The first step to get funded

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Ryan Amin

A Life Science Ventures Summit hosted by the Kauffman Foundation provided advice on funding strategies for diagnostic startups (0:42:17-0:48:05). Diana Kander of Kander Rigby led a panel with Una Ryan, Tito Serafini, Risa Stack, Zen Chu and Jill Carroll.

Toward the end of the discussion, Kander gave the panelists the scenario of being a new entrepreneur in healthcare diagnostics with no experience. She asked what they felt would be the best first step to get funding.

The panelists offered the following tips for those beginner entrepreneurs:

  • "Get the scientists out of the building and talk to customers," said Chu.
  • "Find the most transformative application because right now as a venture capitalist there are a lot of interesting opportunities, but I want something that is really different," said Stack. "Given right now where reimbursement is, it has to be very, very different."
  • "First thing is to choose your founders carefully," said Serafini. "Academic founders that have started other companies and have been successful are a resource you cannot buy."
  • "I would call three of the smartest people I know in this particular area and flush out what ideas there are around this business model...I would definitely want to find money that came with expertise," said Carroll.
  • "It needs to be a big problem...and then care about it, and let it show when you speak to investors," said Ryan.


Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman is a regular feature on eMed highlighting helpful advice from the Kauffman Foundation.

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