Devices & Diagnostics

Investor has three must-answer questions for every entrepreneur and pitch

MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum, to take place April 22-23 in Chicago, unites active investors with corporate business development executives to facilitate investment opportunities with promising Mid-America based startups. The event showcases emerging innovation and technology dealflow originating in the Midwest, and has earned the reputation as the premier healthcare investing conference. The speaker lineup reflects […]

Scott E. McIntyre

MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum, to take place April 22-23 in Chicago, unites active investors with corporate business development executives to facilitate investment opportunities with promising Mid-America based startups.

The event showcases emerging innovation and technology dealflow originating in the Midwest, and has earned the reputation as the premier healthcare investing conference.

The speaker lineup reflects a stellar program and some of the industry’s most influential and innovative leaders.

To get to know each of these leaders a little better before the conference, we asked them each the same four questions. Scott McIntyre is the founder of Phabriq Development. He also serves on the board of directors of the Crowdfunding Professional Association.

Be sure to register for the event — there’s still time — and join our LinkedIn group for the event.

1. Who influenced you to get involved in healthcare and/or investing?

When I joined Princeton Consultants in the early ’90s our group focused primarily on pharma and biotech, but my mentor, Herb Katz, was deep in manufacturing. So, it seemed a natural for me to focus my practice on medical devices, which turned out to be just what the doctor ordered, excuse the pun. I think some of my education in physics also helped spark that interest. It’s satisfying to come full circle back into that field with my latest startup, Head Case Company.

2. What do you think is the most important change happening in healthcare today?

It may sound self-serving, considering the subject of my participation at your conference is on crowdfunding, but I’d say that an important change in healthcare (outside of the huge promise of finally making healthcare actually available at all to more Americans via the ACA) is the potential innovations from investment via crowdfunding. Though many of us are concerned about the plausibility of the pending rules for equity investments from the Crowd, if implemented in their proposed form anyway, existing forms of crowdfunding (donation, reward, lending) will prove a huge advantage not only for entrepreneurs seeking capital, but also for corporations to harness the crowd for intrapreneurial development, including crowdsourcing, not just the funding component. Intrapreneurship is an area I’m currently developing in my practice. And even without ownership of the underlying securities that may drive further investment via crowdfunding, we’ve already seen remarkable growth fueled by donation – and reward-style campaigns. And while Kickstarter and others may not support medical devices, or any innovations with potential liability, as the field grows, more models will emerge that offer investors options on getting in at the ground floor of what could later be stratospheric appreciation — and of course catastrophic failures too. But that’s the business. The Crowd helps accelerate the path to innovation in many forms, from idea validation to group collaboration to customer generation and hopefully increasingly to funding.

3. What is your biggest pitch pet peeve/what’s the most bizarre press pitch you’ve ever received?

My role in the spectrum of venture development oscillates between entrepreneur and catalyst. So I’m rarely on the side of the table as investor, and more commonly pitching or helping my clients and partners pitch. But in selecting which clients I will serve when I’m between internal projects, I have a simplified 3-stage formula that starts with relevance/affinity. If it’s a product I can relate to, then the next 2 questions are determinant: is there an existing market, or do we have to create demand?; and is the product/service/movement inevitable? So, when it comes to the context of your question, I offer the same advice to the students I mentor as I do my clients — do your homework and make sure the people you’re pitching have relevant background/investments in your sector. Otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time.

4. What’s one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur?

I’d say that the answer to that question is based on their stage of life and of their development. Mostly though, I try to set realistic expectations. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It’s not what the media makes you think it is, anyway. You need thick skin to be able to accept criticism, failure and uncertainty. I’d start there because it only gets harder.