An Outside Perspective on Learning Within the Med Tech Industry: NEMIC’s Med Tech Leadership Program

As a medical student, I’ve been preoccupied with learning everything from basic cell biology to the intricacies of motor pathways in the human brain. However, for the past month-and-a-half, I took a break from the textbooks and did a deep dive into the Med Tech industry as a project intern at NEMIC. 

Through a series of in-depth interviews with key players around the industry, from engineers-turned-entrepreneurs to partners at a leading venture capital firm, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around what makes Med Tech such an enticing yet challenging industry in which to find success. 

We sat down with 11 experts from 8 different organizations, including Paul LaViolette, a Managing Partner from SV Health Investors, Dom Messerli, a seasoned Med Tech entrepreneur at Lenoss Medical, Megan Ranney MD, MPH, Director of EDHI, and Michael Katz, head of the commercialization office at URI. We discussed everything from FDA regulation to essential qualities a CEO should have to cases of failed startups. I discovered that knowing the ins-and-outs of reimbursement is equally important as surrounding yourself with a well-rounded and experienced team. Being able to speak clearly and succinctly on your technology is as crucial as understanding your market. Having ownership of IP is as necessary as developing a solid fundraising strategy. 

In other words, an aspiring entrepreneur needs to know a lot, so where can he or she find all of this information? 

As an outsider exploring the field for the first time, I felt initially overwhelmed by the number of support structures within the Med Tech space - accelerators, incubators, commercialization offices, freelance consultants - the resources an aspiring entrepreneur could turn to were numerous but fragmented. There was no contiguous pipeline to which you could direct someone and say “this is what you need to do and this is what you need to know.” 

I believe this is where NEMIC comes in. A recurring point of discussion throughout my meetings was the idea of the unknown-unknowns. These are concepts that an entrepreneur doesn’t even know that they need to know: 

  • Device classification can be intimidating - you should know that a Class I vs. a Class II classification drastically changes not just the product development process but all other aspects of bringing a product to market, including marketing strategy, manufacturing, and fundraising.

  • Reimbursement is complex - make sure you know exactly who is paying for your product and how.

  • The team is crucial - how can you leverage your team’s core competencies and make your company more attractive to investors?

The Med Tech Leadership Program is a bottom-to-top reimagining, shaped by our comprehensive survey of industry experts, of everything an aspiring entrepreneur needs to know - including those elusive unknown-unknowns. The program’s goal is to guide early-stage entrepreneurs with an end-to-end curriculum that covers the entire process of bringing a product to market. Learners will build and refine real-world skills and exit with concrete deliverables, such as plans for regulatory, market, and funding strategy and a pitch deck tailored to investors in the Med Tech space. 

Thanks to the support of the experienced team at NEMIC, I feel confident the Med Tech Leadership Program is the right program to help entrepreneurs navigate such a competitive and unforgiving industry. 


Joey Gu

Brown University Medical Student & NEMIC Project Intern

If you’d like to learn more about our research and discoveries, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.