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We had a discussion, “Got a $10-million idea? Who cares!” at http://bit.ly/10MM-whocares nearly two years ago.
At the time I asked a panel of VCs, “What about the guy who has the $10 or $20 million idea, where does he go?”
Serial entrepreneur Danny Sachs answered, “Pick another project,” and continued, “I mean, you’re going to spend as much time and sweat on a $10 million idea as a $500 million idea.”
The comments on that thread are worth revisiting.
Fast forward to last month. I asked another panel almost the same question as part of a larger discussion. But they came back with a different answer.
I captured the whole discussion on video at http://medgroup.biz/10MM-revisited where you can listen to it in context.
Dave Vachon, Founder of Novion Technologies: “You’re not going to get a VC to fund it but you can actually raise non-dilutive funds,” adding, “I don’t think NIH (National Institutes of Health) will scoff at a $10MM idea that solves a problem…. You don’t always have to go through someone to invest in your company.”
Mary Waiss, President/CEO of Precision Image Analysis: “Sometimes it’s hard to know how big the market really is…. As people become aware of your solution, there are other applications you may not have even thought about.”
Phil Fraser, CEO of Innovative Dental Technologies: “We are in that boat. We raised $325,000. We started with one concept and through relationships with other dentists, other idea generators, partnerships… in 18 months we’ve developed an additional five products and now the company’s valued at $7 to $8 million.”
Randy Hamlin, Vice President for Point of Care at Philips: “We don’t have a fixed number about size. It’s based on puzzle pieces we’re putting together for a complete solution. That piece may be a relatively small element but when you add it to the other pieces it represents a huge opportunity,” concluding, “I wouldn’t hesitate if something is a $5MM opportunity as it stands by itself because it could represent, as a puzzle piece, much bigger.”
Both viewpoints ($10MM is too small • No it’s not) seem valid, based on your role in the industry.
For discussion, what do you think of the discussion above?
At what size is an idea too small? Is there a level?
ResMed CEO Mick Farrell Will Keynote Our Next 10x Medical Device Conference
I’m very happy to welcome Mick to our annual meeting (San Diego, May 1-3).
Early bird tickets now available (prices go up November 1). Full refund through Valentine’s Day if you need to cancel for any reason, so lock in at the lower price today!
See http://medgroup.biz/10x for the agenda which is still coming together.
Make it a great week.
P.S. We park the good stuff at http://medgroup.biz/MDG-SITE Register there now to stay up to date.
There are also other issues here, which character and time limits prohibit me from addressing. I will say that I don’t see any problem inherent in founding entrepreneurs not being CEO or President by the time of IPO. I don’t take it as a given that what makes for a “successful” founding entrepreneur also makes for a “successful” CEO/President at IPO.
Comments on the old thread are indeed worth revisiting. The comments on this thread are excellent too.
Entrepreneurs priority is to create functional and competitive products and then to build personal wealth with such products.
High net wealth investors may soon discover that they better support entrepreneurs and ventures that they believe in. Such a construct can also leverage their capital through central banks to maximize investment or run an IPO.
This is about to change, with the acquisition of St. Jude by Abbott, and an upcoming acquisition by J&J in that space, the other side of the coin will shine. When an industry segment, such as CRM, has limited market access, maintaining lucrative cash cows, innovation suffers. Competition is the lube that keeps capitalism healthy, as we saw when mainframe computing was disrupted by Microsoft.
With the exciting potential that is in studies for photobiomodulation, transcranial magnetics, ultrasound, and neurofeedback for Alzheimer’s, TBI, and ADHD, and PD, the next chapter will revolutionize medicine.
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