Board of Directors
Brent Ahrens, General Partner / West Coast
Brent joined Canaan in 1999 as a member of the Kauffman Fellows Program and throughout his tenure has lead investments in an array of healthcare companies, with a focus on biopharma and medtech. Brent’s current investments and board seats include device developer and manufacturer Abyrx, reflux device company EndoGastric Solutions, immune-oncology drug developer Grey Wolf Therapeutics, autoimmune disease therapy provider Pathios Therapeutics, device maker for chronic back pain Relievant MedSystems, neurodegenerative disease company, Transposon Therapeutics, and oncology-focused ThirtyFiveBio.
His previous companies include Dexcom (DXCM), Revivant (acquired by ZOLL), Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (acquired by JNJ), Cerexa (acquired by FRX), Calixa (acquired by CBST), AtheroMed (acquired by VOLC); Durata Therapeutics (DRTX, acquired by AGN), Data Sciences International (acquired by HBIO); Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by DNPUF); Spinifex (acquired by NVS) and Unchained Labs (acquired by Carlyle Group).
Prior to joining Canaan, Brent worked in both commercial and technical roles at General Surgical Innovations, Ethicon Endo-Surgery (J&J), and IAP Research. He also has several surgical instrument patents to his credit.
Brent earned an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College after graduating with a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. He serves on the Advisory Board at Tuck and is a Board Trustee at the University of Dayton.
Canaan is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs with visionary ideas. With $5B under management, a diversified fund and over 200 exits to date, Canaan has invested in some of the world’s leading technology and healthcare companies over the past 32 years. Canaan’s focus areas include consumer tech, fintech, enterprise/SaaS, frontier tech, biopharma, digital health and medtech. To learn more about our people and our portfolio, please visit canaan.com.
Skip Baldino, President & Chief Executive Officer, EndoGastric Solutions
Mr. Baldino has over 35 years in the healthcare industry. Just prior to his role at EndoGastric Solutions (EGS), he served four years as President, Americas for Given Imaging-a world leader in GI medical devices, offering healthcare providers a range of innovative options for visualizing, diagnosing and monitoring the digestive system. Covidien completed its acquisition of Given Imaging in February 2014 in an $860 million deal (Medtronic now acquired Covidien). Prior to Given Imaging, he enjoyed a distinguished 26-year career at Abbott Laboratories-a worldwide diversified health care company. While there, Mr. Baldino established an outstanding track record of consistent and high-performing financial and organizational success. His experience encompasses various key customer segments, as well as a wide range of product portfolios, product life-cycles, new product launches, and integrations. As a divisional Vice President, he held key commercial leadership roles in: Diabetes Care, Diagnostics, Medical Products (Corporate), Hospital Products (now known as Hospira), Health Systems, and Specialty Products.
Mr. Baldino graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Philadelphia University.
Mr. Baldino was also the Chairman of the Board of ACell, a regenerative medicine company that was focused on the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of medical devices for wound management and surgical soft tissue repair. He served on ACell’s board from 2015 until their January 2021 sale to Integra Health Sciences valued up to $400 million, including a $300M upfront payment.
Michael Carusi, General Partner, Advanced Technology Ventures
Mike is a General Partner and Team Leader of Lightstone Ventures (LSV) and focuses on investments in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors. He is based in the firm’s Menlo Park, CA office, where he also serves as a General Partner at Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV). His representative investments include Allay Therapeutics, Altura Medical (acquired by Lombard), Ardian (acquired by Medtronic), Cala Health, EndoGastric Solutions, Gynesonics, MediSix Therapeutics, MicroVention (acquired by Terumo), Nuvaira, Plexxikon (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), PowerVision (acquired by Alcon), Second Genome, Shoulder Innovations, Tallac Therapeutics, and Willow.
Featured on the Forbes Midas List of top technology and life science investors, Mike is a recognized thought leader in the industry and a frequent speaker at healthcare conferences. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. In addition, Mike has been heavily involved with several programs at Stanford University including the Stanford Biodesign Program and, more recently, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education (Spectrum). Lastly, Mike served as a Director on the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Board of Directors and remains active in helping to shape policy affecting both innovation and healthcare.
Earlier in his career, Mike served as a Director of Business Development for Inhale Therapeutic Systems (now Nektar Therapeutics, NASDAQ: NKTR), a venture-backed pulmonary drug delivery company that went public in 1994. At Inhale, Mike led partnering activities with a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Mike also was a Principal at The Wilkerson Group, a leading management consulting firm focused exclusively on healthcare. At The Wilkerson Group, Mike helped establish the firm’s offices in London and San Francisco.
M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University
Sector: Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Technology
John Gillings, Vice President, Accelmed
Mr. Gillings joined Accelmed Partners in 2019, bringing more than 10 years of finance and investment analysis experience in HealthTech. Prior to Accelmed, John established and ran the internal Investor Relations function for Apollo Endosurgery and, prior to that, spent roughly nine years in equity research focused solely on the HealthTech space. His research coverage spanned a broad range of disease states and device types and included large multi-national organizations as well as earlier-stage companies with novel technologies. Prior to business school, he spent time in audit, corporate accounting and investment banking. John holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Accounting from the University of Utah and a Masters in Finance from London Business School.
Kunal Paymaster, Principal, SightLine Partners
Mr. Paymaster has 15+ years of healthcare experience. He joined SightLine in 2012 and has been a core part of the investment team, serving as an advisor or board observer at several portfolio companies. Prior to joining SightLine, Kunal spent seven years in various operating roles at Boston Scientific’s Cardiac Rhythm Management business unit.
Alejandro Sanchez, Managing Director, Evidity
Alejandro Sanchez co-founded Evidity Health Capital with Paul Enever in 2014. He has nearly a decade of experience in PE/VC investing and has been advising boards and C-suite executives in the technology sector on commercialization, operations, and strategy for nearly 20 years.
Prior to joining Evidity, Alejandro was a co-founder and partner of Hermes Growth Partners, where he launched its Telecom, Media, and Technology Fund. He is a former partner at McKinsey and Company, where he worked in the telecom, media, and technology sectors across a diverse set of geographies, including the United States, Russia, Poland, Chile, Brazil, and Venezuela.
He serves on the Boards of Directors of bioTheranostics, EndoGastric Solutions, and Tryton Medical, and he is a board observer at Akili Interactive Labs.
Alejandro is a systems engineer with an MS in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University.
Domain expertise: Leadership and talent, board effectiveness, exit readiness.