Posts Tagged entrepreneurship
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship & Emerging Technologies - (Mobile, Cloud, Clean Energy, Big Data etc.) on May 2, 2013
TiEcon 2013, the biggest conference of its kind, with a mission to nurture entrepreneurship, has an impressive lineup of excellent speakers and panels, in the hottest industry segments of Big Data, Mobile, Software Defined Infrastructure, and in Entrepreneurship.
Big Data track will feature speakers that include, Dr. D J Patil http://bit.ly/YYyOxd, data scientist at Greylock Partners, and Rayid Ghani, http://bit.ly/16Ys2iI , Mr. Obama’s Chief Scientist who converted vast amount of data collected through large commercial databases, boutique lists, voter files, and social media sites, into a source of valuable data that galvanized the election campaign and the rest is history.
Mobile track will hold panels on “mobile ecosystems” to “where they are VCs investing”, in this fast growing market. The track will feature top notch speakers like Anand Chandrasekhar http://bit.ly/10zEJks, Senior VP and CMO at Qualcomm.
With data centers of the future defined by Software Defined Infrastructure, efficiency is bound to get a boost, as resources get divided. This track will feature speakers like Dr. Guru Parulkar http://bit.ly/10MyHYw, Executive Director at ONRC and Consulting Professor at Stanford University, with discussions around how OpenFlow might enable networks to evolve by giving power to the remote controller, to modify the behavior of network devices.
Entrepreneurship track has some of the biggest names of inspiring self made entrepreneurs, including famous Ronnie Screwvala http://bit.ly/160LYQB, Syntel’s Bharat Desai http://bit.ly/13HmSrQ, Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics http://bit.ly/ZxDn3f, and Manoj Bhargava http://bit.ly/17KV6dc, CEO of 5-Hour Energy, possibly the wealthiest Indian entrepreneur, in USA.
Entrepreneurship is not just a buzzword at TiEcon. Here future successful entrepreneurs will be showcasing their companies, will get access to mentors like Vinod Khosla and Kanwal Rekhi, and get countless opportunities to network. The participants will likely include professionals from some of TiE’s 500+ startups and 150+ angel investors. Come and get energized, in an environment where failures are merely stepping stones to success.
Last few days to register for tiecon, before it is fully sold out – http://www.tiecon.org.
Mr. Michael Allen, a serial entrepreneur, (previously in executive roles at Xlumena, Metrika, and Chemtrack), and currently CEO of Vascular Designs, a targeted drug delivery company, talked about “starting a medical device company in Silicon Valley”, at www.bio2devicegroup.org .
Financing is one of the major early challenges that entrepreneurs face. While it begins with a good idea, they also need to obtain some seed financing, and they need a short 2 page summary. Their business plan should be an outline that includes some financial projections, some data about market and market need, information about regulatory path and reimbursement issues. Advocates, typically medical experts, are also needed. With these pieces in place, they would be ready to go for institutional financing and begin to meet the investors.
The VC model has changed, said Allen. Traditional VC model used to focus around a goal with very high end value, in the range of $250 M where 10’s of millions would be invested. It was built around the idea of large management teams in the early phase and a ready sales force in anticipation of the launch, that often never happens. Many VCs who adhered to this model, are out of business. The current model is to focus on a goal to achieve a moderate exit. Team is scaled in proportion to the need, sales force is maintained at small level until product and market are demonstrated. It is assumed that delays are inevitable and cash is king.
Allen talked about his experience and learnings from leading ChemTrak from seed stage to IPO exit, with 6X return. ChemTrak was a diagnostic company, with a single use diagnostic kit to measure Total and HDL cholesterol and other non-instrumented quantitative tests. He also shared lessons in leading Metrika, another diagnostic company that was sold to Bayer, with 1.5X return plus ongoing royalty deal. Metrika’s several products included A1C test, giving patients with diabetes on the spot feedback on their A1C number and e.p.t. pregnancy test. They had some good patents, but mixing electronics, optics, and chemistry was very challenging, said Allen. Allen’s next company Xlumena, is medical device company with products aimed to advance image guided endoscopic therapy. These products allow minimally invasive alternatives for diseases of the organs that surround the GI tract. Summarizing some of the learnings, Allen said, CEO is responsible for everything, no matter who makes decisions.
Allen’s current company, Vascular Designs offers a new treatment option for people suffering from life-threatening illnesses like cancer, through targeted drug delivery, as opposed to systemic approach. Through transfemoral catheter, drugs can be delivered directly into the tumor cells and block the blood supply. It allows for high concentration of drugs delivered, while at the same time, reduces systemic exposure, thus minimizing caustic side effects. This procedure can be performed as an outpatient procedure, takes only about an hour, and nothing is permanently implanted. For success of a venture, Allen stressed, it is very important to hire the right people. He discussed hiring process he follows and also emphasized the importance of spending time and writing a good job description. The talk was followed by Q&A.
Emerging markets already represent huge growth opportunities for pharmaceutical companies. In may countries, lifespan has increased and as people live longer, they are more in need of traditional health enhancing drugs for common ailments like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; in many countries such as India and China, as diet and lifestyle changes, there is also and increase of such diseases; and there is a huge and growing middle class that is able to spend the money, and is more conscious of health. One would presume that these same factors will also open growth opportunities for medical device companies. For instance, Medtronic expects India sales to grow 25% for the next five years and is considering setting up R&D and Manufacturing facility in India (I saw firsthand that emerging markets is a big priority for Medtronic, when I facilitated leadership and inclusion training for Medtronic team in India in 2010 – http://darshanavnadkarni.wordpress.com/category/musings/). At TiEcon 2012 (www.tiecon.org), a panel that includes Katie Szyman, President at Medtronic Diabetes, Tom Fogarty, Serial Entrepreneur, Renee Compton Ryan from J&J, and Dana Mead from Kleiner Perkins, will address trends, challenges, and opportunities presented by emerging markets, in this $350B industry. I am also looking forward to hear more about “reverse innovation”, a term coined by GE’s Jeffrey Immelt, where the innovation in new products and services is driven by cost conscious emerging markets, and is then reintroduced into the Western markets.
Mobile health panel, at TiEcon, will discuss entrepreneurial opportunities in the fast growing field of Mobile Health. Increasing reach and easy access of mobile communication devices like mobile phones,Tablets, patient monitors etc. is making monitoring of health, dissemination of health information to patient and care providers, and providing healthcare in a timely and real-time manner, possible. A panel of experts including Aza Raskin from Massive Health, Ron Gutman, CEO of HealthTap, Jack Young from Qualcomm, and Alex De Winter from Mohr Davidow will share success stories and discuss the pitfalls to avoid, in the mobile health market. This is a fast growing market which has yet many unanswered questions like, who would own the data, what would be the regulatory impact, and more.
Panelists Randall Spratt from McKesson, John Mattison from Kaiser, Adrian Rawlinson from Brown & Toland Physicians, and Jim Murray from UC Irvine Health Information Services will discuss investment trends in health IT including demographic trends, technological enablers, cost pressures, regulatory mandates and where the VCs are looking to invest, given all the challenges.
With mHealth, cross-functional collaboration, and emerging markets as the drivers of innovation, the boundaries are increasingly more flexible and TiEcon is focusing on Life Sciences, and addressing the enormous entrepreneurship and innovation that will take place by those playing with the boundaries, rather than within them. Register at http://www.tiecon.org.