Veteran VC Says Beware of Health IT Bubble: Not Enough ‘Actual Business Plans’
Timothy Hay from the Wall Street Journal wrote a great article after he interviewed me.
Ms. DeGheest has invested extensively in medical devices and in health-related information technology, and she said she learned in the ‘90s to read the signs of an economic bubble. She sees some of those signs today, telling Venture Capital Dispatch of a potential “Series B crunch” as a number of health entrepreneurs without solid business plans try to raise money from investors.
Anne DeGheest | 04 February 2014
Today, I was on a funding panel organized by Singularity University during their FutureMed program. Traditional medical devices and biotech companies are facing a significant funding gap from the shrinking venture industry. This is due to the lack of clarity of the FDA approval process and the challenges in getting reimbursement for new products. As a result funding in traditional life science companies has decreased significantly especially for the earlier rounds. However a new sector is emerging under different names: digital health, mobile health, HIT or HealthTech. The direct to consumer applications have seen a surge of new startups in the last 12 months, followed by Angels or technology venture capitalist. There are two areas that are emerging with significant opportunities:
These two sectors will require new approaches in building businesses. Starting with a small amount of initial capital, these young companies need to be heavily mentored to understand the pain points of all the stakeholders in the healthcare systems, engage consumer to change behavior, leverage the new mobility and social platform.. Without requiring significant capital investment!
These are the time of defining pain points, quick prototyping, customer feedback, product iteration to understand user adoptions.....and the revenue model!
Too many entrepreneurs are developing cool apps... Without spending enough time on the business issues. Since there may be low IP protection, what are the barriers of entry on the business side? How will your acquire the customers..at an acceptable cost? How will you retain them? Who will pay..and why? What will you have to do to convince them? Do you have to interface with the existing medical information system? How scalable is you backend operation? These are questions that you first investors will ask.. If you don't have these answers you will need a clear roadmap on how to get them!
Anne DeGheest | 09 February 2012
On January 20, 2012, I was a speaker on the panel "Funding Mechanisms" at the Healthcare Innovation Summit in San Francisco.
The key takeaway are:
Anne DeGheest | 25 January 2012