Where can I find money?

Young entrepreneurs are defined by their fresh, exciting ideas and passionate drive to succeed. Most, however, lack money and the experience and connections to turn their concepts into viable businesses. So how do young startups land funding? The answer seems to be: any which way they can.

Kauffmann has published a series of ebooks featuring practical advice from healthcare entrepreneurs. The one posted bellow includes insights on early-stage fundraising based on the pitfalls, options and the feedback of experienced entrepreneurs in the field.

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Greatest medical devices of all time… since now

The hard-working health care professionals we have today get a lot of help from amazing medical devices. The doctors, nurses and others from more than a century ago — and especially those from more than two centuries ago — would be amazed at the things that we can do in health care today. No matter your health care specialty, you have probably benefited from medical innovations.

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Credit: QMED

Recently Qmed surveyed its audience about their thoughts on what are the most important medical devices ever developed. At the top it was the hypodermic syringe. Along with the myriad of substances for which they are the prime, if not the only, delivery vehicle, have probably been responsible for saving more lives and alleviating more suffering than any other piece of medical technology. Completed the list the pacemaker, the eyeglasses, the X-ray machine, the MRI, the stethoscope, the band-aid, the catheter, the CT Scanner, the cochlear implant, the intraocular lenses and the heart valves.

Innovation within the medical device industry had led to tremendous advances in the provision of care for patients worldwide. But it is a process that needs to continue.

Our mission in Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona) program is to train the next generation of healthcare innovators, the ones that will invent and implement the new biomedical products, through the biodesign process, a systematic approach based on unmet needs finding to later increase our ability to diagnose and treat conditions.

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d·HEALTH Barcelona 2013-2014 fellows

We are currently seeking the fellows for d·HEALTH Barcelona 2014-2015. Worldwide youngsters with interest in the development of medical technologies and with advanced degrees in engineering, design, business or life sciences are encouraged to apply before May 11, 2014.

We offer the fellows a once-in-a-life-time experience, first hand access to real-world experts from the medical technology, legal and venture capital sectors worldwide and a fun learning/working environment while they join an emerging field.

d·HEALTH Barcelona 2013-2014 fellows are currently prototyping their innovations. Will one of them join, in the future, the list of greatest medical devices ever? Or will be yours, future fellow reading this post? Only time will tell. Meantime, if you want to get more info about the application process or, even better, apply and become a member of our red polo shirts team, click here.

Victor McCray’s recipe to reduce risk in business


Credit: Ocular Dynamics

Every business venture, regardless of economic climate, market conditions, products, personnel and capitalization, has risks. Assessing those risks is the first step to later start taking measures to reduce them.

Victor McCray has plenty of experience managing risks and he shared it with Design Health Barcelona fellows at a recent videoconference.

Victor is a prominent figure in medtech, both a physician and an entrepreneur. As CEO and Co-Founder of Ocular Dynamics, a Silicon Valley based company developing a polymer contact lens coating for patients with dry eye disease, McCray knows what he is talking about, and fellows took full advantage of their time with him, covering a wide range of topics. If you keep reading here you will also learn Victor’s secret to manage entrepreneurial risk.


Entrepreneurship in Spain: state of the art (by two d·HEALTH Barcelona Faculty members)

Launching a new enterprise has always been a hit-or-miss proposition. According to the decades-old formula, you write a business plan, pitch it to investors, assemble a team, introduce a product, and start selling as hard as you can. And somewhere in this sequence of events, you’ll probably suffer a fatal setback. 75% of all start-ups fail.

Recently an important countervailing force has emerged, one that can make the process of starting a company less risky. The “lean start-up,” methodology favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development. Although the methodology is just a few years old, its concepts have quickly taken root in the start-up world, and business schools have already begun adapting their curricula to teach them.

The lean start-up movement hasn’t gone totally mainstream, however, and we have yet to feel its full impact. Design Health Barcelona Faculty member Mario López de Ávila (@nodosenlared) has published a report featuring the state of the art of Lean Start-Up entrepreneurship in Spain. The document, accessible here, includes chapters about central aspects of the Lean Startup approach such as prototyping, experiments, metrics and business models. The latter has been written by Design Health Faculty member Javier Megias (@jmegias), who has recently given a lot to talk about after publishing the Spain Start Up Map, an excellent infographic that includes the Spanish startup and investor community.

Congratulations to both of them!


Credit: Start-Up Map (by Javier Megías -@jmegias)


Scientific Thinking in Business

Over the past few centuries scientific thinking has largely increased our understanding of the world. This learning would have not been so effective without the scientific method, the recipe science uses to study reality in a systematic, replicable way. It starts with some general question based on your experience; then it forms a hypothesis that would resolve the puzzle and that also generates a testable prediction; later it gathers data to test the prediction; and finally, evaluates the hypothesis relative to other competing ones.

Despite its proven success, scientific thinking has rarely entered the worlds of politics, business, policy and marketing. Why? Science is used to deal with huge amounts of data, a deluge of information that now is also entering social sciences and changing forever how businesses decide what to do. How could the scientific method improve business decision making?

We have found at MIT Technology Review magazine a very interesting special report on scientific thinking applied to business that explores the topic. It is worth reading.


Credit: University of Berkeley


7 very useful videos for every entrepreneur

In 2013 the Lean Startup movement has continued growing and created a very visible community interested in using its principles. In the conference held in San Francisco December 9-11 about the Lean methodology, some of its best practitioners spoke about emerging strategies that maturing companies have tested to keep innovation at the core of their businesses, unexpected challenges faced by entrepreneurs implementing Lean Startup practices around the world and the particular opportunities for Lean Impact among non-profit and mission-driven organizations. Here are 7 video-highlights collected by The Fetch Blog of the conference and very useful for every entrepreneur.

Learning to be an organization that pivots (by @keyajay)

Frame Before You Build, Measure, Learn (by @zachnies)

Using Kickstarter to Run an MVP (by @VelezAlejandro)

The Medium Is the Message (by @pv)

Risk, Information, Time and Money (by @danmil)

Acquiring Your First Users Out of Thin Air (by @kmin)

Evidence-based Entrepreneurship (by @sgblank)

What is the future of business?

It is the question everyone is asking

What is the future of business?

Today’s leading companies are already becoming obsolete. Only 71 companies remain today from the original 1955 Fortune 500 list. Six of ten biggest corporate bankruptcies in history have occurred since 2008.

According to Brian Solis, a digital analyst studying technology and its impact on business, we are currently living a digital Darwinism, a time when technology and society are evolving faster than the ability of many organizations to adapt. It is this reason, along with a myriad of other problems that, in fact, killed companies such as Blockbuster and Kodak. Digital Darwinism has already cost the planet close to a half billion jobs and it is accelerating. The chilling effects of digital Darwinism and the rapidly evolving consumer landscape is told in the infographic below.

The tsunami of social, mobile, real-time, technology is disrupting everything and customers are evolving into something new. They’re more connected, empowered and demanding.

Surviving to digital Darwinism has become a matter of life and death for both big and small companies. To innovate at a pace that allows them to survive organizations need to develop innovative products and distribution channels and rely on people and experiences.


Credit: Brian Solis

The Secret of Great Teams

There are teams that have changed the world. The designers of the Mac, the creators of Google, the most popular site on the Web, Henry Ford’s team who made the automobile affordable, the agency that came up with Mastercard’s “priceless” campaign that has become a cliché…

Building companies and making business history, requires the know-how to build long-lasting, harmonic, cooperative, synchronized teams. Great teams are more than just a gathering of smart people. To build a great team requires the ability to master the “art of people” and knowing how to maneuver hundreds (if not thousands) of people at the right place and at the right time. It means knowing how each person thinks and how to best utilize their competencies rightly at all times.

To build a high-functioning team it’s difficult, but it can be learned. During the first week of the bootcamp stage, Simon Kavanagh and Jon Tangen, from Danish KaosPilot school trained Design Health Barcelona fellows on how to create successful teams. In this interview, they share with us some of the techniques and methodologies used.


Essentials of entrepreneurship


We are back at our Moebio blog and ready to start the first edition of Design Health Barcelona next Friday (check out our agenda for event details)!

They are exciting times for us… and for our fellows! From September 2013 to May 2014, all of them, young talented men and women, will receive the necessary knowledge to identify unmet clinical needs and design and develop innovative solutions… in one form or another. At the end of the program, some of the fellows will found their own start-up, some will join already existing companies… Whatever the situation, being an entrepreneur, an innovator, as amazing as it is, it is not an easy task. It requires both hard work and a big dose of realism. And this is our first post after summer about.

There are plenty of ideas and opinions about how best to focus an organization’s resources and efforts for success. Some years ago, management guru Peter Drucker wrote an intriguing little book titled The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. In just under 100 pages, Drucker tells everything a person will never need to know about where to focus his/her organization and how to do it. The 5 crucial questions Drucker poses are:

–       What is your business’ reason to be?

–       Who is your customer?

–       What does your customer value?

–       What are your results?

–       What is your plan?

Taken together, Peter Drucker’s five questions are powerful. Try answering them (and, if curious, read Drucker’s answers to them here) and you will get a clear roadmap right to the heart of what makes a business successful.

If you have 12 minutes more we encourage you to watch also Mark Suster’s (an American entrepreneur, angel investor and investment partner at GRP Partners and also a prominent blogger) TechCrunch interview about… failure. Yes, no one likes to fail but failure is part of the process of being an entrepreneur… Failure is ok. It’s not the same as losing or being a loser. It’s a set back. In fact, great entrepreneurs such as Steve Blank and Richard Branson have made millions from failure.

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In the video Suster explains his “classic, first-time stupid mistakes” and how it uses this knowledge as a warning signal of which teams to avoid funding and to coach first-time founders or university students who want to pursue entrepreneurship.

How do good ideas become reality?

How many times have you been in a meeting and someone says to you, “That’s a great idea, you should take the initiative and make it a reality.” What typically happens? Most of the time, nothing.  Most great ideas remain dormant because people don’t have the courage, resources, time and/or money to take action. And for those who take action, most are unprepared and thus find themselves spending their valuable time and money on a dream that simply goes astray.

Converting an idea into a reality is never an easy task.

In the following TEDMED talk though leaders in innovation share key steps along the way, from start to scale to exit, to convert an idea into reality.