Over appetizers, Dan Golka and I chat about his upcoming conference, MedTech Monday, as well as his website MedTech Directory. The conversation drifts into some marketing strategy in how startups can leverage social media so listen up there.
- Let’s get to know Dan Golka [3:20]
- The thing that Dan is most excited about [5:51]
- If your company has a viable technology, you might just be a good fit to present at Dan’s event [7:14]
- Pay attention to social media [8:58]
- It’s not the followers, it’s the engagement [11:47]
- Dan’s business secret – that works [15:39]
- What to look forward at MedTech Monday [18:00]
- Registration procedures [20:11]
- Get your discount code [21:58]
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Recorder: Are you ready to master the waves of medical device product development? Well wax up your surfboard because you are listening to inspired by Imua. Here is your medical device product development expert that Hawaiian hearted hostess who will help you hang ten. Meghan Alonso.
Meghan: E komo mai and aloha! You’re listening to inspired by Imua, where we help you master the waves of medical product development. Each week we interview guest that educate, guide and inspire to give you and your product the skills you need to hang ten. If this is your first time listening, Imua is spelled I-M-U-A and it’s a Hawaiian word. It means to advance forward with passion despite rough waves. There are plenty of those in the medical device development but keep listening because we’ve got you covered.
Meghan: So this next podcast that we are listening to today, it’s actually taking place in a restaurant. I’ve done with this before. It’s just kinda fun but you do hear the restaurant backround noise so keep that in mind. I interview Dan –, so Dan is one of my friends in the industry here for a while and he has his own website called medtech directory. If you haven’t been to medtechdirectory.com go check that out. There is a lot of good stuff on there. It’s a blanket resource site for a lot of things in a medical device industry, jobs, investors and companies, lots of good things. He is also planning an event January 23 2017 so it’s coming up soon and we’d love to have you there. There are opportunities just to attend the event. If you use the discount code Monday100 that is $100 off but there is also opportunities if you are start up and you’re thinking about funding then we’d love you present your start up company at the event. We do still have a few spots left for sponsors so if you’re in this business and your service provider to the industry, you work with a lot of medical device companies, medical device manufacturers then there is an opportunities for you to have a table, there is an opportunity for you to speak. Just reach out to Dan let him know that Medtechmonday.com so you can get a hold on him there. His twitter handle is @medtechdirectory and his email is dan–.com so let’s bring him on the interview today so sit back and enjoy. Dan are you ready to hangten?
Meghan: I’ve known you for quite a while and beside the intro that I gave fill in the gaps of your experience in medical device industry and how you landed here? I know you have diverse backround.
Dan: I started out a few years back I got into the medical device business for a publication and the advantage to that at the time is I got to deal with everybody. I called on the designers, I called on the consultants, I called on the large companies, I called the guy working on his house with a 3D printer. I called absolutely everybody and the thing that amaze me was that this people didn’t communicate among themselves. You would have this one man bands that would not loft to go to get there company set up and you deal with VC and say hey I’m looking for new project and you deal with people that were looking for a job to get into the industry. So I thought why not put everybody together and I start into a director. There is nothing like this but I created that everybody can get into, if you are looking for a job, if you are looking for VC’s. You can find VC’s in my site. So we started medtech directory and it’s been open. We did an early launch at March on this year and we went live July 1st. Lucky me it just took off so we are getting a lot of advertising, were getting a lot of people paying attention with us. Each week there is more people signing up, each week there is more people that are going to the sites.
Meghan: So it has a lot of value really anyone in the medical device industry. You mentioned event, I really want to talk to you, we have been planning your event coming up soon Medtech Monday, January 23rd in the Irvine California. I am one of the speakers helping promote the event. It’s all coming together, It is really exciting. I wanna focus on that and have a big push towards that so what is the thing you are most excited about?
Dan: The one thing is that once we came up an idea that we have an event. I’m really happy that so many people that I have met over, even the last year that have decided to be involve in it. From the speakers we are getting, to the sponsors that we have. We have a great venue the – hotel is gonna be perfect for this. We got a great line up of speakers. I’m really thrilled about this. I really think that our format is what I’m most excited about. The format gonna be a little be different were its not gonna be panels all day long we’re gonna have speakers talk and we’re going to interview start up to the entire group and the startup is gonna present their technology to everybody. How much money they need, what the product is they’re creating, where they’re at and what the future holds and what they think market gonna be. We are gonna feed everybody all day. We are gonna have breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception at the end of the day. It’s gonna be a great day that’s everybody gonna be involve in.
Meghan: So that’s a great opportunity for any start up company listening or if you know anyone that wants funding or want to pitch they can be involve. So what kind of start ups that you are looking for to present?
Dan: Right know we are looking for companies that are trying to get a serious or have a viable technology. We’ve seen a wide variety of companies that applied to present. We’ve seen everything from apps, we’ve seen software advances. We want somebody that is got a viable business plan that really thinks they have something different. We are having the event that you’re not gonna see the same thing. You are not gonna see 12 breast cancer devices that are gonna be there. It’s gonna be different, we are having a wide variety of products and services that start ups are presenting.
Meghan: So you have brought a lot of value to me and I know inside your head you to own start up bring a lot of value. I’ve been really impressed with you hustle and building medtech directory doing together this event and one thing that we talk about earlier. Tell us your trick for when you’re looking to get some press you have some neat ninja techniques there which you’ve been doing.
Dan: The theme of the event is innovation collaboration on the year ahead. I think people need to go out and ask for business. They need to go out and talk to people that they want to co partner with and look at somebody that is gonna benefit your product. If you have a device and you think that software is gonna benefit your product. Look at the software company that can benefit you not steal your technology or somebody you can work with download and look at what you can do from a social media stand point because what people don’t look at is that they don’t pay attention to the fact that everybody sells no matter what they do. If you are an engineer, you have to get the costumers to make the phone ring for you to be successful. In — we need to have people find us and you can do majority of it in social media for free. If a company sets themselves in youtube, in facebook, instagram, Google+ you’d be surprised the extra people that you would get. Twitter is a huge audience impact just by sharing news about your company. I think there is a lot of press out there by dealing just connecting by other people or meeting people.
Meghan: That’s an interesting discussion topic. I’ve notice that myself. In our industry, Facebook is a little harder than — for organicly from the sturd because I’m not connect to do as many business contacts on facebook. I think it’s changing, it’s building but linkedin and twitter are so easy and I know a lot of people are gonna disagree with me here and I have a hard time grasping with some of these start up company saying Were in — and we’re not gonna talk about it and we are hard to find. I see a lot of success in the companies that do put things out there.
Dan: I couldn’t agree more. You know invisibility never got anybody rich. I really think if you go out, you don’t really share about your IP or your technology but your company name, your brand and worth. Share some story about if you a north – device. Share about the problems of people are having. Search that type of content and share that type of content out there. When you decide to go live, people make this mistake we’re ready and then they go on facebook, they go on linkedin and they are nowhere to be found. I don’t have 1 million twitter followers but I got a well rounded group of about 6000 people that we post up to. People are engaged in and they click on my videos and in an hour I can get you 100 views. It’s not record setting but it’s something if you are a technical guy and you made a technical video that such a tight audience. I can still get views for that and I’m proven that in a daily basis right now. I believe in the power of social media and I really think that people make the mistake. They are going to stealth mode and you don’t even know what you are doing. No one should do that stuff. That’s the secret sauce that non of us need but as far as your company name and the fact that you guys are out here. Once you flip that switch and you guys are like and you want to collect money. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the company be searchable and have 25 stories written about your guys. What about a press release. You not giving it away but that’s searchable content that people can find 2 months from now when you do a citer raise a million dollars.
Meghan: That builds the hype. People want in with that. One of my really close colleagues Brandon Adams who is episode 3 in podcast that helps in the crowd funding.
Dan: You know it’s funny, I’ve listened Brandon’s podcast on your podcast twice because I love it so much but his message was great because when you listen to what he say. He is a guy who has raised millions of dollars through crowd funding and he does it in a different manner but he gets people excited about a product. Whether it is an individual product or a service, Brandon has raised a lot of money but he does through having people find things through searchable contact.
Meghan: I remember when I first met him, I was talking about crowd funding and he said you have to have that establishment network. Build up your enters list, sure your products in the market but have a way that you can collect email and say hey are you interested? Sign up if you want to hear about it.
Dan: That’s it the power of the business card and the power of email and people again. You talk about stealth mode and I’ve seen this so many times that people we’re pulling our database together and they don’t send that on email. Well send that email and introduce yourself like hey I met you the other day and we are working on this now and we will talk soon. When you’re product goes wild they are gonna read that second email that’s coming out in the blue.
Meghan: We’re drifting the conversation because there is another guest leading into several points because I remember a conversation about that with email reaching out to someone. Think of it in terms of dating you want to build that relationship then you don’t meet someone for the first time and ask him to marry you. I see them making that mistake like they say hey is saw you at event, do you want to buy my product, do you buy my service you know?
Dan: Try this because this is what I do in business and that is send somebody a personal notes. You meet somebody you want do business with. You want them to go to your event. You want them to buy your product. When you get that business card, don’t fire of an email. Write them a personal note hey it was great meeting you yesterday I look forward to talking to you more. Put your name and phone number with that. Watch how many more times people pick up the phone and say thank you for doing that. People respond to that. People its different. Anybody can send of email and pray they are gonna respond to you but if you write somebody a personal email in an envelope. They are gonna open that now you’d be surprised, it takes the whole 5 minutes to do it. But if you meet 5 people today and send 5 mails today. Everybody will call you back. It’s a very good thing that I do that is some advice that someone give me a while now.
Meghan: Our email is just a – but where do I really get good mail?
Dan: But you will open it though. The next time you run into the one sending the note. You are gonna recognize them. It goes back to my philosophy that everybody sells. Everybody gotta promote the business that they do. Again you meet engineers and say it’s not your responsibility . It is your responsibility and there is technical guide that you need to work down the road. If you open the lines of communication anyway you can and be different. That’s why Brandon is successful because if you look at the way how he made those money. He advertises, he promotes things and he gets people talking about stuff that’s why get money.
Meghan: More about medtech Monday you mentioned innovation, collaboration, the year ahead so go more about that topic.
Dan: Medtech Monday, January 23rd 2017. We’re gonna bring people together and we’re gonna talk about what the latest technology in Orange County and what people are working on. What start ups are out there, they’re trying to do things in a different. What companies in a biotech and in a VC world are doing things different. Right now — just announced that they’re having, you can have crowd funding for a company and for a percentage on a business. I don’t know the details yet but this is exciting stuff. If you’re gonna raise money for your medical device. It would be who would make you successful. We’re gonna look at every aspect, we’re gonna talk about the grants that are out there in medical device companies and we’re gonna talk about what’s different. So people know how to apply to that stuff. They gonna have the VC’s there they’re gonna talk about what they’re looking for. We’re gonna have a start up’s pitch we’re gonna make have them deals. We have a great line up of speakers that are gonna talk about from everything, we have doctors, we have FTA people, we have people in marketing. We are covering every single area of our business in 1 day.
Meghan: So you mention this earlier but so I don’t forget how can they register?
Dan: We have the website medtechmonday.com and you can sign up for there. It’s a very inexpensive event. You have a breakfast, lunch and a cocktail reception. We’re nailing down all speakers right now so as people check back this is they’re gonna be more speakers at it. The start ups they’re being vetted right now. We’re gonna have intresting start ups. Even the sponsors, we got a very large sponsor area that people can have a table and promote their companies or service and meet a lot of good people. It’s all around. We got a perfect venue for it. The Atrium Hotel is right away from airport. Hopefully its not gonna rain but it usually perfect sunny.
Meghan: I can’t wait to have my own event someday and we’re going to go surfing. That’s gonna be part of it.
Dan: There won’t be any surfing it at Medtech Monday but there will be a lot of people there. So far I’ve been very lucky that people started to sign up for it. Again with your help, with everybody help I’ve got list of stellar list of attendees and a stellar list of speakers. I’m really excited right now.
Meghan: So we have a discount code for that. It’s a $100 off right?
Dan: The event is $295 and through Meghan’s group. If they use the code Monday100 they got $100 off and they can attend the event with $195. It’s a limited number of tickets so I suggest that you sign up as soon as possible at medtech Monday. I’m pleased that Meghan helped me with the event. She is an absolute cheerleader to the event and for the medtech directory and we just got good people and good advertisers and I’m very very lucky all the way around.
Meghan: Thanks for joining us tonight. I know like I mentioned in the intro it’s a loud noise in the restaurant here. It just kind a fun thing, we are trying to do this interview for a while.
Dan: Hopefully we can come back and talk about social media in the medical device business in the future but again I love Imua. I think you guys are great, I’m so happy to be part of this. I’ve been so many events you’ve been a part of. It’s so nice to be working with you and I’m honoured that you asked me to do this. I’m just glad that we can work together. Thank you!
Meghan: Thanks for listening guys. It will be great to have you at Medtech Monday hope to see you there. Again it’s January 23rd at the Atrium Hotel in Orange County just literally right across the street from airport. If you’re flying in for the event, you don’t have even have to worry about uber or anything. Just go right across the street. The discount code is Monday100 and you can get your tickets at medtechmonday.com so sign up there. We will see you there. Until the next episode, IMUA!
Mahalo for joining us. If you’re new to riding the waves of medical device product development, or if you’ve been in development for a while already, Inspired by Imua is here to surf with you. Want to be a master of the waves? Text hangten that’s all one word HANGTEN to 44222. We’ll send you the most common wipe outs companies make in product development so you can avoid them and reach master wave status. Again, that’s HANGTEN to 44222. We publish a new episode every Tuesday, so catch us at Inspiredbyimua.com. Imua!