Skip to content

Vena Medical: Shaping the Future of Neurosurgery with Innovation and Ambition

Vena Medical redefines neurosurgery with the Vena Balloon Distal Access Catheter™️, merging two crucial functions into one, enhancing precision and simplifying procedures.

• Graduates Michael Phillips and Phillip Cooper transition from a capstone project to Vena Medical, propelling innovation in neurosurgery and earning global recognition.

• Vena Medical's journey is marked by accolades, including a top 3 Innovator of the Year finalist, pre-clinical study success, and participation in esteemed programs.


Medical technology is ever-evolving. Vena Medical is a startup that stands out. They are driven by a mission to transform the way physicians approach minimally invasive neurosurgery.

The journey of this remarkable startup, founded by University of Waterloo Mechanical Engineering graduates Michael Phillips and Phillip Cooper, is nothing short of inspiring.

Vena Medical's Breakthrough

The Vena Balloon Distal Access Catheter™️ is revolutionizing neurovascular intervention. The fusion of a distal access catheter and a balloon guide catheter into a single device is a game-changer.

Imagine having the power of both functionalities integrated into one tool, simplifying procedures and enhancing precision.

From conception to recognition

What started as a capstone design project at the University of Waterloo has blossomed into a full-fledged venture with global recognition.

Michael and Phil, both with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering, laid the foundation for Vena Medical during their undergraduate years.

The transition from an academic project to a full-time pursuit was swift, fueled by their passion for pushing boundaries.

A journey marked by achievements

The Vena Balloon Distal Access Catheter™️ has not only garnered attention in academic circles but has also left its mark on prestigious platforms. The pre-clinical results published in the Journal of Neuro-Interventional Surgery, showcase the efficacy of this groundbreaking technology.

Being presented at the World Live Neurovascular Conference and securing a spot as a top 3 finalist for Innovator of the Year by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons underscore the impact of Vena Medical's work.

The dynamic duo: Michael and Phil

The driving force behind Vena Medical, Michael Phillips and Phillip Cooper, share a journey that epitomizes entrepreneurial spirit. Their commitment to innovation led them to develop the world's smallest camera, a tool that allows physicians to peer inside veins and arteries, revolutionizing stroke treatment.

They have transitioned seamlessly from academia to entrepreneurship, with their venture being a participant in the Velocity startup program.

Shaping the future of neurosurgery

Vena Medical's suite of tools goes beyond the Balloon Distal Access Catheter™️. The world's smallest camera, a marvel in itself, is instrumental in providing physicians with unprecedented visibility during neurosurgical procedures.

The significance of this innovation is underscored by the pre-clinical trials published in the American Journal of NeuroRadiology and the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Awards and recognitions

Vena Medical's impactful journey is studded with awards and program participation. From being the inaugural resident of the Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX) to winning the Engineer of the Future Trust and the Palihapitiya Venture Creation Fund at the University of Waterloo, the startup has consistently proven its mettle.

The recognition from prestigious programs like AC Jumpstart, Queens Entrepreneurs Competition, TMCx, Y Combinator W18, and OBIO CAAP further solidifies Vena Medical's position as a trailblazer in the medical technology realm.

Vision for a healthier tomorrow

At its core, Vena Medical is driven by a profound vision—to democratize the starting and scaling of biotech companies. The goal is not just to create innovative tools but to contribute to a healthier, disease-free world.

This vision aligns seamlessly with the startup's commitment to tackling biotech R&D challenges through impactful solutions.

The future beckons

As Vena Medical continues its journey towards full commercialization, having achieved ISO 13485 and MDSAP certification, the future looks promising.

With the Health Canada Medical Device License in hand, the startup is poised to make a significant impact on the $1 billion stroke treatment market in the United States alone.

Vena Medical is, indeed, shaping the future of neurosurgery—one technology at a time.


Edited by Shruti Thapa

Latest