073: A Simple Method for Saving 8 Million in Medical Device Development feat. Austin Walters

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.

Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

Best way to get in touch with Austin:

walters.austin@gmail.com
Sprintidepartners.io

Host: Meghan Alonso
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Host Company: Imua Services
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About the Author

Meghan M. Alonso
Meghan M. Alonso, referred to by Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington as a medical device development expert, is known for her award winning medical device podcast, Inspired by Imua, the chapter she wrote in best selling book “Put a Shark in Your Tank, and her valuable connections in the medical industry. According to the Huffington Post, she helps clients navigate the complicated process of bringing their ideas to the marketplace. She’s a patriotic military wife, pet parent, founder and co-founder of 4 successful companies who thrives on guiding medical device and IVD companies through development and manufacturing. When she isn’t helping others, Meghan is hard at work on her MBA she is pursuing from Auburn University, staying active with her adorable husky Abby, crossfitting, enjoying great restaurants and fine wine with her husband, and soaking up the sun the nearest beach.

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