An Unfair Advantage of De-risking For New Medtech Ideas

An Unfair Advantage of De-risking For New Medtech Ideas

There are a lot of competitive forces and emerging technologies with a host of new user experiences and startups that continue to alter the medtech competitive landscape.

To stay ahead in the medtech innovation market, companies can’t sit back and rely on one innovation method or just one product. To win, you need to create an “unfair” competitive advantage by fully understanding the market you are playing in.

The paths may differ, but the primary strategy is knowing the effective approaches, and by spending a small amount of money and a lot of time with vetting and de-risking activities. Add user-centered initiatives, an all-ships-rise type of attitude and some good partnerships and you may put yourself ahead of the pack.

The Adobe Kickbox Model

De-risking activities for new medtech ideas takes planning and a lineup of innovative talent to pool new ideas. Large tech companies, like Adobe, provide materials in the form of a Kickbox that includes details regarding how to get started as well as $1,000 to spend on developing the idea, which seems to be just the right amount to either determine that the idea is not going to work, or that it is worth investing more into.

In Adobe’s own words: “Kickbox helps innovators:

  • Be more effective and have more impact
  • Build valuable life skills and experience (for example, ideation, divergent thinking, and business creation)
  • Increase job satisfaction and engagement (as demonstrated by participant evaluation scores)
  • Discover (or rediscover) their passion for delighting customers”

Tapping into employee talent to create pipelines into the market can be seen at corporations like Johnson & Johnson. They have opened multiple innovation centers to support growing startups within the organization.  Big companies that have aligned with entrepreneurial mindsets are at the forefront of innovative opportunities.



Partnerships are a key ingredient to de-risking across the board with multiple channels operating at the same time. This is very important in the multi-sided markets that medtech startups face. Its not just about presenting a neat product, its about aligning all 5 P’s, the payer, provider, patient, physician and purchaser (the ultimately acquirer) to the product being developed. In order to make these connections and glean the right information from each of them during de-risking activities, it requires key partnerships and connections.

Previously successful medtech entrepreneurs have the luxury of leaning on an existing network that trusts them and that is willing to share information. New entrepreneurs can save themselves valuable time and money by partnering with resources that have been through the process before.

If partnering with a formerly successfully entrepreneur is not available, then the relationships must be established organically. Starting with your immediate network, tools like LinkedIN and talking with anyone you can who is remotely connected to the market being addressed are where you can begin. As you continue down the road of discovery for your venture, you will be amazed at how one connection leads to another, which leads to another, each of them progressively getting you closer to the answers you need. As you continue through these discussions you should be able to more fully understand how to add value and where to remove risks for your venture.

Utilizing a combination of concurrent innovation approaches, individuals can establish an assembly line of medtech models. This will position them much more effectively in the market while at the same time forge new concepts, products, and experiences that can effectively compete in today’s dynamic medtech industry. During early-stage development of medtech ideas, innovators would do well to remember that there are a lot of ways to de-risk their venture and add value without breaking the bank in doing so.

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