February 26, 2015 - While biotech has seen a boom the past two years in terms of both financing and exits, its medical device counterparts have not been as lucky. I spoke with a number of VC partners to discuss what is holding back the medical device sector and how medical device companies can be successful in the current climate. The major themes that emerged from these discussions can be classified into five categories: regulatory environment, reimbursement, distribution/customer, strategic participation and stage required to exit.
February 26, 2015 - In 1997, Clayton Christensen introduced the world to his concept of the “Innovator’s Dilemma,” wherein large companies that focused too much on customer needs of today (versus their future needs) would miss out on game-changing products and solutions. Even the largest and most successful companies could be out-maneuvered in their own areas of core competency by “disruptive” emerging players that cashed in on these big “next-gen” ideas. Even some firms that invested heavily in new technology sometimes failed (hence the “dilemma”).
February 26, 2015 - What is “lean cash flow”? Think of the concept of lean cash flow as an offshoot of Eric Ries’ Lean Startup principles. It’s an unfortunate fact that most startups fail. A lot of the time, this is due to a misunderstanding of what customers need. Lean startup principles try to maximize startups’ chances of success by positing a step-by-step process involving a feedback loop of testing assumptions, learning from early users and pivoting as often as necessary.
February 11, 2015 - Imagine two very different business worlds. One is a world in which market forces work their magic. If companies are profitable, new competitors enter and profits get worked down to nothing. If there is too much competition, companies exit (or go out of business) so that they neither lose nor make much profits.
February 11, 2015 - I’ve never directly raised money from VCs, but in my role at Square 1 Bank, I do end up working with entrepreneurs who are looking to attract investment from VCs and, in turn, facilitate a ton of intros between the two groups. Here are a few of my thoughts for best practices on how to approach VCs:
February 11, 2015 - Startup and early stage companies are often asked by investors if the product the company is taking to market is patent protected. This is not an unreasonable question, because strong patent protection can enhance corporate value through higher valuations by venture capitalists or acquiring firms.