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Jun 01, 2021

Meet the Member: Kapil Sharma, Leonhardts Launchpads

We sat down with Kapil to learn about the exciting projects Kapil is working on, Leonhardts Launchpads, how The Shop has helped him work, and what he sees Salt Lake City becoming.

Q: Tell me more about the work you do?

Kapil: I work for Leonhardts Launchpads Utah as the Director of Bioengineering and Startup Launches. Leonhardts is a life science startup, headquartered in California with a branch in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our company develops medical devices that use bioelectric stimulation to help better heal organs and damaged tissue. We do this by applying the devices to to different parts of the body, such as heart, eyes, etc.

The first part of my role is helping hone what the company is researching into devices and commercializes those devices into products. I do this by helping the process of prototyping these devices and work together with the manufacturers to build the product.

The second part of my role is assessing the market opportunity, through tasks like facilitating patient studies and getting funding, to try and commercialize our devices and put it into the market.

Q: Has The Shop changed the way you work?

Kapil: Yes, this work environment is definitely my niche for both focusing on work and collaborating with a similar spirited community. The Shop is providing a great balance between the physical coworking of members together and having your own space.

Also, your events are fun! The timing of them is perfect, to be able to close the laptop after a long day of work and head directly to an event is a great way of indirectly instigating work-life balance.

Q:  What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

Kapil: The amount of exposure I get at such a young age and the autonomy that the company provides to be both creative and get the job done. Leonhardts Launchpads lets you be an entrepreneur within their organization, and I’ve experienced a lot of growth having that freedom.

Also, it’s meeting incredibly successful people worldwide. The exposure I get to work with top tier scientists I can both learn from and be collaborative with is extremely rare. It’s a skill set that I can bring to Salt Lake City which I think is an untapped gold mine about to take off in the next few years.

Q: What are some exciting projects you’re working on right now?

Kapil: Our number one startup is called Second Heart Assist. I do a lot of fundraising as well as manage their investments and perform large scale studies.

This device is the world’s most novel heart pump revolutionizing the field of cardiology to better combat heart failure. Typically, heart pumps are a handful of pipes that are assist devices and poke into your heart to help it pump blood and redirect blood flow. It’s a very invasive procedure and often used to prep a patient to keep them alive for a heart transplant.

However, Second Heart Assist’s device is a small cage that is placed between kidneys and heart to improve blood flow in that entire region.  It’s a small device which reduces cost and risk of infection. Instead of prepping a patient to keep them alive, it acts as a second heart, or a second chance at life.

Q: Have you lived in Salt Lake City for awhile or did you move here recently? What do you think is Salt Lake City’s best kept secret?

Kapil: I have lived in Salt Lake City my entire life. I think it’s a secret Silicon Valley no one really knows about. There is an entire culture developing here that is huge in innovation and entrepreneurship, it’s starting to feel like an international hub.

The secret is out on Salt Lake City’s health and innovation scene, and not only does Kapil know it, he is a part of it. He’s a big fan of posting up in our Shop booths, be sure to say hi the next time you see him!