John Chavez is always on the hunt for the next big idea. Literally. The president of the New Mexico Angels and tax secretary to former governor Gary Johnson spends hours each month trolling the research labs of the University of New Mexico, visiting with scientists and their graduate assistants. John knows universities are fertile ground for raw technology with potentially lucrative commercial applications.
There's a popular image of entrepreneurs as brilliant coders or scientists, working round the clock to perfect some seemingly-obscure bit of technology that will nonetheless change the world.
It doesn't have to be that way. Another tack is to find the technology you need -- or important pieces of it -- at university research labs, which, not incidentally, are not funded by you. In 2011 alone, universities pulled in more than $1.8 billion in licensing income from faculty- and student- generated innovation.
In many ways, doctors are well-prepared to become entrepreneurs. They are professional problem-solvers. They understand patient needs, and they also understand healthcare trends and issues.
But for many doctors, like many of the rest of us, the trick lies in knowing what you don’t know. I work every day moving innovation from bench to bedside, and I’ve found there are few key areas that consistently get short shrift as physicians try to build growing companies.