from medical devices to consumer electronics to transportation systems to educational toys to footwear/apparel.

Mary MacCarthy, Strategy by Process, LLC

 Mary MacCarthy - DMD Speaker

Founder and CEOFounder and CEO
Strategy by Process, LLC

Mary E. MacCarthy MBA is CEO/Founder of Strategy by Process consultancy, a new author and co-host of “Patient Innovations” podcast for HealthcareMN. Mary recently earned a certification in Venture Capital from UC Berkeley Law School and coaches lifescience entrepreneurs on raising capital and business planning. Mary was most recently employed at the University of Minnesota Venture Center for six years where she managed the university’s investment program Discovery Capital, coached life science startups, co-produced Walleye Tank, launched and produced Minnesota Ventures, and managed a 485 member volunteer advisory group. She previously worked for Medtronic, 3M, Cardiovascular Systems and launched a CPG startup. Mary serves on the Board of Directors of RoundtableRx, HealthcareMN and other boards. 

Eric Richardson, Duke University

Eric Richardson - 2023 Workshop Speaker

Eric Richardson is Associate Professor of the Practice in Biomedical Engineering and Director of Duke Design Health at Duke University. Dr. Richardson creates and teaches courses in medical device design, and creates interdisciplinary design programs. He is a core faculty member in Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative. Previously, Dr. Richardson was at Rice University where he was founding director of the Global Medical Innovation Masters Program and the co-founder and associate director of the Texas Medical Center Biodesign Program. Before that Dr. Richardson was Principal R&D Engineer at Medtronic.

Eric Schantz, Medtronic

Eric Schantz - DMD Speaker

VP of Corporate Development, Medtronic

Eric Schantz is a Vice President of Corporate Development at Medtronic, and has focused on mergers, acquisitions and other strategic corporate transactions for the past 12 years. Today his primarily focus is in the cardiovascular portfolio, but he has spent time covering most of Medtronic’s operating units. Eric joined Medtronic in 2008 and spent his first 4 years in the Neuromodulation business unit focused on external business development opportunities and licensing transactions. Prior to joining Medtronic, Eric was a sell-side equity research analyst covering medical technology companies.

Eric received an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to business school, Eric spent 2 years designing joint replacements at Centerpulse Orthopedics.