Karen Spilizewski is a Managing Director at RiverVest Venture Partners, where she focuses on identifying early-stage medical device technologies, conducting due diligence, and supporting the firm’s portfolio company CEOs to accelerate their products through development and into the marketplace.

As a biomedical engineer by training, I am fascinated by cutting-edge medical technologies. It is incredibly rewarding, both professionally and personally, to help accelerate life science technologies through development and into the marketplace, where they can truly help people.




Karen Spilizewski joined RiverVest in 2008 as a Vice President managing the Cleveland office, where she split her time between RiverVest and BioEnterprise, a Cleveland-based venture accelerator, until 2020. She was promoted to Managing Director in 2023. Karen’s strong ties to academic, clinical, and innovation communities help the firm identify and evaluate emerging technologies in the early-stage life science opportunity landscape. Her extensive background in the medical device sector, coupled with a penchant for mentorship, makes Karen an invaluable resource to portfolio company CEOs as they accelerate their products through development and into the marketplace. 


Karen serves on the board of VentureMed Group and is a former director of Securus Medical Group (acquired by Boston Scientific Corporation) and Standard Bariatrics (acquired by Teleflex Incorporated), as well as a former observer at Neuros Medical.


At BioEnterprise, Karen served as vice president and directed business development for medical device and equipment companies, working to identify, assess, and accelerate the growth of emerging medical device companies that originate from universities, clinical research, local entrepreneurs, or companies relocating to Ohio. Prior to joining BioEnterprise, Karen gained significant medical device industry experience at Avery Dennison Corporation, where she spent 19 years in research and business development.


Karen earned an M.B.A., an M.S. in Macromolecular Science and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.


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