Make Your Medical Product Ideas Come to Life: Timelines, Milestones & Reducing Risk

With your task and timeline now fundamentally constructed, you should have a grasp on what tasks lie ahead and how much money you will need to accomplish them. This is key information for an important reason.

As you progress down your timeline, accomplishing the tasks that you and your team have set out to do, a small number of the tasks can be considered major accomplishments—milestones—if you will. For example, testing a bench-top prototype that offers proof of principle is significant, compared to the tasks of securing lab space, completing the prototypes design plans, and purchasing materials. Think about other tasks that might be considered milestones: completing the first animal study, human studies, receiving FDA clearance, having patent claims allowed, market launch, etc.

Notice what is happening with your business as you accomplish such milestones: Progressing from “idea” to increasing levels of “proof,” you are building a case for the validity of your technology. In other words, as you advance, the chance that you are wasting your resources and efforts continues to diminish. Makes sense, does it not? But, not only are your chances for wasted resources and efforts being reduced with each milestone accomplishment—risk is similarly reduced for outside investors. Therein lies the key to raising the capital necessary to drive your innovation toward commercialization.

Investors know that putting their money into a startup is a risky venture. That is, of course, why they expect, on average getting ten times (10x) their money back at some time in your startup’s future. But, in general, as you reduce risk, you increase the value of your startup—or, in other words, you decrease how much of your company you have to give away for each dollar invested. Therefore a key to raising the money you need is to do so after you have achieved any given milestone. In the example milestones above, that would mean the optimal time to begin a funding round is upon the successful accomplishment of the first animal study, human trial, receiving FDA clearance, having patent claims allowed, or market launch.


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