Startup Success Series: Are You Ready to be a MedTech Start-up? A Simple Question with Some Tough Answers!

Last week, I blogged about one of the single biggest causes of Medtech startup failure: young entrepreneurs engaging in mass marketing and sales prematurely – when neither the product nor the company are ready and mature enough to meet the expectations and needs of the clinical user community.

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Today, I am going to explore another type of false start: starting up and seeking early-stage investment before before the entrepreneur, his or her team and the technology itself are ready for this real world challenge.

At Centech, I am regularly approached by Medtech start-up entrepreneurs about when and how to approach both angel and VC investors with their business pitch as they seeking pre-seed and seed financing.

Here are my  thoughts and tips:


When you have achieved the following start-up milestones:

1.   Developed a good understanding of the target market and its segments

2.   Through several key opinion leader (KOL) interviews, you’ve identified a niche with a significant unmet need

3.   You have a crisp and clear product concept that addresses these unmet needs

4.   A compelling proof-of-concept (POC)

5.   Well developed intellectual property (IP), regulatory and organizational strategies

6.   A clear path to commercialization and exit


When your pitch delivers clear thinking and credible information, including:

1.   A compelling business case

2.   A targeted niche on the cusp of significant growth with a KOL-validated unmet need

3.   A product concept with a clear reasoning as to why it is unique and novel. A clear mechanism-of-action (MOA) would be valuable at this point.

4.   A plan to complete a compelling POC, including time and money required if necessary

5.   IP and regulatory plans

6.   Preliminary commercialization plan

Finally, here’s what not to do:

1.   Start with a technology boast and why you are so much better

2.   Provide billion dollar target entry markets

3.   Show three year P&L forecasts….it’s way too early!

It may seems like a strict and intensive list of steps – that’s because it is! But follow these tips and you are well on your way to success!