Surviving the Front Lines of Medical Entrepreneurship
Whether you are a cash strapped medical startup, a mid-established company with one or two rounds of funding under your belt, or an industry giant, there are three critical elements that can help catapult your endeavor in entrepreneurship and mitigate your risk moving forward in the world of medical innovation:
- Smart, cost effective office space through focused co-working for medically oriented companies
- Access to prohibitively expensive resources that are minimally used by one group but easily shared amongst a focused membership
- Exposure to stakeholders, payers, and end-users who can work on multiple development stages of your organization
Most of us have seen the multiple co-working groups that have opened up across the U.S. and the world. A good example is WeWork. They focus on any type of startup and provide them with a cost effective spot (small office or just a desk), plenty of resources (Wi-Fi, printers, etc.), and finally, and most importantly, access or exposure to mentors, VCs, and a vibrant community of others in the trenches of startup warfare.
So how does someone in the medical startup world use an ecosystem like WeWork? Do you want to be sitting next to the 21 year old who doesn’t wear shoes developing the next Angry Birds app? Can you bring high-level executives you are entertaining to a place where random Nerf battles rage for 20 minutes straight? Does the place have the niche resources you need for product development? After touring multiple co-working projects, the answer is a definite NO.
A new endeavor in Austin, TX, lead by the parent company MedtoMarket Consulting, Inc., is creating the first ever medical co-working and lab facility called HeLiX. HeLiX, which stands for “Health care & Life sciences, with an X Factor”, will address the needs of medical startups and even established industry players. How? HeLiX will focus on the three critical elements with an exclusive focus towards what life sciences organizations need.
First, providing a cost-conscious, upscale, tech savvy office space built in a centrally located area close to medical stakeholders (hospitals, medical school, universities, and Austin’s vibrant downtown) is crucial. HeLiX, once built, will provide an ecosystem with a Ritz Carlton approach towards member satisfaction. The building will be clean, safe and exciting to show off to your clients. The ecosystem will be dedicated to HeLiX members and not mixed in with a high rise full of random people. Membership, depending on the level, offers you simple 6-12 month programs. Social memberships with M-F, 8am-5pm will allow boot strapping groups a great place to collaborate and flourish. You can opt for fully furnished private offices with access to executive conference rooms, board rooms, break out meeting rooms, and an executive lounge for socializing and having a glass of wine/beer/soft drink.
Second, members need access to resources that are difficult to build out by one organization due to the prohibitive costs involved. HeLiX, will invest over $2 million in build out improvements to offer full bioskills facilities, human factor engineering rooms, a fabrication lab with a 3-D printer, wet lab space, mock operating rooms, and a tech savvy lecture room for large groups. These resources allow members to market HeLiX resources as their own to their clients. Imagine bringing your client into your private office and then moving into the boardroom for a presentation, followed by showcasing your product in the mock operating room with cadaveric specimens that are kept onsite. All resource rooms will have video analysis capabilities to view your presentation later for refinement and improvement.
Finally, the element that brings all of the space and resources together is the community. Medical innovation does not happen without collaboration from end-users and stakeholders. Having exposure to the support system is crucial in product/policy/procedure development. The ecosystem becomes complete when an organization can find end-users (doctors, nurses, techs), investors (VCs, private equity groups, angel investors), and the supportive groups (business development advisors, researchers, universities, lawyers, regulatory/ testing/HFE advisors) inside the building to chat about ideas informally over a beer or engage them formally as an advisor.
It is already difficult enough to create a successful medical startup in today’s life sciences landscape. Mitigating your risk by growing your company in the right medical co-working ecosystem will serve your organization in many ways. Having the three critical elements of space, resources, and community will increase your organization’s chances of success in the landmine riddled front lines of medical entrepreneurship.
Get info about the latest biotech, life science, and medical device co-work community in the heart of Austin. Contact Us Now.
Aaron Ali, M.D.
CEO & Founding Partner