The Knowledge Hub of IMD
Share
FacebookFacebook icon TwitterTwitter icon LinkedInLinkedIn icon Email
AccuPulse Medical

Career path

How a Chinese MedTech venturer hopes to leapfrog US giants

Published 12 August 2022 in Career path • 5 min read

Jay Yin’s year at IMD proved a turning point in his career – setting him on course to become CEO of one of China’s most ambitious healthcare startups.

 

“What I’m doing with my company is arbitrage in talent,” says Jay Yin, MBA 2006 and founder and CEO of AccuPulse Medical, a China-based startup that just 20 months into its life is already well-positioned to be a world leader in cardiac electrophysiology.

“Our innovation is to do the opposite of what most companies do. Traditionally, US and European MNCs have built R&D centers in China to leverage the cheap talent there. I see things differently. I’m setting up an R&D center and hiring talent in the US to create innovation and send it to China.”

Yin’s goal is to be the first to develop a new way of treating heart arrhythmia, a disease which in various forms affects more than 30 million people in China. “We’re focusing on a next-generation technology called pulse-field ablation that uses a catheter with electrodes attached that can stop [heart] arrhythmia in just milliseconds,” says Yin.

“My company is going to build first-class products by leveraging global talent to develop and sell in China in the first place, then expand to Europe and the US,” he says.

Headquartered in Suzhou, one of the leading cities of east China’s Yangtze Delta region, the company has already raised US$22 million, first from an initial seed round of US$8 million, followed in May this year with a series-A round of US$14 million, part of which is being spent on developing the company’s second R&D center at Ogden, Utah, in the US.

taiyuan
Twin Pagodas are one of the main landmarks in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China and are a symbol of the city.

Swiss rethink

Yin was born in the industrial city of Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi, China’s leading coal-producing province, in 1975. After graduating with a degree in international business from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in the mid-1990s, he spent the first decade of his career in China, first working in sales and marketing across a range of industries – computer gaming, e-commerce and cosmetics – and then with four years as a product manager at International Flavors and Fragrances.

In 2006, aged 30, looking for a change of direction, he signed up for an MBA at IMD. High on his agenda when he arrived was figuring out his next career step. “When I went to IMD, I was puzzled about where I should go afterwards,” he says. “Which industry should I choose? Which function should I do? What was my passion for the future and for my career?”

One of his key professors at IMD was Benoît Leleux, leader of the school’s entrepreneurship class. “In that class, I really started to get interested in venture capital, innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Yin. “After graduating, in my career search I was looking for the industry where I could have the opportunity to do entrepreneurship or to be a venture capitalist.”

The industry he chose was medical devices. “This is an industry that both has a lot of innovation, and also is not very structured. Unlike the fragrance and flavors industry, in which only three big companies control the entire industry, in the medical device industry, every year the landscape changes, so it also offered a possibility for me of a future in entrepreneurship.”

After graduating from IMD, Yin moved to the US to spend three years in Miami handling global product management for the cardiology arm of Cordis, before moving back to China with Biosense Webster, a Johnson & Johnson-owned business that dominates the production of electrophysiological equipment used in treating heart rhythm disorders.

A year and a half after returning to China, Yin briefly jumped ship to GE, spending ten months there before joining Shanghai-headquartered MicroPort Medical, one of China’s leading medical device makers. His knowledge of the US helped him oversee the $290-million acquisition of OrthoRecon, the orthopedics arm of the US’s Wright Medical – then the largest purchase by a Chinese company of an American medical device business.

That deal helped open the way to a move into venture capital. His first stop was Qiming Venture Partners, the leading source of venture funding for China’s healthcare industry, where over five years he oversaw investments into 12 businesses, five of which are now listed in either Shanghai or Hong Kong. It was followed by a spell at YuanBio Venture Capital, another specialist healthcare investment firm, where he invested in 30 businesses, two of which are now listed in Hong Kong.

No other company can do this right now. But I think by 2025 we’re going to have our 3D mapping system and catheter launched in China.
- Jay Yin

Entrepreneurial device

The final leap to entrepreneurship came in November 2020, and the launch of AccuPulse. The niche that caught his attention was atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heartrate. “Today, there’s no effective drug to treat this disease,” says Yin. “But I noticed there was a new technology innovation called pulsed-field ablation. Big companies like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic were looking at it, but it was something I thought a startup could also do.”

AccuPulse’s goal is a control system and catheter that can be guided to exactly the right place in a patient’s body to where it’s needed in the heart, shortening operation times and improving safety and success rates. “No other company can do this right now. But I think by 2025 we’re going to have our 3D mapping system and catheter launched in China. Then, by 2026, we hope to launch in Europe and the US as well,” says Yin.

“It’s a very new technology. Medtronic, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson are all competing with us in this technology,” he says. But with the support of R&D talent working in the US as well as China, he is confident his company can be the first to market with a better product.

Looking to the future, Yin concedes that the times are more difficult than when he took his MBA: “Today, the world is becoming more competitive, less globalized than before. There will be turbulence, but turbulence will not be the end of the world.”

Yet his belief in the forces which have driven his career remains as strong as ever. “Previously, I was a venture capitalist, and venture capitalists are always more positive than pessimistic. I’m still a strong believer in globalization, and I’m also a strong believer in the renaissance of China. I think there will be a lot of opportunities for my company.”

Expert

Jay Yin

Jay Yin

Founder and CEO of AccuPulse Medical Inc

Yin is the founder and CEO of AccuPulse Medical Inc. Prior to starting his own company he was a partner at YuanBio Ventures and Guohe Life Science Ventures. He also worked as a director at various Life Science and Healthcare companies. He holds a Bsc in International Business from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and completed his MBA at IMD in 2006.

Related

DataRobot

Enabling organizations to be AI driven

26 August 2022 in Career path

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having an ever-growing impact on the global economy. AI Success Director at leading AI platform, DataRobot, and IMD alumni Alberto Martinez Camus is helping companies ensure that the...

Learn Brain Circuits

Join us for daily exercises focusing on issues from team building to developing an actionable sustainability plan to personal development. Go on - they only take five minutes.
 
Read more 

Explore Leadership

What makes a great leader? Do you need charisma? How do you inspire your team? Our experts offer actionable insights through first-person narratives, behind-the-scenes interviews and The Help Desk.
 
Read more

Join Membership

Log in here to join in the conversation with the I by IMD community. Your subscription grants you access to the quarterly magazine plus daily articles, videos, podcasts and learning exercises.
 
Sign up

You have 5 of 5 articles left to read.