Thursday, March 1, 2018

Helthcare Entrepreneurship

Why is there a dearth of healthcare entrepreneurship and what is the way around. This question rose in my mind during my recent meeting with an incubator/accelerator who showed interest in venturing into the healthcare sector. They are well established in the Tech arena. When I asked them why they did not venture earlier their reply was: Their partners (who are into seed funding and VCs) burnt their fingers with two projects and having heard about me and my ventures want to try again. Now the pertinent questions:
1) Why do these ventures fail
2) Why is there a dearth of medical innovation/invention
Here are my thoughts:
 1) First and Foremost: Most of the health-tech ventures are run by people in Tech arena and do not have a healthcare professional to guide them/suggest them. Take these for example: I have had 4 different groups meeting me to discuss their idea and see if it will work and these are people who are either Directors or sit on the Board of large IT companies, I just laughed at their ideas and said these will not work. WHY: Because they try to replicate the West or try to get ideas from online. India is a different ball game all together.
2) Being extremely cautious: Most of the health tech ventures are more into EMR, patient doctor app, clinic software etc., why – because someone was successful and they think it is a sure way to success without realizing the first person succeeded since it was a virgin venture.
3) Insecurity: Most healthcare professional are very insecure in venturing into something which they are not familiar with. Fear of the unknown is one of the limiting factors of success. When I left the big corporate and ventured on my own it was a big decision but then I knew it was the way. It is the same with my healthcare entrepreneurship ventures also, where I am wading my way slowly but surely towards the goals.
4) Funding: The biggest roadblock is getting the funding for POC and also getting the initial seed funding. This happens because most of them approach equity firms without exploring the other options. So far all my projects are taken up without any funding by private firms. One needs to know how, when and where to approach.
5) Finally, the last challenge is in getting the appropriate team. Now most of my ventures are converting science fiction into reality, yes it took me time, but then that is what a start up entrepreneurship is all about. I am now working on different projects with different specialists who are authorities and internationally well known, how did I do it: Sincerity, stating my objectives clearly, getting the funds needed and finalizing the appropriate incubator before approaching them...
6) Be Prepared: During the journey I also found that it is possible for your ideas to be taken up without your knowledge or a team you are helping might give you a lemon in the end. To avoid these ensure everything is in black and white, do not divulge much ensure there is no subsidiary – I was once almost taken for a ride and wriggled out in the last minute. Yes all these are also things which makes one to move out but then again that is what a journey is all about.
Some of the projects I am working are:
1) A new treatment for Cancers
2) An entirely out of the box treatment for Blindness
3) Minially Invasive Stereotactic Surgery
4) Non Invasive and Bloodless Diagnostics
5) Virtual Surgery/Medical Education
6) Bio Printer - again completely different and one of its kind model (yes it is different from the existing ones)
7) Chief Medical Officer for two new International Medical Devices venturing into Asia - Helping them to scale up, innovate and guide them
8) Converting Waste into Energy
Think these are all easy and doable... this is what entrepreneurship is all about
Want to jump, afraid, do not know how to – reach out I am more than happy to help -


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