How to Treat Startup Funding Pain

How to Treat Startup Funding Pain

Much like patients and doctors have terrible experiences navigating the US sick care system, entrepreneurs struggle to find seed stage funding. As traditional VC's get bigger and bigger and are less willing and able to invest smaller amounts in higher risk early stage ventures and as companies stay private longer, the gap has been filled with a myriad of funders and platforms, such as single family offices, multi-family offices, mini-VCs, entrepreneur-investor matching sites, super angels, corporate venture groups, hospital system innovation centers and equity crowd funding sites.

Consequently, both entrepreneurs and investors are wasting a lot of time, effort and money finding the right fit. Failed startups or scale ups result and frustration abounds. Much like recently elected politicians, who,once the acceptance speech is over, start raising money for the next election cycle, entrepreneurs start raising money once they create their business entity.

There is a better way to find the right investor interested in the right domain who is willing and able to invest the appropriate amount in the right stage company for the right reasons i.e. revenue, growth or social enterprise.

  1. We need to educate entrepreneurs about the peculiarities and investment goals of those in the universe of early stage investors.
  2. We need a directory of early stage investors, including physician investors, clearly defining their interests and investment criteria with rubrics describing benchmarks.
  3. We need a template that entrepreneurs can use when submitting their ideas for funding to the different categories of investors.
  4. We need better databases and analytics to help identify which companies in which areas have been funded by which investors and investor classes.
  5. We need to incorporate AI into the process to help scale the vetting processes.
  6. We need to continue to refine the equity crowd funding regulations to make it easier for lower net worth individuals to invest in private companies and for the companies to seek follow on investments without having the burden and barriers of "messy" cap tables.
  7. We need to overcome the barriers that prevent ultra high net worth individuals and family offices from making their interests and availability more transparent.
  8. We need better platforms to match qualified appropriate companies with qualified appropriate investors.
  9. We need better private company markets that provide more liquidity for private company shareholders or sales of private company interests.
  10. We need to help entrepreneurs create a plan to reduce the costs and time required to find money.

The patient experience is painful. The entrepreneurial fundraising experience is painful. With better processes and tools, like eHarmony for entrepreneurs and investors, maybe we can help more physician entrepreneurs in fundraising pain find the capital they need to create products and services to help their patients in pain at less cost. 

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

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  • Erica Levinson

    The value of information on this post is incredible.

  • Christian Joyce

    I agree with what you said

  • Andrew Davenport

    I have a great product I would like to pitch. I am looking for investors.

  • Alice Flannigan

    Clear, sharp and to the point. Good job.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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