Entrepreneurs in any industry need to start with a big idea – and a big tolerance for risk. But in health care, startups often need to take on a unique set of regulatory hurdles, complex systems and entrenched ways of getting things done to successfully build and scale.
1. Let your experience inspire, but don’t just build for yourself.
“There are a lot of entrepreneurs that may have experienced their own situation or the situation of someone close to them. And they’re developing a solution for that without actually going out and talking to enough people to make sure they’re not solving the need for one institution… and that they’re building something that has the ability to scale,” she said. “You can’t just sit behind your computer and code in health care, you have to be out in the trenches.”
2. Nuance over need.
“It’s important for entrepreneurs to understand the complexities of the industry and that’s not always easy because entrepreneurs and industry aren’t always speaking the same language,” she said. “Entrepreneurs really need to put their solutions in context.”
3. Build to build, not to sell.
But he also said that startups should get to know the top 10 companies that could be potential acquirers years in advance: “There are a lot of people working for you and counting on you to make the right decision. You’re not flipping the business to cash out, [you’re] putting it in a place that has greater leverage and impact potential,” he added.
4. Ask yourself the hard questions.
“There’s a point in the life of the company [when] the entrepreneur has to ask himself and the management team the hard question: ‘Can we build the company to last or are we better off as a feature of a bigger product?’ You have to be really honest with yourself,” he said. And even before that point, he added, it’s critical to find investors and a management team that will hold you accountable and force you to think.