Orange County’s Medical Device Industry Leads Tech and Life Science Firms, Raising Nearly $1.0 billion in 2019

03/11/20 | 5 MIN READ

The medical device industry in OC is growing and shows no signs of slowing down.

The medical device industry is an essential health care industry that creates all different kinds of medical devices that are used in health care settings. The myriad of different devices that are created by companies in this industry include everything from surgical gloves to imaging equipment. The industry is also responsible for developing technological advancements for all of the medical equipment and devices that are used in hospitals and nursing homes. The main goal that the companies in this industry have is to improve the ability for medical professionals to diagnose and treat illness.

The medical device sector is a highly important one that is supported by a relatively small number of companies compared to other types of industries. These companies, however, are responsible for many of the substantial changes that occur in the health care industry.

assorted-color syringes on clear glass rack

This sector is a leading one in Orange County thanks in large part to companies such as:

Axonics Modulation $127 million
Laboratory for Advanced Medicine $86 million
Swift Health Systems $45 million

These funding totals are solely for 2019. Some of the additional significant investment rounds include:

Anduril (AI) $127 million
Acorns (Fintech) $105 million
Restaurant365 (Software) $88 million

The medical device industry in Orange County is an ever-growing one that shows no signs of slowing down, which is discussed further in the following article.

California is No. 1 in Medical Device Industry

California Av signage on traffic light post

California is considered to be number one in the medical device industry and has experienced significant growth since 2015. Even though doing business in California comes with a relatively steep cost compared to some states, CA continues to be the leader in the medical device industry compared to all other states throughout the country. In 2019, the number of medical device employees in the state was just over 72,000, which is considerably higher than the 30,000 employees in Minnesota. During the same year, just under $1.25 billion of venture capital investments were made to medical device companies, which helped to foster additional growth in the industry.

In 2017, California accounted for nearly 25 percent of all medical device industry revenue across the U.S. There are many different medical device firms that play a sizable role in the industry. For instance, Green Hills Software is a successful medical device company in Santa Barbara that provides products that are able to quicken the pace of medical device development. Freudenberg Medical designs and manufacturers advanced medical devices that range from handheld technology to minimally invasive catheters.

Edward Lifesciences

edwards lifesciences logo

You can also look to Edwards Lifesciences as a leader in the medical device industry. Based out of Irvine, CA, they deliver innovative technologies for catheters, pressure monitoring, and surgical heart valves. Along with California as a whole, the medical device industry in Orange County is also booming. In 2016, more than 23,000 employees worked in Orange County, which is higher than the majority of states across the U.S. The medical device firms in Orange County raised nearly $1 billion in funding in 2019 alone.

The Future of the Medical Device Industry

doctors doing surgery inside emergency room

The future of the medical device industry is a bright one. As the medical device capital of the world, many of the future advancements that will be made in this industry will likely occur in Orange County and nearby locations throughout California. Recent improvements in 3D printing, robotic surgery, AI technology, virtual reality, and digital healthcare services have provided medical device companies with advanced technology that can power the next decade of innovation.

Technology improves on an almost daily basis, which is why the medical device industry has become increasingly important in recent years. If you want to be at the forefront of innovation in the healthcare industry, you might want to consider building a startup in this industry. The medical devices that are created by the top companies in this industry are able to enhance the diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care for billions of individuals across the world.

Whether you would like to work on improving the care of diabetes or are more interested in cardiovascular care, the medical devices industry is a large and welcoming one that always has room for startups that want to innovate.

University Lab Partners Contribution to the Medical Device Industry and Orange County's Business Environment

ULP logo

University Lab Partners has provided significant contributions to the medical device industry as well as the greater business environment in Orange County. The ULP wet-lab incubator had its  grand opening  on February 27. Along with the various speakers who introduced the wet-lab incubator, a panel discussion was held with many experts in the medical devices industry. Moderated by Ken Beall, this discussion centered around "Innovation in the Medical Device Space". Afterwards, attendees were able to network with each other while taking a tour of the facilities.

University Lab Partners is focused on being the center of innovation for the medical devices industry in Orange County. They aim to provide startups with knowledge, education, learning, and extensive resources that can help them grow their company and become leaders in the medical device industry. The space at the wet-lab incubator is also meant to provide an area where young startups and entrepreneurs can connect with a network of industry professionals.

ULP is highly beneficial to the surrounding business community and the medical devices industry because it provides startups with everything they require to develop their business at an economic and affordable cost. Without having access to this wet-lab incubator, many of these startups would likely need to purchase their own equipment and space, which is something that the majority of new startups are unable to afford. Entrepreneurs and startups that become members of this wet-lab incubator gain access to 17,000 square feet of space, which includes lab space and office space.

Members of ULP will also have easy access to UC Irvine as well as The Vine, the latter of which is an entrepreneurial ecosystem that's located within the UCI Research Park. Once you join ULP, you'll notice that there are numerous events hosted in and around University Lab Partners on a regular basis, which give you the opportunity to learn more about the industry you work in while also getting a chance to network with like-minded professionals.

If you're attempting to grow a medical device company but don't have the resources that are needed to do so without assistance, University Lab Partners may be the right place for you to be. ULP can also grow significantly in the future. Now that the grand opening has taken place, members of the incubator will have the opportunity to shape improvements that are made to the offerings available at ULP. These improvements can include everything from additional space to more advanced equipment and technology.

Apply for Membership at University Lab Partners

woman wearing white lab coat holding brown bottle and glass tube

Whether you have just recently formed a medtech startup or are in the process of developing a product that you would like to bring to the market in the coming months, University Lab Partners can provide you with the space and resources that you require to accomplish your business goals.

You should apply for membership at this wet-lab incubator because it offers expansive facilities that you can use for practically anything that your company is working on. Even if you're only in the research phase of product development, you can obtain office space via a cubicle or private office.

If you're in the middle of product development, you can apply for a private bench that accommodates 1-2 people or a private lab suite that's suitable for a team of 4-6 members. No matter what your needs are, you should be able to get all of the assistance that you require when you become a member at University Lab Partners.


If you use the lab space that's found in this incubator, the equipment that you'll gain access to includes:

  • A tissue culture lab
  • A freezer farm
  • Fume hoods
  • Spectroscopy equipment
  • Prototyping/testing equipment

The shared amenities available to all members extend to:

  • Conference rooms
  • Break rooms
  • Recreation facilities
  • Workout facilities
  • Onsite dining

If you would like to get in touch with University Lab Partners to learn more about the resources available to your startup, you can call them at (949) 732-4290 or submit a query at this link. Once you submit your question, you should receive a quick response. In the event that you're interested in applying for membership, you can do so at this link.

When you have filled out the simple application, you may eventually be asked to participate in an extra level of screening via an interview. If your application is accepted, you will be informed of its status, after which you will have 30 days to confirm or deny the offer. If you confirm, all that's left for you is to move your startup into your new facilities.

Call University Lab Partners today to get started on this process.


Revised 11/18/2020


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