For a couple decades now, venture capital firms have held the reins to some of the most promising developments in medicine.
That’s because lots of emerging companies in the healthcare space rely on VC firms to fund both product creation and their pathway to market. From MedTech to biotech, pharma and medical services, these companies can’t get it done without the money folks.
There’s an obvious place for docs on the development side of things, but what you might not realize is that VC firms also need physicians. Working as consultants, physicians just like you are getting paid in their spare time to help steer the investments that VC firms make.
Today, we’re taking some time to dive into a couple of ways that physician consultants can add value for these firms.
Identifying investable startups
Whether or not you have an eye for investing in your personal life, your expert medical opinion can really come in handy for VC firms looking to diversify their portfolio.
VC firms generally specialize in a particular industry or sector, like healthcare. But healthcare is still a really broad term. For example, a healthcare VC firm that's looking at a company seeking to revolutionize echocardiography might not have any experience with ultrasound technology. That’s where you come in, being the seasoned cardiologist that you are.
Here are a few ways that you could help the firm in this scenario:
- Research. This would involve taking a deep look at the company and their pitch and reporting back to the firm. What do you think of the product? Is it a blockbuster or a bust?
- Risks and benefits. You might also be tasked with helping to identify the scope of potential risks and benefits of the investment. In what ways would the product be used? How often do those uses come up in your daily practice?
And don’t worry; none of these things are going to involve math on your part. VC firms have plenty of analysts for that. You'd just be having a conversation or providing a writeup with your thoughts.
Leveraging your network
Besides your medical knowledge and experience, another invaluable resource you have to offer VC firms is your network.
Taking the above example, here’s a few ways your network might come in handy:
- Customer discovery. This would basically entail using your network to form a pool of cardiologists who could give their input on the product in development. Because even better than the input of one cardiologist is the input of five or ten.
- Champion. A product champion is someone who does everything they can to make sure a great new product actually gets used. So in this scenario, you might consider contacting cardiologists in your network to let them know about the new technology and why you’re excited about it.
These are just a few ideas for how you can help VC firms make smart investments. The bottom line is that, as a physician, you are in a prime position to know what medical products and services could really be useful, and that intel is in turn super useful to the venture capital firms who use flipMD to find consultants.