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Why entrepreneurs must strike a balance between passion and objectivity (video)

Christina Hernandez Sherwood, eMed Editor, MedCity News

Orpyx, a three-year-old medical device company in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, creates wearable technology for prevention. Dr. Breanne Everett, the company’s co-founder and CEO, is a plastic and reconstructive surgery resident who seeks to address complications, specifically “peripheral neuropathy” (numb feet), from diabetes. The company’s first device, a pressure-sensing insole and wristband that alerts the user to damage to the feet, is launching commercially in September.

eMed caught up with Everett last week at MedCity CONVERGE, a national healthcare innovation summit in Philadelphia. She shared her insights on approaching heavy hitters, finding employees who will thrive, and striking the balance between passion and objectivity.

Reach out to the heavy hitters – Mentorship is key for early-stage companies, Everett said, and it’s important to find mentors that complement your skills. While attending networking events is a great way to meet mentors, she said, Orpyx also found success via LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to use the professional network to reach out to heavy hitters in your space, Everett said.

Be open to new connections – Orpyx is constantly contacted by new connections, Everett said. While it might be tempting to ignore the deluge, she suggested remaining open to making new contacts – even if the value isn’t obvious at first. You never know when these connections might eventually come in handy, Everett said.

Choose employees who will thrive – When your startup is small (Orpyx has 11 employees), Everett said, you can’t afford to make a bad hire. Finding the right team members is about anticipating the ability of someone to thrive in the fast-paced startup environment, she said, especially when the situation can change on a dime. “You can plan until the cows come home,” Everett said, “but you have to be able to anticipate challenges and pivot quickly.”

Be passionate, but stay objective – You have to be passionate about your business, Everett said, but getting too invested could destroy you. A good leader has to be able to take a step back when faced with tough decisions, she said, like hiring and firing – and admitting your mistakes. “You have to stay objective,” Everett said. “Otherwise it will eat you alive.”

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