EP #100: Being a Start-Up Med-Tech CEO w/ Ken Mariash, Sinaptica Therapeutics

By Mitch Robbins on March 31, 2024

Joining us for this episode was Mr. Ken Mariash, the CEO at Sinaptica Therapeutics. For over 20 years Ken has been leading & growing new business ventures on both the 'Buy Side' and the 'Build Side.' He started his career in management consulting at Charles River Associates then jumped to industry at CLS, then Baxter BioScience (acquired by Takeda) and then Boston Scientific with leadership roles in marketing, strategy & corporate development. Ken holds degrees in both Biochemistry & Business Economics from Brown University.

Today, Ken is leading the team at Sinaptica to advance their personalized closed-loop neuromodulation therapy for Alzheimers which has generated unprecedented Phase 2 sham-controlled clinical data that was recently published in the Oxford journal, 'Brain.' Sinaptica has FDA Breakthrough status for its novel proprietary approach which combines rTMS, EEG, and Neuronavigation with a sophisticated ML-derived personalization engine based on a novel brain target--the precuneus, the central hub of the Default Mode Network, a brain network involved in episodic memory. The company has completed all clinicals to date with non-dilutive funding and is now in-process of obtaining financing to complete the clinical product (SinaptiStim-AD) ** and prepare to initiate a pivotal study in one year's time.

Some of the major highlights we discussed:

-How Ken's upbringing shaped his early & future career days

-Pivotal roles that were instrumental in Ken's career development to becoming a CEO

-How Ken manages stress, especially during difficult times

-Ken's perspective on the toughest part of being a CEO

-Career advice for others coming up behind him

...and so much more

Key Takeaways:

  • Early interests and experiences can provide clues to future career paths.
  • Pivotal roles and responsibilities can shape a career and provide valuable skills and experiences.
  • Opportunities and the belief of others can play a significant role in career progression.
  • Being a MedTech CEO requires managing time and maintaining focus amidst numerous demands. Maintaining focus is crucial for productivity. Techniques like taking short walks, facing the sun, and prioritizing tasks can help regenerate focus.
  • Managing stress involves letting go of outcomes, maintaining an optimistic outlook, and imagining a future where goals are achieved.
  • Establishing a daily routine that includes meditation, setting intentions, exercise, and prioritizing sleep can contribute to mental and physical well-being.
  • Building a high-performance team requires individuals with an all-in mentality, personal responsibility, and a focus on winning together.
  • Culture is a system of unspoken values that determine the behaviors that get rewarded. Leaders must actively shape and reinforce the desired culture.
  • Leadership involves pushing others to achieve their best, providing honest feedback, and being open to personal growth.
  • Career and life advice includes becoming excellent in your area of focus, being curious and hungry to learn about other areas, and seeking new opportunities.
  • The future of Synaptic and their work in Alzheimer's therapy is exciting, with promising data showing the potential for significant impact.

Find Ken Mariash on LinkedIn:


Sinaptica Therapeutics on the web:


Note: (SinaptiStim is a trade mark of Sinaptica Therapeutics)

Posted by Mitch Robbins

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