1972: Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. The company, which developed pacemakers with lithium batteries, was acquired by Eli Lilly & Co. and then spun off as Guidant Corp., which was bought by Boston Scientific Corp. in 2006.

1976: St. Jude Medical Inc. Named for the Catholic saint, the company developed a mechanical heart valve and has expanded into other cardiac devices.

1982: GV Medical Inc. The firm developed a laser angioplasty device and is now part of SpectraScience Inc., Plymouth.

1987: Helix Biocore Inc. A biotech company that changed into ATS Medical Inc., a heart valve maker, in 1990.

2000: CABG Medical Inc.. Founded to develop an artificial graft for bypass surgery, the company closed in 2006.

2006: Kips Bay Partners, a venture capital fund that is not active.

2007: Kips Bay Medical. This maker of a bypass surgery device was named for the New York City Boys Club that Villafana, a South Bronx native, frequented as a boy.

Current job: Founder, chairman/CEO, Kips Bay Medical Inc., Plymouth.

Little-known fact: The Twin Cities' steakhouse Manny's was named after Villafana, an investor.