December 18, 2015
The med tech sector is getting a lot of traction lately with new futuristic startups like Adhere Tech – a smart wireless pill bottle and Skin Vision – an app to analyze moles and urge users to seek consultations in case of any abnormality already bridging the gap between healthcare and tech. With wearables and 3D printing on the rise as well, I suppose we’ll see a lot more exciting and, dare to say, life-saving startups emerging in 2016 and onward.
Launching a med tech startup is an exciting prospect. Transforming an idea into a business is both lucrative and rewarding. Unfortunately, there are many ways to sink your dreams before you get off of the ground. If you are on the cusp of turning an idea into a full-fledged company, here are five tips to get you started.
1. Work with an Attorney Who Specializes in Intellectual Property Rights
Never assume that you know what you need to protect and what you do not. Simply obtaining patents on devices, for example, may not be enough in this case. You may have processes and methodologies that also need protection.
In addition to this, a good attorney will also be able to advise you when the intellectual property rights of others come into play. Failure to establish proper intellectual property protections can destroy your ability to create barriers to competition, especially when you have bigger health companies to rival with.
2. Understand Where Your Deficits Lie
According to seasoned med tech startup veteran, Ben Moore of Telmed IQ, “The most ingenious medical development is dead in the water if you cannot nurture and protect your idea.”
He’s right. The key to launching a med tech startup is usually in the details that many medical pros never consider. They know how to cover the technical side of researching, developing, and testing new products and services, but they don’t know what to do outside of that.
3. Do Not Spread the Word Prematurely
If you are a physician, or otherwise involved in the practice of providing healthcare, you are probably used to communicating and collaborating. This is ideal when you are delivering services to patients. It is not ideal when you are launching a med tech startup.
You may also be tempted to share with others in the industry to obtain feedback on your product and its marketability. If you are going to do this, and you should, don’t jump the gun. Get your patents in order, and never share with anybody who has not signed a confidentiality agreement.
4. Document Everything from the Beginning
Everything about your product should be written down from the point of conception on. In fact, when you write your initial idea on paper, you should do so in the presence of a qualified and trusted witness. Then, have them sign a statement that they witnessed you writing down the idea, along with a confidentiality agreement.
This lends credibility to the fact that you are the creator of the idea. From that point on, everything related to research and development, marketing, raising capital, trials and experiments, even new personal insights.
5. Decide If You Have Created a Product or a Company
Even when they are brilliant, most product ideas aren’t enough to launch a company. In order to launch a viable startup up, you need one of two things.
The first is a product that has the potential to grab a huge share of the marketplace. The second is an introductory product that you can use to gain entry into the market, and ideas for related products.
The latter option allows you to create a space for yourself by developing a related group of products. If you have a product, but not a company, all is not lost. You have options such as licensing, or launching a startup with the sole intention of being purchased by a larger entity.
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