Founded in 2012, Catapult is a full-service medical device development firm, specializing in console-based diagnostic and therapeutic systems, minimally-invasive surgical and diagnostic tools, and an array of portable and handheld medical equipment. The Waltham, Mass.-based company works extensively with startups to enable their core technologies, and with established device manufacturers and academic centers as they accelerate device development projects toward commercialization.
Smithwise was founded in 2009 as Boston Device Development to help innovators struggling with technical, regulatory or manufacturing challenges with their next new product. Its clients include academic hospitals, established medical device manufacturers and venture-backed startups. With offices in Boston and Philadelphia, the company specializes in connected medical devices, wearables and surgical systems for clients whose projects range from proof-of-concept prototypes to high-volume production design and manufacturing transfer.
“I’ve long described us as partner organizations,” said Smithwise founder and president Eric Sugalski in a prepared statement. “We share the same values and mission, we serve the same customers, and we offer complementary strengths to device innovators.”
Though both firms bring mechanical, electrical, and software engineering capabilities, they specialize in different areas, with the Smithwise team skewing toward mechanical engineering and industrial design, while the Catapult team has deeper electrical and software expertise in-house. The firms began discussions last year after realizing that their clients will appreciate being able to directly leverage their combined expertise, according to Catapult president Andy Ziegler.
“Together, we’ll be able to better serve our clients,” Ziegler said. “Instead of regularly bringing the other team in as a subcontractor to supplement existing capabilities, we’ll be able to make immediate decisions on project resourcing and expedite our response for clients. .”
The leaders of both organizations were emphatic about their desire to communicate that this is a partnership of equals.
“We’d like our customers and strategic partners to understand this merger is a meeting of the minds, not a case of one firm being absorbed by the other,” Sugalski said. “We also want them to share our confidence that this relationship is already tried and tested. We’ve worked closely together for years across many different projects. In many ways, we’re acknowledging a reality that’s existed for some time and now we’re formalizing it. There will be some new questions to resolve in the coming months but, overall, we’re simplifying things for ourselves and our customers.”
Both engineers by background, Sugalski will serve the joint enterprise as CEO, while Ziegler fills the COO and CTO roles. The new firm will combine Boston area offices with no staffing changes anticipated for the Boston or Philadelphia teams.
An announcement regarding the joint firm name will be forthcoming.