Things are looking good for the healthcare sector. Since 2010, there has been a 200 percent increase in venture funding deals in the sector, thanks to a bunch of new and disruptive innovations. Health care startups are being driven by an aging population as well as technologies that promise to solve age-old health problems that have dogged humanity since the dawn of civilization.
Now many divapreneurs are asking themselves how they can take advantage of the decade when health startups broke out and went mainstream. Let’s take a look.
Plug Into Communities That Have A “Glass Half Full” Attitude
Steven Krein is a founder and director of the startup consulting firm. His mission, since 1997 has been to coach entrepreneurs on how to make the most of the growing health business and find their niche. Over the years, he’s noticed some interesting patterns. Entrepreneurs who hang around with the wrong crowd, tend to quickly go out of business.
His advice is to plug into communities that have optimistic attitudes about the health business you’re trying to build. He says that it’s far better to spend time with friends and organizations that align themselves with your goals than those who only see hurdles in your path.
Learn To Love Regulation
Krein’s co-founder Unity Stoakes has some advice for people who are new to the healthcare sector: love regulation. It might sound Big Brother-esque to fall in love with the government that is abusing you, but in the healthcare sector, regulations rule the day, and always have done. Entrepreneurs who get into the sector need to have a hard nose for the FDA as well as all the patience in the world.
Stoakes points out that a lot of people get spooked by the amount of regulation in the healthcare industry. But, he says, at the end of the day it’s just a process that needs to be worked through. Once you know how the game works, it’s not actually that difficult.
Set Yourself Up For The Long Game
In Silicon Valley, it’s possible for a business to grow from nothing to having a billion-dollar stock valuation in a matter of months. But things over in the health sector take a heck of alot longer.
Entrepreneurs in the sector should start off by educating themselves, perhaps picking up a masters of public health to give themselves some perspective on the issues in the industry and how the sector goes about solving problems.
Product cycles in the health sector are usually measured in decades, even for seemingly innocuous devices that, were they in any other sector, would be approved in a matter of weeks. Krein says that businesses need a five to ten-year horizon, minimum. They might have the right IP and the right staff on their team, but without passing a bunch of legal hurdles, they’re going nowhere fast.
VCs and investors need to be kept abreast of this reality too if they’re not yet aware that they’re unlikely to see their money again until the distant future.