How to Facilitate Open Innovation in the Medical Device Space


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Peter von Dyck was frustrated.  When trying to commercialize his latest medical device, it had simply become too inefficient to navigate through various sectors within the fractured medical device ecosystem. So what did Peter do? He created a system to solve this major dilema. In this interview with Peter von Dyck, we learn how e-Zassi is transforming the way medical device companies, innovators, researchers, and investors connect and collaborate in an effort to generate powerful new efficiencies in the development and commercialization of life-saving medical technologies.

Interview Highlights with Peter von Dyck

  • Peter’s amazing start in the medical device space.  He got started at the age of 18!
  • Peter’s frustrations with medical device commercialization which led to the birth of e-Zassi.
  • How to use the e-Zassi system to facilitate medical device development.
  • Why are medical device companies private-labeling the e-Zassi system?
  • Trends that Peter is seeing within the medical device arena as it pertains to the regulatory and funding environments.
  • Peter’s advice for ambitious medical device doers.
  • And much more!

This Is What You Can Do Next

1) You can listen to the interview with Peter von Dyck right now:

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4) Read the following transcripts from my interview with Peter von Dyck.  Also, feel free to download the transcripts by clicking here.

Who is Peter von Dyck?

Medsider Interview with Peter von Dyck

Peter von Dyck is the Chairman and CEO of e-Zassi, a first-of-its-kind online community that enables the medical device industry to quickly and efficiently identify acquisition, licensing, and collaboration opportunities. An accomplished medical device inventor and entrepreneur with numerous patents and multiple inventions, Peter has identified industry trends, challenges, and the mission-critical considerations required to bring breakthrough medical technologies to market. Among his many honors, Peter was named the 2000 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year in the area of healthcare and life sciences by Ernst & Young. He was also recognized as a leading entrepreneur by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who awarded him the Business Diversification Award for Entrepreneurship in 2003. In 2004, he was named by Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry magazine one of the 100 Most Notable People making a material difference in the global medical device industry.

Don’t forget to check out e-Zassi’s sample InnoVision report.

Read the Interview with Peter von Dyck

Peter von Dyck was frustrated.  It had simply become too inefficient to navigate through various sectors within the fractured medical device ecosystem.  So what did Peter do?  He created a system to solve this major dilemma.  In this interview with Peter Von Dyck, we learn how e-Zassi is transforming the way medical device companies, innovators, researchers, and investors connect and collaborate in an effort to generate powerful new efficiencies in the development and commercialization of life-saving medical technologies.  This is what we’re going to learn in this interview with Peter:  Peter’s amazing start in the medical device space.  He gets started at the age of 18.  Can you believe that?  Peter’s frustrations with medical device commercialization, which led to the birth of e-Zassi.  How to use the e-Zassi system to facilitate medical device development.  Trends that Peter’s seeing within the medical device arena as it pertains to the regulatory and funding environments.  Of course, there’s much more to glean from this interview, but before we dig in, you need to listen to these brief messages from our sponsors.  And by the way, if you’re interested in becoming a Medsider sponsor, our 2012 sponsorships are now open.  Go to medsider.co/sponsor.  Again, that’s medsider.co/sponsor.  Now, listen up.  First, did you know that venture capitalists are extremely hesitant to fund a start-up medical device company with a direct sales force?  Yes, you heard that right.  You see, VCs think direct sales forces add too much bloat to medical device companies.  That’s why you need to check out covasc.com.  They have a lean sales model that is garnering some big attention within the medical device world.  Interested?  Check out covasc.com.  That’s C-O- V as in Victor-A- S- C dot com.  Second, if you’re listening to this, you’re probably on LinkedIn.  Would you like to know how to land your next gig using LinkedIn?  How about connections?  Would you like to learn how to connect with key decision-makers?  Perhaps you might want to know how to leverage LinkedIn in order to gain maximum exposure.  Go to medsider.co/linkedin.  It’s our first course in collaboration with Lewis Howes who has written two books on how to effectively use LinkedIn.  Go check it out, medsider.co/linkedin.  Now, here’s your program.

 

Scott Nelson:    Hello, everyone.  It’s Scott Nelson, and welcome to another edition of Medsider, and for those of you who are new to the program, Medsider is a program where I interview interesting and dynamic medical device stakeholders so we can all learn a few things.  Hopefully, there’s some entertainment value along the way.  And today’s guest is Peter Von Dyck.  He is currently the CEO of e-Zassi.  So welcome to the call, Peter.

Peter Von Dyck:        Thank you very much.  Good to be here.

Scott Nelson:    So let’s start with first who you are, your current role, and then we’ll dig into your background a little bit because I want the audience to get a feel for your résumé, for lack of a better description.

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, my name is Peter Von Dyck and I’ve been active in the medical device marketplace for the last 20 years.  I’m 42 years old right now, and I was fortunate to get a real early start in it back when I was 18, and presently I’m running a software company that specializes in business intelligence and collaboration software to foster open innovation in the medical device space.

Scott Nelson:    Okay, and we’ll definitely dig into that company, which is e-Zassi, but your background, you mentioned you got started at, if my numbers are right, in your, you said 18?

Peter Von Dyck:        Mm-hmm.  That’s right.

Scott Nelson:    You said you started at 18.  That’s incredibly young.  Can you provide a little bit more detail regarding that?

Peter Von Dyck:        Absolutely.  At that time, my father had started a polymer company and was making customized medical device [00:04:13] catheters for OEM clients in the med tech area, and I kind of got to grow up inside the machine shop at age 18 building tools and dyes or actually breaking tools and dyes and [00:04:25] lays and learning how to make these molds that would in essence create the structural platform for these medical devices, and then I moved on into actually assembly and manufacturing, quality control, and eventually started learning a lot about the technology, then moving into R and D, and then product development.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  So you have a broad variety of experiences kind of behind the scenes, I guess, for lack of a better description.

Peter Von Dyck:        Yup.

Scott Nelson:    Cool.

Peter Von Dyck:        From the ground up.

Scott Nelson:    So directly prior to e-Zassi, what were you doing?

Peter Von Dyck:        Well, prior to that I had another company that I founded in 1997 when I was 28.  That one was called Zassi Medical Evolutions, and there we actually took some of my own inventions in the medical device as well as some others that were innovated by third parties such as surgeons and physicians, and I combined intellectual properties up and developed brand-new first-in-class medical devices and took them through development and into commercialization and successfully sold that company off for 15 times revenue in 2006.

Scott Nelson:    So that was sort of a medical device incubator in a way, is that how you would describe it?

Peter Von Dyck:        You know, in a sense, but really it was more of a startup.  It was dedicated to a platform of two products that were gastrointestinal in nature and catheter-based, and so we were more of a pure-play startup company and we secured angel money and other venture capital, and moved forward like any startup company and actually built it and [00:05:54] got the products through animal testing, human testing, FDA, scaled for manufacturing, and then ultimately marketed it around the world.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  And this helped your experiences in this sort of world from product development to identifying opportunities within certain medical device niches, etc.  That led to e-Zassi.

Peter Von Dyck:        That is correct.  Basically, I think the inefficiencies and the frustrations that I felt and encountered along the way with in particular my own startup companies in the med tech arena are the ones that really began to show me that there needed to be a better business method, and then simultaneously the development of the Internet around this over the last 10 years and new digital horsepower, that also really fueled me to say, “We can do this a better, cheaper, faster way.”

Scott Nelson:    Okay, better, cheaper, faster.  I recently actually read a book, I think that was the title of it, by David Siteman Garland, so, interesting.

Peter Von Dyck:        Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    It triggered a thought.  Better, faster, cheaper, that always makes for an interesting conversation.

Peter Von Dyck:        Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    So let’s dig right into e-Zassi.  Can you give me like an elevator pitch for what you folks do?

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, e-Zassi provides two important things for those in the medical device ecosystem.  Primarily, it helps in collaboration and networking.  So, one portion of the product line is a way for innovators, developers, OEMs, financiers, all those key parties in the medical device arena to collaborate much easier and earlier in the development process, because obviously it’s almost impossible to take a new idea or a napkin-sketch product all the way through into commercialization alone.  You need to have a tremendous amount of partnerships and partners as you go along, and building that network is very time-consuming, very expensive, and part serendipity and not very well-organized because our market is so fractured.  So our network is dedicated to medical device development and innovations.

The second part we do is another key ingredient.  We provide business intelligence and decision support.  That kind of software means that we have decision support engines that allow those in groups to analyze that medical device at its infancy and really understand its future burdens and opportunities, such as our system actually calculates the regulatory classifications that this product would fall under years before it may even need to undergo FDA scrutiny, and having that knowledge so early in the design process and in the capitalization process actually allows better planning and execution.

So that’s what we mean by business intelligence and decision support, and all of these systems are integrated at e-zassi.com, and so users can use it for collaboration and business intelligence, and then the real 800-pound gorilla that we solved that was a big problem in our industry was confidentiality and overdisclosure.  Basically, unlike other social networks and sites that consumers use, the medical device industry is propped up by confidentiality and patents.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Peter Von Dyck:        When you’re a patent-centric marketplace, you’re paranoid about overdisclosure.  So you need to disclose, you need to form partners, you need to tell people about what you’re developing, but you’re scared to do it because overdisclosure could mean that you lose your barrier to entry and your patent rights.  My system, e-zassi.com, is the only system that converge confidential matter into nonconfidential matter so that the power of the Internet can be leveraged to connect the parties to each other without either party having any confidential or patent risks.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  And while we’re on that subject of overcoming that IP nondisclosure agreement issue, how are you able to do that through the e-Zassi platform?

Peter Von Dyck:        Well, I can’t tell you all of it or I’d have to kill you [00:09:47]

Scott Nelson:    [Laughs]

Peter Von Dyck:        …but just not to violate my own intellectual property, of course, you know…

Scott Nelson:    Sure.

Peter Von Dyck:        But generally speaking, we have a business method and approach built into a proprietary analog system that basically allows the user to populate the input in our software using a question-and-answer-based system.  So, in other words, we ask questions, we provide all the answers, and the user selects from these answers.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.

Peter Von Dyck:        And that actually creates what we call DNA or device network attributes which are nonconfidential in nature but highly informative, and then we actually put those into play to power the digital products.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  And so anyone who is actually inputting this information in order to generate some of this business intelligence, there’s almost like a built-in nondisclosure agreement into this process then.  Am I saying that correctly?

Peter Von Dyck:        I don’t know with the built-in.  It’s not far off.  I think the proper way to put it would be that the system doesn’t allow the use of confidential matter because we control the input of all content, and none of it actually can be confidential.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.

Peter Von Dyck:        We actually prevent it.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  So let’s dig into the main two components, the network, and then also the kind of the decision support/business intelligent components a little bit further, and maybe it would be best to start with the business intelligence.  So, say I’m a physician-entrepreneur or maybe an engineer that has an idea for a medical device and I want to take advantage of the e-Zassi platform, can we just start there and maybe take us through a kind of like a little bit of a systematic approach to your solution?

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, absolutely.  The primary decision support product we have is called the InnoVision Report, and it’s InnoVision because it actually provides forward-looking thinking and it also serves as almost a checklist for people early in development to make sure that they’ve thought everything through, which is very difficult with medical devices.

And so ultimately our Q and A that unfolds to the user as they use the software asks you a series of compelling questions, which are dynamically fired depending on your answer selection so they’re never the same, and they’re built around all different types of potential scenarios within medical devices, i.e., it’s looking to understand if this product of yours is potentially a Class I product or Class II or Class III, and would it go the PMA route, what size market potential it may have, what type of call pattern this would require, and if it would be a change in practice by the end users, which of course would add to all the difficulty in commercialization.

But ultimately, what it’s geared towards is to level the playing field between the innovation side of the ledger and those that finance and commercialize products, and what’s missing between both sides is they really don’t have the same understanding and knowledge about a device even though both parties need the content.  So the system actually provides that for users in minutes once they finish the Q and A.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  And so the old way, the way that you did it leading up to building the e-Zassi platform, you would have to go to each individual expert in order to basically build this checklist, this decision support tool, right?

Peter Von Dyck:        Well, yeah, or more importantly I’d say, to build an accurate development plan, clinical plan, and commercialization plan, or as the buy side would refer it, a due diligence checklist.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.

Peter Von Dyck:        And so, basically, we provide all that for both parties, and that’s very difficult.  And you’re correct, it would take 10 or 15 different types of experts, you know, a regulatory expert, a manufacturing expert, etc. to come together to create the same content that’s available on this report within minutes and actually populated by somebody who does not possess skill sets in any of those areas.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  And I want to mention it now because I checked this out online on your website, and I’ll link up to this when our interview is posted, but you offer a sample InnoVision—am I  pronouncing that correctly, InnoVision?

Peter Von Dyck:        You are, yes.

Scott Nelson:    You offer a sample report right there on your website, and like I said, we’ll link up to that, but it’s really unique, it’s really interesting.

Peter Von Dyck:        Yes.

Scott Nelson:    And so I would encourage everyone to check that out because it’s definitely worth a look.  So from there, so say I’ve got this idea on that, I’ve gone through the InnoVision Report analysis and I’ve got my checklist, so to speak, what happens next?  How does that network come into play?

Peter Von Dyck:        Okay.  It’s a good segue.  I mean, basically a couple of things happen with that report.  Besides the fact that you now have arguably content and knowledge you did not have about your own idea or technology, it’s now been digitized concurrently.  So, this InnoVision Report is now injectable into the e-Zassi network with a click of the button, and so basically all the digital content within this report, every word is search-engine-optimized so that as it’s injected into the e-Zassi network everyone who is using the e-Zassi network’s search and match feature can find this technology with very specific criteria, criteria that neither Google nor Bing would allow.

So, for instance, if a venture capitalist was looking for a technology for benign prostatic hyperplasia in North America at a level of maturity that here she desires making sure it’s not a 510(k) or PMA, you know, something like that, whatever specific criteria they have, Bing and Google would fail to deliver any relevant search results there.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.

Peter Von Dyck:        The e-Zassi system would because it took your content and digitized it so that it could be found under a very specific medical devices basis, and then that same content actually goes into abstract form and is put out onto the worldwide web so that a larger audience beyond the e-Zassi network can also find you and your technology.  And keep in mind, all this content, while it’s digitized, it’s all nonconfidential, so you have no risk of losing your IP.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  Okay.  And can you explain a little bit of a background behind this whole business network?  I mean, the obvious idea is that it allows the users to kind of get their idea out into the open to gain interest from, you know, to use your example, venture capitalists, some other part of kind of the medical device ecosystem, but can you explain a little bit of the background as to how that aspect came about?

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, mainly because of what’s increasingly now called open innovation, and it’s happening in all areas of the world.  But basically, what open innovation means is of course that companies now, not so much VCs, companies, are actually now getting most of their new products from the outside and they’re doing less and less internal R and D, especially as budgets catch up, and also they’re just growing up and recognizing that you can do all the R and D you want on the inside, and you should, but you’re never going to really uncover all the great ideas.  You’re going to be beat by the world, and so you might as well fish from that pond.

And so the leading companies, big and small, are creating business development departments and venture arms and embracing open innovation software where they can now go out and in essence shop for ideas of all different maturities and types and bring them in to build up their R and D pipeline, and so this buy-sell marketplace is really on fire because of open innovation, and of course, the thirst for new products is very high by established companies.  And of course, the other side of the ledger, the creation side, the innovation side, has always been robust.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Peter Von Dyck:        You can’t stop innovation and entrepreneurship, so there’s always been a supply of new ideas.  The problem is there’s not really been the thirst that we see now for new products, and so they’re using, no surprise, increasingly digital mediums to do it.  You can only go to so many trade shows and sit behind so many booths.

Scott Nelson:    Right.

Peter Von Dyck:        And, you know, that’s kind of very efficient.  It’s better to use the web to go and find the next great idea.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.  You can’t see me now but I’m nodding my head to that answer because I love the idea of bringing web 2.0 and, you know, even the web 3.0 methodologies to this whole process because the medical device sector you’d probably agree is oftentimes so far behind the wheel when it comes to using some of these newer technologies to make processes more efficient, and so I love that aspect of it.

And so the business network component of e-Zassi is not necessarily a chicken and an egg sort of concept, because ideally you have a large business network looking at these different ideas on a frequent basis.  But because all of your abstracts are SEO, or the SEO is built right in, someone doesn’t necessarily have to be on the e-Zassi network in order to find that idea.  Am I understanding that right?

Peter Von Dyck:        You are.  That’s correct.  I mean, we knew that for a small company like us to build a vast network with a million eyeballs, as they say, would take a lot of time.

Scott Nelson:    Mm-hmm.

Peter Von Dyck:        And so basically having us also serve as the conduit to SEO your own content to do it safely is another great service we provide, and that way now, we’re in essence helping you market your stuff around the world, and that’s a great value.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.  Yeah, no doubt.  Because initially when some talks about the community and the business network, it’s almost like it always has to be built sort of organically, and then you run into this, like I said before, the chicken and egg concept that, say I’ve never heard of e-Zassi in the Google or Bing and I type in, you know, some sort of medical terminology for a product, there’s a chance that I could find an e-Zassi-generated abstract, right?

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, absolutely.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.

Peter Von Dyck:        But you have to be in it to win it, obviously, so if you haven’t been converted and digitized with the e-Zassi product, of course that may never happen and you’re going to be lost and probably passed over.

Scott Nelson:    Yeah.

Peter Von Dyck:        But keep in mind the business intelligence products that we sell, the innovation, you know, you don’t need a network component there.  A lot of people buy that just for that purpose…

Scott Nelson:    Just for that.

Peter Von Dyck:        …to give themselves that intelligence and that planning capability.  A lot of universities do it, a lot of incubators, venture labs, entrepreneurs, and even large companies are buying it for their own intelligence.

Scott Nelson:    Okay.  Let’s talk about that.  Is that the primary income generation sort of model for e-Zassi, that [00:20:57] software product?

Peter Von Dyck:        Well, it’s kind of a balance of both right now.  I think when we launched in late ’09 and then ’10, we went out with a network focus and put more emphasis there, but we were pretty [00:21:11] mature, I think, that people weren’t even fully on LinkedIn yet and they were kind of down on social networks, and of course that’s not the case today.  Now those are all very hot and going public, and the social elements are very popular.  But we were certainly a little ahead of the game there, so we did shift and put more emphasis on the business intelligence product and selling that to, you know, universities and companies.

And now what’s really interesting in the latest application, it’s really exciting, is that there are new breeds of companies now that are taking our InnoVision product and putting it on their website as a web app right on their main page, and it basically says, you know, if you’re a medium or large company—I mean they put it on their site and they say to outsiders, if you have an idea, click here.  And then, basically, they use my InnoVision system to assess a third party’s idea while shielding their own company from confidentiality infiltration, protecting both parties from overdisclosure, and of course, ultimately getting an assessment on a device without doing any human interface.  And so we’re actually being slapped on as a web app on some of the biggest-name companies in the world as we speak, and that’s a very exciting new development.

Scott Nelson:    No kidding.  I never would have guessed that.  So that must be driven from like a pretty consistent request by the large medical device companies, we can all name a few, but them getting requests from entrepreneurs or physicians or engineers, etc., saying, “Hey, I’ve got this great idea.  I want to share it with you.”  This is their way to sort of filter out some of those group conversations.

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, and it’s a multiple thing.  It’s filtered out, [00:22:56] to your point exactly.  Because let’s face it, probably 90% of the things they see they’re not going to move on, but they can’t afford not to see them because they don’t know when the pearl is going to be there.  And so they have to actually see these.  So they want to draw traffic into their website.  They know that’s the best way to attract attention and collect new ideas.

They’re in a race for that, but they also know there’s going to be a high rejection rate and they don’t want to sign a thousand nondisclosure agreements, and they don’t want to do diligence manually with 10 top executives, each idea, and they don’t have the time or money.  And so they’re looking for software to do it, and I’m presently the only system in the world that can capture and assess new technology through electronic submission.

Scott Nelson:    That’s very cool.  What else have we missed?  I mean, I’m going to certainly give you an opportunity to direct the audience to your website and I guess wherever you want to direct them to, but is there anything that we’ve missed that stands out to you, maybe what you’re doing currently that’s new at e-Zassi beyond kind of this private labeling aspect of your InnoVision software?  Is there anything that we’ve missed?

Peter Von Dyck:        Well, I’d say I don’t think you missed much.  I think it really comes down to the combination of a huge group of trends here that there’s a buy-sell marketplace [00:24:15] now because of open innovation, and that’s really very synergistic and just from a national perspective, too, very important that we bring that together and make that more efficient.

Because when I was doing my medical device companies, for instance I was working on a product that my own family member needed, and it just took so long to bring the network together and what I needed to build that product, I couldn’t save her in time, actually, and that’s what the company is named after.  It’s actually named after my sister who was in a coma for a decade and was getting infections and things that are now preventable with some products I brought to market in infection control, etc.

But the process was so slow, and we need to recognize that when it’s so slow or because great ideas can’t make it through the gauntlet because of its complexity, people die and people get hurt and their lifestyles stay bad, [00:25:07] and/or products move to other countries and that’s a shame.  And so, I think ultimately what e-Zassi represents is ability to make sure the best ideas get seen, get heard, get assessed, and have a better shot at getting connected with the people that can bring it to market.

Scott Nelson:    Right.  And let’s take that opportunity right now.  For those listening that want to learn more about e-Zassi, where do you recommend they go?

Peter Von Dyck:        Oh, could you repeat the question, I’m sorry?

Scott Nelson:    For those listening to this interview right now, where would you direct them if they want to learn more about e-Zassi and what you guys are doing, just your website?

Peter Von Dyck:        Well, I mean, yeah, feel free to give my email out as well.  They can contact me or they can contact us on e-zassi.com.  But certainly there are several public pages that they can read and even apply for perhaps a provisional membership, and we definitely make a lot of our product samples available, but otherwise if they’d like to reach out to us, they can just contact us and I’ll be glad to answer their questions more efficiently.

Scott Nelson:    Okay, and the website’s e-zassi.com, that’s Z-A-S-S-I.  So E hyphen Z as in zebra, A-S-S-I dot com., e-zassi.com.  And definitely take Peter up on that offer to contact him directly should you have any questions or potentially want to partner or use their platform.

Speaking of some of the open innovation trends, and you mentioned even the downside to the fact that some of these innovations, some of these ideas, never get generated or never get seen, it really impacts patients, and you can almost see kind of the ramifications when you hear stories about how patients are going overseas to Europe to get a certain device because that device has a CE mark in Europe but it’s not approved by the FDA here in the US.  Can you speak to some of those trends maybe that you’re seeing right now kind of in the medical device arena?  And certainly, feel free to add your own opinion based on your 20-plus years operating this system.

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, I mean, you’re correct.  Obviously, it’s different now in what it takes to innovate and bring things to market, and there’s been a perfect storm of change the last few years to make it even more difficult and I think erased the need for an e-Zassi, but ultimately you’re right.  The regulatory market and the combination of the economic market have created such uncertainty, there’s a lack of movement in terms of certain types of deal flow and certainly financing on the early-stage side that has made those entrepreneurs and small companies rethink things.

And so one of the things that used to be out of vogue up until recently was a US company, for instance, or the US-based innovation spending any time or any of that precious capital doing anything in Europe.  That was considered just playing around, and all the VCs would tell you, “Don’t go near that, just exploit your product in America, that’s 50% of the market plus.”

And now, of course, they’re singing a different song and they should be.  Now, an entrepreneur has to say, “Where can I get [00:28:18] data fast?”  And now that venture capital tranches are getting smaller and tighter in terms of what they require in terms of data before you can get another tranche of money, they require more for less, and so we’re forced as entrepreneurs now to look at the global market and say, “Where can I get this done faster and cheaper?”

And no surprise given our regulatory environment and our capitalization environment, we have to look abroad, and I think Europe is a logical choice.  I personally did that myself in 2006.  With my technology, I went to Europe and got my data and my first revenues there, and it was highly successful for me, and that was well before it was a trend.  And now I think more and more companies are moving in that direction, you know, and I just hope that the companies born in America can obviously still hold on to the ownership and keep it a US product, but there’s certainly a need to do things differently.

Scott Nelson:    No doubt.  And to your point, are you seeing that more and more companies are not only trying to make an impact in Europe first but also potentially IPOing overseas versus the US as well in order to obtain funding?

Peter Von Dyck:        Well, the IPO is a potential.  The foreign IPOs, you do see some of that, whether it be Australia or Europe, you know, with a US company, etc., and that could be a way to get some financing there.  Their IPO market is still a little bit more like ours used to be a long time ago.  It’s a little bit more of the new ventures and the entrepreneurship, but you know, versus the big established company like here in the US.

And I think that will be the trend, but right now I think most companies are not falling in that area. [00:30:06] If they’re that mature to qualify for an IPO anywhere, they’re probably generally okay compared to the ones that are much younger that are [00:30:13] at tougher selection points and lower levels of maturity where an IPO even in those markets is going to be difficult.  Not impossible but difficult.

And so I think it’s that angel [00:30:23] grant money and VC that everyone’s still seeking, and that’s where Europe is doing better as well.  They’ve kind of got a little more VC stuff going.  They have proven they’re a lot cheaper to develop products out there, and it’s going to provide a lot of value for Europe going forward until the US can resolve some of our uncertainties here.

Scott Nelson:    Sure.  Okay.  And let’s kind of conclude it here, because I know we’re running short on time, with maybe just some advices to would-be entrepreneurs that are listening to the call that are operating in the medical device space, ambitious doers, as I like to call certain people that are listening to this interview.

Peter Von Dyck:        Mm-hmm.

Scott Nelson:    Are there one or two pieces of advice that you’d like to leave them with?

Peter Von Dyck:        Yeah, I mean, I would say obviously don’t give up, and you have to think big and you have to think globally from day one.  I mean, I think those would be my general advices, that you have to be equally creative about your business model as you do about your technology that you’re probably already passionate about.  And so, if you don’t have that acumen, you also have to partner up with someone who does.  And don’t waste time with that or be insulted.  Go ahead and build that team.

Because I noticed when I started my company at age 28 without a degree and as a college dropout, obviously not very popular among VCs who expected MBAs and degrees, and so the first thing I did was build a team around me that solved my deficits, and that’s important.  So you really want to look down at yourself from 10,000 feet, from other people’s eyes, and let them see where you’re strong, where you’re weak, and then you want to be honest and address this quickly by building a great little team, and be flexible and highly adaptive with your business model, and think globally.  The world is your oyster and there’s a lot of potential there that you can leverage, and you can no longer be afraid to try all that.

Scott Nelson:    Gotcha.  Very good.  Alright, excellent.  Thanks a ton, Peter, for your time.  I really appreciate you filling us in on not only your very unique e-Zassi platform but also sharing some of your insights in regard to the current happenings in the medical device space.  Really appreciate you coming on.

Peter Von Dyck:        You’re welcome.

Scott Nelson:    And for everyone listening, again that’s e-zassi.com, E-Z-A-S-S-I dot com.  I encourage everyone to check out some of those sample reports of the InnoVision.  Some really cool intel there.  So, very good.  Well, let’s end it there.  Until next time everyone.  Thanks a ton for listening.  I really appreciate your listenership.  So thanks again, and take care.  (Music Plays)

 

 

 

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