Jay W. Schmelter

Jay W. Schmelter, Managing Director

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Jay Schmelter is a managing director and co-founder of RiverVest. His focus is investing in the medical device sector. Drawing on his combination of operating, investment banking and venture capital experience, Jay works closely with entrepreneurs as a sounding board and mentor. Before co-founding RiverVest, Jay was with Crescendo Ventures, a global venture capital fund, where he led investments for the firm’s life science division. At Crescendo, Jay was involved with several portfolio companies and founded TissueLink Medical, now known as Salient Surgical Technologies, Inc.


“It is very satisfying to be able to help medical device companies develop products and introduce them to the marketplace knowing that these technologies improve the lives of thousands of people.”


Prior to his transition to venture capital, Jay worked as a medical device research analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., where he focused on cardiovascular-related medical device stocks. He was also a marketing executive for Medtronic, Inc., where he was responsible for two successful product launches and the marketing activities of two of Medtronic’s U.S. cardiac surgery-related businesses.

Jay is a director of IDev Technologies, Inc., Tryton Medical Inc., and Accumetrics, Inc. He is a former director of Velocimed, LLC, which was acquired by St. Jude Medical, and Lutonix, Inc., acquired by C.R. Bard Inc., and former chairman of Salient Surgical, Inc., which was acquired by Medtronic, Inc.

Jay received his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and his B.A. in accounting from Michigan State University.


“Jay is someone I trust absolutely and completely. I know I can talk to him about anything and get his unvarnished opinion. Our interests are aligned. While I’m in the thick of it, I find it valuable to get Jay’s perspective from the outside looking in. He is a tremendous asset as we work to build the best company in this space.”Joe Army, President and CEO of Salient Surgical Technologies, Inc.

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