medical device guru

BioTech Entrepreneurs Number One Fail

Diagnostics & Healthcare News October 26, 2017

“Do you know what the number one failing of biotech entrepreneurs who try to get into medical devices is?” a senior healthcare VC (who asked for anonymity so he could speak freely) asked me over lunch recently.

(Disclosure/reminder: I work at a cloud genomics company; this VC is not an investor, and focuses mostly on biotech.)

“It’s sales and marketing. Most biotech entrepreneurs have absolutely no idea how to build a sales and marketing team, or recognize how important that is. And it’s also true for life science VCs trying to invest in devices,” he added.

For entrepreneurs who are trying to start new biotech companies, the key hurdle is usually, “can we develop something that works in clinical trials for an unmet medical need.” If so, there’s a well-trod, if not-trivial, path to value capture, often through partnership with or acquisition by a large pharma company (who typically manages the late-stage clinical trials and subsequent sales and marketing).

But for entrepreneurs who build a device, success involves not only developing the product but also achieving traction in the marketplace – and this requires the effective deployment of a sales and marketing team.

Enterprise software, my VC colleague noted, is similar to device companies in this regard; success often hinges on the performance of the sales and marketing organization, which must be developed and deployed.

The centrality of sales and marketing, at least in software, will not be a surprise to anyone who’s read Disrupted, by Dan Lyons, or watched HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” but it may surprise healthcare innovators or life science investors who find themselves in an ecosystem with these organizations.


Read the Rest at the Source: Why Healthcare Entrepreneurs Developing Devices Or Software Better Grok Sales & Marketing

I write about entrepreneurial innovation in medicine.

Focus: entrepreneurial innovation in medicine. Co-author: Tech Tonics: Can Passionate EntrepreAll Postsneurs Heal Healthcare With Technology? Background: physician-scientist+management consultant, experience in drug development, strategic and commercial planning. Job: I am Chief Medical Officer of Mountain View, CA-based DNAnexus. Other: Adjunct appointment, Visiting Scientist, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School; Adjunct Scholar, American Enterprise Institute. Political independent. Twitter: @DShaywitz.

Photos: Deposit Photos

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