What are the top 3 challenges to building a healthcare startup?

Vasudev Bailey / November, 2018


Vasudev (Vas) Bailey invests in disruptive tech, consumer and healthcare (therapeutic, diagnostic, device, digital) companies as a Partner at ARTIS Ventures. In this video, Vasudev explains three challenging areas of building a healthcare startup. Watch and avoid!

Video transcript:

What are the top 3 unique challenges to healthcare startup?

The top three challenges I think are actually pretty consistent across most healthcare companies that I see. The first one, undoubtedly, is talent. It is unique in order to be able to find people who have the scientific expertise or the technical merit or even the commercial knowledge of being able to take unique therapies and technologies to market. Trying to find a synthetic biologist somewhere – how many of them exist in this world who actually know how to work on those new products? It is challenging to find them and to bring them on. Do they even care to work as part of a startup or would they rather work in an academic lab? The second thing which is a really important thing that I think people forget is the clinical trial process and defining endpoints. It really matters which indication are you taking and going to market with.

Because some spaces are a lot more crowded and maybe easier but doesn’t even matter that you have proven in a very crowded space that your drug therapy can work as well. So, there is the whole science or perhaps a field of indication sequencing of understanding which therapeutic area indication you take your technology and apply it at.

The third thing is about looking at your valuation, fundraising, and your financing. I do think that the funds you work with and the people you work with who are your early investors can make a huge difference. I think for every up that you have you’ll probably have two down moments. Are your investors going to be with you along the way and do you have the personality to whether those bad days?

I think it’s a combination of like knowing and selecting the right people and it sometimes enamored by the name of the person, but they might not be right for you. So, the board member you have can make or break your company. It is literally like getting married to your investor. I think it is important and so I think that is a third criterion or a challenge that I think that startups face. They do have choices in the market today and they do have an ability to get money from, sometimes I’ve heard Asia, Russia, in this day and age and part of it is – if it makes sense go with it. If you think you have the right people on that end, then go for it. Because ultimately, it’s not the dollars that counts but it is also the people at the other end that will make a difference in your financing as well.



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