37 – What you need to know to get startup funding for your medical product part 2

Getting startup funding for your medical product can be full of stormy waves.  Listen up to find out what goes in to a winning pitch and what investors want to see.

When seeking startup funding, you need to have a solid business structure, business strategy, and pitch. Today we dive into these details to build on part 1 (in episode 36). If you didn’t listen to part 1, you should…and it’s the process of what it takes to get your product to market from ideation to launch and covers what needs to be done in marketing to regulatory to engineering to sales.

Want to know more? Click here to get $750 off Invention Idea to Profitable Product when it re-launches in January.

  • Shoutout to Brian Johnson [3:11]
  • Why doing it solo is unrealistic and why a team is better [5:08]
  • The importance of an advisory board [6:27]
  • Are you talking to the right investors? [9:57]
  • How to use your presentation pitch to connect with your audience[10:56]
  • Practice public speaking [12:26]
  • Be a passionate storyteller [14:11]
  • Why YOU? [14:52]
  • Quick reminder [17:31]


Next Steps:
Text INVENTION to 44222 to stay updated about upcoming beta launch of program for entrepreneurs and inventors or click here.

Host: Meghan Alonso
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Host Company: Imua Services
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All Podcasts:
iTunes: bitly.com/Inspire

Full Transcription:

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 today’s episode is a continuation from episode 36 if you haven’t listen to that yet that’s a good place for you to start well actually in episode 36 I tell you it kinda related to episode 32 and 34 so you’ve got lots of listening to do if you haven’t listened to those episode before today is. If your style is to go out of order, that’s fine to. You can do that, no judgement. So I wanted to thank you all, I have amazing months if you’ve listened and known what I’ve been up to. I’ve been putting up my new program called Invention Idea to profitable product. It’s officially in beta. I have my beta testers going through right now and the response that I got from all of my applications is just incredible. I thank you guys so much. There a lot of people that poured their heart and souls into that application. It was so cool to read that all of the different products that people are working on and they need help. I’m really excited to get started and help. For some reason you didn’t finish your application or if you didn’t get around to applying. What comes after beta well then we’ll officially launch it which is coming next year. If you get on the enters list between now and January 1st then I will give you $750 off the program. That’s a huge discount, go ahead and take advantage of it now. You can sign up by going to IMUA-SERVICES.COM/IIPP that will get you there. And that link is just valid through the end of the year. Go ahead and do that if you’re interested, if not the price goes up in 2017. I wanna give a shout out to my colleague Brian Johnson that always puts on great event if you’re in Southern California on December 12 that is coming up very soon here. It’s his event called the Device talks West will be in – beach at a Fairmont Hotel there, very nice venue. He’ll be intimately interviewing some of the top minds in the medical device industry. It’s a really cool format, excellent food every time I go. So head on over in the Devicetalks.com you can register there and I’ll be in the event. You can stop by and say Hi.

Meghan: For today’s episode we’re finishing the process of what it takes to get a medical device to market and how you even get start up funding for that to make all this happen. So I did an overview in 36 just the process from this is what happens when you first have idea. And you move in to verification and validation and launch and we cover all that. We cover what is involve in those efforts. Everything what form what you should be focusing, from marketing to intellectual property, for engineering, regulatory. There’s a lot but what we didn’t get into yet is some of the actual business strategy and pitching that it takes to get that start up funding. So we are gonna look at that today. So we start up with business formation. Forming your business is packaging it up and doing entity. What’s best for what opportunity you’re seizing at the moment cause these can be flexible. You can change that, don’t ever forget that. We want to make sure that it works with your business strategy. You also want to have a strong team bind you to think that you can do this by yourself and take it to market by yourself is just unrealistic. I tell you that right now, I’m being blunt and honest. I’ve seen people try to do it and it doesn’t work because everybody is given the same amount of time a day. We can’t produce 48 hours of work in 24 hours a day. The more people you get on board in your mission the better. There is strategic way to do that as far as if you want to find experts. Yes but they have to believe what you are doing. And they want to be motivated to help bring your idea forward. Now your team could be an internal employee, it could be a business partner, it could be that you are hiring a contractor or maybe you are working with a product development firm and you find a regulatory expert and you don’t want to pay them a full salary or you pay them in an hourly rate or you hire firm that does that. There’s a lot of creative ways to get things done especially in todays world with all of technology. It’s pretty easy so you wanna figure out what is best for you and what makes the most cents as far as your cash flow. You also want to have a strong advisory board so in your particular therapheutic area. Maybe you are looking at a diabetes product that’s what you are working on. If you don’t have a team that shows, hey I have this top doctor on board or I have this entrepreneur on board that his done this. He knows diabetes space very well. If you don’t have a strong board like that then investor are not confident because they want to see the expertise in that particular area. They want to feel confident that you know what your technology is and its been validated and the expert is on board with that. As far as the business strategy part. You wanna look long term what are your goals and you want to – if the path you’re thinking doesn’t necessarily seen like it’s the right path. That can be due to different several things it can just be like changing your mind or finding out hey this is not working like I thought it would. So here is a likely scenario there is changes in our health care policy here in US we’ll see what happens with this next presidency, how are things gonna change if they are gonna change and how is that gonna impact our industry as medical device. What is it mean for someone just starting out developing some products now as far as their strategy. Are you gonna focus on hey I want a reimbursement strategy of this and this is how I’m gonna make my money. You also want to look out do you want to take this product all the way to market, do you want to commercialize it yourself or does it make more sense for you to license the technology to other companies and have them use it in their technology or do you want to get into a certain point and be acquired and what it makes the most sense and what can you do maybe you try two paths and pair it well because you don’t know what’s gonna happen, that’s fine to. Just having a plan you know plan a plan b or plan c all through plan z. Whatever just keep your options open or keep your eyes open to what’s happening and be able to shift with what’s going on. Then we get down to your pitch, first of all how do you get when you get a pitch, how do you track down this investors, how does this all work, do I raise money from my mom? Do I start to – a campaign? Do I go immediately to – a capital list. All of this is different for everybody, there is a common path I would say or a common order that things tend to happen. There’s always people who don’t follow that base on their particular situation other things make better sense strategically for them. Once you do find an investor to pitch with, are they even the right investor? Are they interested in investing your particular technology if it’s an investment group and they like health care investment, that is very broad. But you wanna look at their past portfolio what they’ve been interested before. They know their spaces pretty well too so maybe we talked about diabetes earlier so maybe you find a group that specializes diabetes type devices cause their passion about that they know their space well. They’re gonna be a good investor to have in your corner. If you came to them and you start talking to them about – and say wait I don’t know about this, I don’t wanna invest in that opportunity because it’s too risky for me since I don’t know too much about it. So you wanna make sure that it is the right person that you are pitching to. Then when you pitch what goes into that pitch what goes into the slide what are you saying to the slide. We are all in this boring power point presentation where we look at the screen and its all words. Like there is 10 bullet points right there and the speaker is just reading the power point. That is not what to do by the way. Don’t do that. If that is you change it, learn how to do a good power point presentation there is so many youtube videos out there. I’m not talking about a presentation here I’m just using it as an example cause we know it’s just painful. So pitches are the same way, you want to engage your audience moment with the investors. You don’t want to bore them. You want to have the screen as a reference plate maybe with pictures or imagery something to really connect with the words you are saying. How are you presenting like bio language, how you dress what is your personal hygiene and how are you coming across, how are you delivering it. We’re gonna look at all of that in my program, I do cover that. So you wanna be thinking about all those things. One thing that people have a disadvantage of is confidence so I recommend everybody before you start pitching. You need to practice public speaking, you need to get comfortable presenting into different environments. You can simulate that environment, You can find an empty boardroom somewhere. You can rent in actually there is a company called Regus and you can actually rent a boardroom for a day or even for just for hours. But there are other companies that do the same thing. That’s just an idea for you if you just want to simulate that stress level in that environment before you start pitching for real. Showing that you’ve done the work that goes into the pitch cause they’re definitely ask you questions and you want to be prepared. You want to present some things like we covered in episode 36 before, Here is all the market research that I’ve done. Here is what we found, here is the engineering date we’ve done. This is concept that didn’t work. Here is the usability feedback that we’ve got. You wanna be able to know to make it seem you know what you’re talking about and you should know what you are talking about. So it’s not like someone just have an idea and go pitch for money. It’s not easy and a lot goes through it and that what is I’m passionate. I’m passionate about helping you see the whole process and what really goes into it to set you up for success cause we ultimately want the goal of advancing health care forward bringing this ideas to life. When you are pitching you also want a compelling story you don’t just wanna dive into what your product does. Can you tell a story that connects you to a product or maybe you tell a story of someone else that’s using your product. That’s bringing in the human element of things and people always connect with that. It is easier for them to relate to something if there is some story behind it because they themselves have either gone through something like that or someone that has. Or if you’re telling stories about yourself or someone else they see that and they’re able to connect with that too. The next one is why you, so why are you the one to drag this technology forward. Could this technology exist on its own without you and could someone else move it forward. So you’ve got to think about that to positioning you and your team as we are the ones to do this and this is why you explain what makes you and your team is special to help your product to move forward. So again all of this I cover of my program this is just a snapshot of that. A high level overview it’s also just an educational opportunity for you to find out more what’s involve in the process. A lot of people think they want to develop a product and then they realize that it is a little bit different than what I thought it’s gonna be. With me in my life I went and got my bachelors degree and I started working and I thought, oh I think I’m gonna go back to school for physical therapy and I started working in a clinic and I though I’m working with physical therapist but what the doctor are doing, what the physician assistants are doing and I think I wanna do that and so I talk with them more and got to see what their day was like. Then I started taking classes cause it have been so long since I’ve had those under graduate classes that when you apply for medical education program they make you redo those prerequisites so I was in the process of doing that. Suffering through chemistry class again and I thought I think I don’t want to do this. I see what’s going here, my passion for the business side of medicine which was really growing and I thought I’m just gotta stop this. I look up what I thought I wanted and – because I figure it out that this is not for me and if you do that, that’s ok. You’re finding out, you’re taking a chance o something and just doing it. No matter what you’re up to in life, I hope that’s really valuable advice. I guess number 1 It’s not too late to change and number 2 it’s ok and you do change, you can always change your mind and do something else. We only got 1 life to live so you gotta take advantage to it while we’re here and still kicking. I’m wrapping this up for you today again I just want to remind you of Device Talks December 12 at the Fairmont beach. Come see you there, come meet Brian Johnson himself and we’ll have a goodtime together. If you want to be part of this program and you missed the boat of the beta version that’s okay. It’s not too late just head over IMUA-SERVICES.COM/IIPP to take advantage of your 750 dollars off that offer ends 11:59pm on December 31st so you gotta take advantage of it this month and I will see you in the next episode and I promise I’ll have a guest on there so you’re not just listening to me. Take care everybody. IMUA!

Recorder: 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 hang ten that’s all one word H-A-N-G-T-E-N 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 hang ten to 44222. We publish a new episode every Tuesday, so catch us at Inspiredbyimua.com. Imua!

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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