Austin Walters is the founder of SpringTide, a firm that helps medical technology companies go to market successfully. Austin led sales for Friendemic, consulted for J&J, Medtronic, and Walgreens at Innosight, served as the Commercial Director for EchoNous, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.
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More about Austin’s background:
Austin got his feet wet as a consultant at Innosight founded by Clay Christianson, author of Innovator’s Perscription. There, he helped large companies set themselves up for disruption in the marketplace. He had a wonderful opportunity to take a 2 year stint in India to research medical trends and fell into digital marketing. He now combines all of that experience in his own company, SpringTide to help startups create disruptive technology and go to market while aligning with value based healthcare.
What Austin is an expert at:
At SpringTide, he started working with medtech startups for digital marketing but what they really cared about was sales. He’s educated them not only on inbound leads, but sales solutions with what he calls elastic sales. Essentially, he enables startups to utilize a high end professional sales force at a fraction of the cost by splitting their time with other non-competing companies.
Something that Austin has done recently to increase his expertise:
Austin works with several mentors and senior sales execs to help him in his business, provide input, and help him make tough decisions. He’s also a big fan of the Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis course which you can check out here.
One thing that medtech entrepreneurs or startups don’t know that they need to know:
Cash is king. It’s critical to preserve cash as you head towards market. Be impatient for profit but patient for growth.
Example of someone that have used Austin’s advice:
A company that he’s seen had a burnout rate of 8 million in 1 year almost from day one because they were heavily invested in sales yet they were struggling to find the right market fit. Work on market research first before scaling up too quickly. Keep costs low until you’ve got that correct market fit.
Success story that Austin’s had recently:
A telemedicine company wanted to test if patients discharged from the ER wanted to schedule a follow up with the attending physician afterwards. They drove traffic to an app and they had several people click but no one booked a follow up appointment. In this case, the failure was a success because they quickly validated their idea in the market. You want to fail quickly, often, and cheaply so you can pivot.
Austin’s best advice you can give medtech entrepreneurs:
Be impatient for profit but patient for growth
Austin’s best book recommendation and why:
Innovator’s Perscription by Clay Christianson — also known as the Bible for healthcare reform.
Best way to get in touch with Austin: