Medical Innovation Labs

Michael Patton, MD

Founder and CEO

Drawn to entrepreneurship while attending graduate school in Biomedical Engineering, Michael entered medical school with a different perspective than most of his peers. Upon discovering some antiquated medical technologies, Michael began exploring ways to improve the standard of care.

During his clinical years, his moonlighting included the design and development of various medical devices, and the successful completion of patient trials at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Upon graduation, Dr. Patton founded a company that developed a line of minimally invasive surgical instruments, which were recently acquired by a Fortune 500 company.

Having navigated the arduous path of medical device development and commercialization, he is now committed to helping inventors turn their ideas into products that can improve health care.

Michael received his MS in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and his MD from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

C. Kenneth French

Chief Technical Officer

Ken has been involved in the medical device industry for over 40 years. He has founded and sold several companies and products nationally and internationally.

Ken moved to Austin in 2011 to co-found Medical Innovation Labs. Before that, he was President of Valley West and Scion Valley for 13 years. He and his team have developed 30+ patented medical devices. The scope of product development covers several fields from elective surgery to cardiovascular devices.

In addition to working with Medical Innovation Labs, Ken has served as the President of Bosque Custom Designs for 11 years. BCD designs surgical devices and equipment, provides tooling, fixtures, CAD generated designs, pilots, ISO and FDA guidance. Ken is a cofounder and also serves as Vice President of Research and Development for Becon Medical Ltd.

Courtney Creecy Chen, Ph.D

Engineering Manager

Courtney attended The University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate education, where she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Nicholas Peppas researching polymers for drug delivery.

After she received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, she went on to pursue her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at San Antonio and The University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio Joint Graduate Biomedical Engineering Program. During her time in San Antonio, Courtney worked in the laboratory of Dr. Rena Bizios and studied the effect of alternating electric current on adult human mesenchymal stem cell function.

Courtney enjoys being back in Austin and working with Medical Innovation Labs to help scientists and clinicians truly transition their research ideas from benchtop to bedside.

Sam Fechtel

Executive Administrator

Sam has management experience in a variety of fields, and over the years has worked wit Austin's first professional soccer team, a nonprofit geared toward nutrition and wellness education for low income elementary and middle school students, and one of Austin's top tennis department programs in the club and leisure industry.

She has been with Medical Innovation Labs since 2011 and enjoys the full immersion in the medical industry she gets to experience every day. Sam is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Kerry Rupp


With over 20 years of executive strategy and operations experience, Kerry has spent much of her career helping to launch and grow startup companies. Most recently, she was CEO and General Partner at DreamIt Ventures, a top-10 US startup accelerator. During her tenure, DreamIt helped launch 165 companies, grew to five cities, raised a $15+M follow-on fund, and initiated the DreamIt Access and DreamIt Health programs, the latter in conjunction with Penn Medicine, Independence Blue Cross, Johns Hopkins University, Northrup Grumman, Kaiser Permanente and others. DreamIt companies now have a market value of over $550M. Kerry was herself the founder of an online group travel service, Holiday Golightly. Before DreamIt, Kerry served in Vice President level positions at Jobster, Classmates and LexisNexis and was a consultant at McKinsey and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). She also provided marketing, strategy & business development consulting to senior executives at AllRecipes, ReadersDigest, Payscale, and Taleo. Kerry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Biology from Duke University.