Lincoln's first inaugural address on March 4,1861 ended with, " I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
There are 3 basic ways physician entrepreneurs can be better angels:
1) Angel investors,
2) Entrepreneurs seeking angel investments
3) Consultants, advisors and mentors involved in the due diligence process. We must not be enemies.
There are many different models of angel networks. Some invest in life science companies and many do not because of unfamiliarity with the sick care industry and lack of domain expertise. Some invest in seed stage while others are looking for more mature opportunities.
One way for physicians to help get ideas to patients, is to help angel networks with industry and market intelligence and specialty specific domain expertise in the early and later stages of due diligence and investment recommendations. Most will not pay you to do this, but there are several reasons why you should consider including participation in your side gig portfolio:
- You can provide clinical insight that is lacking in the group.
- You will help in the process of getting ideas to patients and preventing those that should not get to patients because they do not achieve the quintuple aim.
- You will expand your network of investors.
- You will learn the life science funding landscape and how it's done.
- You will become a more educated physician investor should you choose to be one.
- It will help build your brand equity.
- It will expose you to future technologies and potential innovations in the pipeline.
- It will sharpen your critical thinking and analytical skills.
- It may lead to a paying position in the future.
- It will expose you to how non-sick care industries are solving sick care problems.
- You get to meet people around the world in global networks.
- It helps to build your regional innovation ecosystem and give back to your community.
Here are some examples.
If an angel network asks you to help, say yes. Your background, insights, perspective and guidance is as valuable, if not more, than your money. At least you will get some free food, maybe a place to park and it's a great way to earn your wings
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook.