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[2020/04/27] Yang-Ming GLORIA Enterprise Lecture 10: When Startup Meets Venture Capital

Chairman Michel Chu suggested that startup teams should first get funding from angel investors at the preliminary stage in order to assist startup companies with their initial planning.

 

Michel Chu, the partner of Acorn Campus Taiwan and the Chairman of Vsense Medtech. Co. Ltd., was especially invited to the first round of the Bio-Navigator Lecture in 2020 held by the Global Research & Industry Alliance (GLORIA) National Yang-Ming University. Chairman Chu has a wealth of experience in enterprise strategic planning and acquisition. He has gained much unique experience, has an eye for investment opportunities in the biomedical industry and can provide solutions for startup companies who have funding gap issues. Chairman Chu introduced various concepts that are different from those outlined in past lectures. His distinctive and excellent points brought new inspirations to the senior entrepreneurs attending the lecture, as well as the students and professors of National Yang-Ming University who were also present.

 

The threshold criteria for starting a medical device or drug research and development company is very high with various important aspects, such as funding, talents, equipment, and research topics that need to be taken into consideration. Medical regulations differ from country to country and are strict; as a result all products must be tested, analyzed, and verified again and again. Only when a product is 100 percent in every aspect can it be released to the public. For this reason, some individuals start a business in haste without making initial planning regarding target markets, experimental design, and team cooperation; these companies fail quickly. But the questions remain as to how it is possible to create a plan that is 100% successful? Chairman Chu claimed that the first condition is to find people who have experience and truly know about the value of various techniques and marketing. Only by cooperating with such people during product development is it possible to find a successful business model.

 

     

  Dean Chen-Huan Chen(right) of the Faculty of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, and Associate Dean Tzu-Hao Cheng of Research and Development also attended the lecture to offer their advice.

 

Whether a biomedical startup company is able to grow continuously often depend on the state of fundraising, how its professional manager runs the company, and what are competitive advantages of the medical innovation targeted. Although there are many high-quality talents in Taiwan that are able to help develop medical technologies, Chairman Chu is highly supportive of doctors who start businesses. This is not only because doctors are smart and have clinical experience, but mainly because they are first on the scene when medical treatments are carried out. This means that they are able to closely observe what is happening and thus are able to identify the needs of patients. They are able to directly explore the clinical data and provide accurate and correct information. In this way they can achieve their dream of curing patients by helping the patient using a drug or medical device.

 

President Yu-Te Wu of NYMU Research and Development recognized Chairman Chu’s views on entrepreneurial success and bestowed upon him a Certificate of Appreciation after the lecture.

 

Venture Capital in Taiwan mainly pays attention to startup companies that are undergoing expansion. This means that a company’s product is only able to attract attention from the Venture Capital after they have been researched, developed, and tested; sometimes it is even later when there is a small-scale revenue stream and business volume has been captured by the product. Venture Capital firms will only think of investing in a startup company when it expects this company to develop rapidly, say within a year. However, startup companies often fail or give up before the Venture Capital decides to invest in them. Chairman Chu took pregnancy testing kits as an example and explained that the same patented invention can meet different markets’ demands by targeting different areas and using various different marketing and design strategies. The biomedical industry was therefore able to create new value with high returns, which resulted in investors being willing to provide funding.

 

A group photo was taken after the lecture.

 

In the end, Chairman Chu recommended that biomedical startup companies consider North America or China as their target markets, not just Taiwan. The final goal of commercialization, after all, is to make profits, and Taiwan is just not big enough as a market. We must, therefore, fully understand the target country’s regulations, medical habits, and medical insurance system before starting product design and marketing. We can also focus on different medical aspects of the target markets, specifically those that are easy to understand and are universal. For instance, the introduction of improvements to the operational model of intensive care units does not vary significantly from country to country. In addition, this market has relatively a significantly greater ability to grow and thus the chance of success is higher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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