Brainstorm with the Titans: Looking Through the Lens of Global Strategics | LSI USA ‘23

Industry leaders exploring individual company strategies and insights in the ever-evolving field of global medtech.
David Mildrew
David Mildrew
Managing Director, BioQuest
Ye Bu
Ye Bu
Business Development & Strategy Executive, GE Healthcare
Christos Monovoukas
Christos Monovoukas
VP, Business Development & Strategy, Zimmer Biomet
Antonio Sanchez-Cordero
Antonio Sanchez-Cordero
VP, Strategy & Business Development, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Finn Haley
Finn Haley
SVP, Corporate Development, Edwards Lifesciences
Amanda DePalma
Amanda DePalma
VP, Marketing, Fujifilm Sonosite


David Mildrew  0:06  

Thanks, everyone. And before we get started, I want to just thank the entire LSI team and Scott for putting together this incredible conference. You know, we've been sponsoring for four years now, since the inception. And he was telling me last night, the attendance is up 50% over last year, and it grew substantially from the year before. So really terrific to see so many good people in our industry here. So thank you. So to get started, they made it real simple for me. Everyone's picture is above them. So I don't have to do introductions, but maybe a good way to start is, if Amanda will start on that end and would just like to hear a little bit about why you're here, what you're interested in, with respect to Fujifilm Sonosite, and how whatever you would like to talk about, thank you.


Amanda DePalma  1:06  

Okay, okay, good. Hi, my name is Amanda DePalma. I am the Vice President of Marketing at Fujifilm Sonosite. In my role, I'm responsible for strategy, business development, product management and downstream marketing, FujiFilm, a lot of people don't know that we are in healthcare, our healthcare business is about 7 billion annually. And we go across contract drug manufacturing, drug development, and then medical systems, which includes imaging and the ultrasound group that I'm part of. It's great to be here and see so many people here this year, it has grown exponentially over last year. And I'm looking forward to a listening and learning from the panels and have a number of meetings set up this week to just learn about some of the technologies that are out there that align with our areas of focus in the business.


David Mildrew  2:01  

And if you don't mind, are you interested in any particular markets or categories? Here today.


Amanda DePalma  2:09  

Specific categories? so largely within the imaging, so ultrasound technology, along with, we've got business in and just endoscopy and medical informatics.


Finn Haley  2:24  

So hi, everyone, my name is Finn Haley. I actually am that guy even though that picture is about 10 years old. I'm the SVP of Corporate Development at Edwards Life Sciences. We are a very focused medical device company that targets structural heart disease and Critical Care is our primary markets. We are very disciplined around that. So we are not large and broad in our scope, but we're very deep. And because of that we pursue breakthrough innovation in that space. And we move very early and we explore a lot of early stage technologies. So I'm very interested in in learning if there are companies in this space, it doesn't matter how early you are in your clinical journey, I say the earlier the better. Let's get to know each other.


Antonio Sanchez-Cordero  3:15  

Thank you, David, Antonio Sanchez-Cordero, Vice President strategy and m&a for ThermoFisher's specialty diagnostics portfolio, and I come to this event because great venue for innovation. I'm specifically more focused on our diagnostics platform. So it's great to meet with diagnostic companies that are innovating their space and that hopefully, you know, start some of those relationships and partnerships for the future.


Christos Monovoukas  3:39  

Yeah. Good to meet everyone here. I run mergers and acquisitions and strategy for a Zimmer Biomet. We're a mission driven company, mostly orthopedics. But we do have a world's first and only smart implant the smart knee as it's called Persona IQ. I'm here to meet and reconnect with old friends and meet new friends used to work for Smith & Nephew before, so no stranger to the orthopedic area, but I'm here to learn more about the current innovate innovation in this space.


Ye Bu  4:22  

My name is Ye Bu, I'm managing director in a strategy and corporate development team at GE Healthcare. I joined GE about one and a half years ago and I was an investment banker before that, so recovering banker on that front. So one thing I want to talk about GE Healthcare is that we're two month old public company, a big startup. In know before I joined de healthcare, I kind of you know, although I have been med tech and de for years, I've worked with biomass and biomass and other other companies before I always thought GE Healthcare is a capital equipment company and kind of brushed it off. Until I came to GE Healthcare, I realized, okay, this is a powerful actually a pretty broad portfolio that is a good platform we can use to build out a lot of things. So just you know, for those who are not familiar with us, we're probably nine about $19 billion sales, annual basis, there are four segments within GE Healthcare. I'm responsible responsible for the biggest one, which is about half of GE Healthcare revenue, the imaging segment. So within imaging, you can think about the big machines, MI, CT, MR, X ray, and also image guided therapy, which is basically the imaging you use the for intra operative procedures. And then we have a very strong ultrasound business. And then we also have patient care solutions business, which is more, you know, the ICU, the monitoring, that kind of stuff. And then we also have a pharma diagnostics business, which is more, you know, contrast agent for the imaging. So anything that you you know, I look forward to meet a lot of you and meeting a lot of you. And you think that you feel like you have a connection with one of our business, I welcome the conversation. Thanks, Dave.


David Mildrew  6:18  

Thank you. And so, as you can see, we have a great diversity in terms of product areas and nitrous. And so wanted to go into the first real question, and that is, is corporate venture investing part of your strategy? And if so, at what stage? Does the candidate have to be Does the company have to be? And then how would that differ from, say, acquisition strategy? Amanda, would you like to take that one? Sure.


Amanda DePalma  6:48  

So Fujifilm does have a venture arm right now that is pretty focused on biotech. We have had some preliminary discussions recently about investing in technologies that are more in the imaging space. As we've had those conversations, I think what we're looking for is around the series B funding. And the reason for that is we want to have enough proof of concept that the solution the technology is feasible. But we want to fund that innovation and keep that outside of the larger organization. I think as most of us have seen. Oftentimes, when innovation comes into a larger organization, it gets squelched. And so we want to help to drive that innovation outside of the organization. It's something of course that we would want to have the option to purchase later. But we want to help that innovation move along and then pick that up as it moves further into closer to the commercialization stage.


David Mildrew  7:46  

And would you like to go with that? Yeah, no,


Finn Haley  7:48  

I'd love to comment on that as well. So we also at Edwards, we also do corporate venture capital, we do that out of our Corporate Development Group. We're very focused on investments that are strategic for the company. So we're much less interested in a financial return, we're more interested in investing in technologies that we could either potentially acquire one day, or just that we want to enable. So maybe this is a really interesting technology that helps with patient identification, or getting, you know, a better diagnosis, we'd love to, we'd like to help those companies succeed as well. There's really no perfect, we'll actually talk to anyone kind of at any stage, to be honest. I think we're a little unique in this way, because we're focused on structural heart disease. And the technologies that are being developed now or so early stage, you kind of have to get comfortable going super, super early. And oftentimes, the company will say, Well, we only been in, we've only done a few patients, or we're just in animals. And I'll say, that's great. That's great. When you're in the kind of innovation that we do, you're constantly being humbled all the time. So a lot of the technologies we develop that were are now successful, had rocky beginnings. And so we totally get that. If you've had an experience, it's been a little bit rocky, great. We'd love to talk to you about it. So I say just come and talk to us. We're, we're really good also at making sure the people you talk to within Edwards are not the people that are working on r&d, because a lot of times people will say we're nervous about that. How do you split that up? We spend a ton of time thinking about that. So don't worry, you're not going to be talking to our r&d teams are gonna be talking to other people. So let's let's have a conversation.


David Mildrew  9:34  

Just a follow up to that Finn. Obviously, Edwards pioneered the transcatheter heart valve. And I'm curious, you weren't there at the time, I don't believe only a short period, but do you recall or do you know, at what stage that was? The acquisition?


Finn Haley  9:52  

Yeah, so it was an acquisition. So a lot of people think it was just an internal development. It was actually it was actually an acquisition but without going into the whole story, I will tell you that the development process for that technology think people think it was an overnight success. That wasn't the case at all. And there's a there's a story that's often told about some of these technologies in this space oftentimes would have, in the early experience, they'd go to these conferences, and they would do a live case. And in the history of this space of structural heart disease, there have been patients that died in those conferences. And so you would think you have to be really, really comfortable and committed to the fact that if you succeed, you're going to extend people's lives for decades. Because you can get really dissuaded when you experience something like that, right. And so I think people look at this market and think, wow, it just, you know, it just took off and developed, there's been a lot of bumps along the way, and you have to be committed to the evidence to long regulatory timelines. But if you do, you can make a huge difference. So we're comfortable with all that. But you got to check yourself every so often, and make sure you really are


David Mildrew  10:59  

your CEO, Mike Misawa, must have had some guts on that one.


Finn Haley  11:03  

He's an incredible leader.


David Mildrew  11:06  

So Antonio, 


Antonio Sanchez-Cordero  11:08  

I should have to record it fan center and play back because, like you said, and we don't have a corporate venture capital fund, but we do equity investments when it makes sense. And the goal not that dissimilar is either we would like to enable that technology enabled that company and fundraising is one of the pieces of the jigsaw, or we think there's a there's a longer term opportunity for partnership. And so fundraising as part of that, we also prefer the earlier the better with the caveat that there's a bit of an inverse relationship in stage of maturity and strategic fit. The earlier it is, the more the strategic fit is relevant to the conversation. But we do like Phil said, we don't have a CVC fund per se, but we're doing investing, the corporate development team.


Christos Monovoukas  11:52  

Yeah, same here with Zimmer Biomet, we made the investments before, not at this stage, but a and b. And so we haven't formalized, or investments in a CVC fund. But we're always looking, especially when it comes to data connecting with our implants and other interesting technologies.


Ye Bu  12:16  

So we don't have a venture. Now you ge used to have a GE venture. Now we're a standalone public company, we don't really have a venture, dedicated team dedicated venture, but we do as the others talked about, we do minority investment as well. In addition to m&a. For example, we were invested in Centerline Biomedical, which is more on the guidance for navigation guidance for you know, structural heart procedures. And then we also invest in impulse more of point of care ultrasound company. And we also invested last year in a live core, which is ECG based connected care company. So, we, you know, is case by case basis, I would say we probably can get a little bit earlier, if it's very close to our core. If it's more, you know, along the disease path, we were probably, you know, more looking is probably easier for us on some, you know, regulatory or clinical risk kind of retired. Yep.


David Mildrew  13:18  

The next question we have is, how is the current macro economic environment affected your strategy? Amanda, would you like to tackle that one? First, all the time, we'll change the order.


Amanda DePalma  13:36  

Well, I, you know, we had conversations about this panel two weeks ago, three weeks ago. And I don't think any of us could have envisioned the current macro environment, macro economic environment that we're sitting here today. I mean, I think what we've seen over the last couple of years, there's been quite a lot of venture funding and quite a lot of valuations that have been higher than we have been able or willing to participate in. It seems right now that valuations are starting to come down a bit, and it may be a great time for strategics to invest or to acquire. And so it's, it seems like things are settling and will probably continue to settle over the next 18 months or so, and seems like it's a good opportunity for strategics right now. So come talk to us


David Mildrew  14:28  

Your view on that Finn?


Finn Haley  14:30  

I do you have a view? So your question was interesting. You said, how does the environment affect your strategy? I got an unusual answer on this one. It actually doesn't change our strategy that much. And part of it is I've been at Edwards now three years, but the strategy is remarkably constant. It's we're working on breakthrough innovation that takes time it takes investment, we're talking years and years out in the future to see value realization. So the strategy doesn't really change every year when we go through it the core of it is constant where I think we are, you know, adapting a little bit is you have to perhaps engage with targets a little bit. If I make it personal to corporate developer, we gauge with the targets a little differently because their needs change. Right. So there's financing needs are a little different than it was very recently. We have companies that we have investments in that now we're banking on having money from certain sources. That's a little bit unclear now. So all that changes, but our strategy doesn't. It really doesn't Edwards is I think that's actually something that I think is great about our company is that we have such a long horizon that we know you kind of keep the core there. And if you're able to develop breakthroughs, extend lives, better quality of life, save costs, this system will be good. That's what we're focused on. That's constant.


David Mildrew  15:44  

Yeah, it makes a lot of sense, given your very specific focus on structural heart that the strategy wouldn't change much about you, Antonio.


Antonio Sanchez-Cordero  15:53  

Yeah, I think it doesn't change the strategy. I think it emphasizes a bit sort of the efficiency piece and the growth. And so those are two main levers that, you know, they're always been part of our strategy and our performance, and they're just being emphasized a bit more. Like Amanda said, we are seeing a bit of a change valuation wise. But to be honest, that doesn't really affect a willingness to transact, I think the biggest challenge we see is the scarcity of assets, particularly in our space in diagnostics, you know, with a scale that sort of plays to our playbook. And and I don't think that has changed in the short term, or in the last, you know, six or 12 months. So I don't think it changes too much from the strategy perspective.


Christos Monovoukas  16:33  

I mean, in general, yes, I agree. Strategies, you know, the big picture, the big view, where are you going with the company and all that, that should not change or maybe change a little bit, the tactics definitely change. Meaning, now with this environment, I agree with Amanda and everybody else, that it is a buyers market in a way that you have the flexibility to select better quality of targets. So we take our time to actually find the perfect, perfect fit. So in that respect, tactics have changed for us. The other is, of course, recessionary sort of concerns, make us feel more like, risk is out there, and maybe we should, you know, modify our search closer to the core versus some near adjacency. So, yeah, overall, strategies don't change. We know where we're going. We know, we're revenue growth, sort of, we look for revenue growth, but the tactics certainly changed.


Ye Bu  17:43  

I tend to agree, I think, you know, when I was a banker, as you will use to kind of talk with companies more started up rather than, you know, GE, where I am working now. And we need to say, hey, when we when people ask you this question, just say you're focused on the delivering value to shareholders, which is true, but it is in generic form, the business doesn't change. And that strategic fit of a business to us doesn't change, because you know, whatever changed out there. I think, you know, in this kind of environment, ever since pandemic, everybody learns that uncertainty is probably part of the know, going forward, we have to adjust from time to time how we do things, but in the end, you know, our focus is the same when you to, you know, serve our clients or serve our customers. So that doesn't change. I agree with everybody here.


David Mildrew  18:38  

But next question has to do with when you think about the risks that must be mitigated, before you consider a company, as an attractive candidate, perhaps for acquisition. What are those risks? Clinical regulatory, reimbursement? What are the first things that come to mind? And I think, for a lot of the young companies, companies out here, who are trying to determine, you know, where do I spend my money, initially, to make sure I overcome some of those risks? So would someone else start Yeah, why don't we go this way? Give a man a break.


Ye Bu  19:16  

You know, is it a case by case basis for us for example, you know, that we did one acquisition, basically the next generation detector company called the prismatic before I joined the company. So as you as you can imagine, it's very close to our core. So we actually took on that what is still in development stage, so a lot of risks didn't retire, but you know, we know that that's our bread and butter. So we are able to get in early. But for others that a little bit down the care pathway. For example, you know, a lot of enablement technologies we're looking at, you know, our core business is diagnose the scanner and then you think about okay, along the care pathway, the navigation that guidance, the robotics, the further away the implants, the further it is to our core, the more risk we're with the mic and to be retired before it taken off. But and then the day we see when we see a company, we focus on the strategic rationale. If we're convinced there is a rationale there. We'll we'll figure out the toolkit we need to use to we're ready to make something happen.


Christos Monovoukas  20:26  

Similarly, Zimmer Biomet, when we look at a m&a target, we look at what they bring to the table and what Zimmer Biomet brings to the table and that has to do a lot with the core of the business, but also the capability. So you may be in in, you know, knees and implants, basically. But you may have great PMA sort of capabilities. So the answer is that the less risk the better. But if you do bring as a strategic to the, to the table, a certain expertise, then you feel more comfortable about one risk or the other. For Zimmer Biomet, the core is implants, a touch with data or married with, with data, analytics, anything else outside that we we do our diligence and try to retire risk as early as possible.


Antonio Sanchez-Cordero  21:24  

I think for us, none of the risk is a deal breaker. However, like Krista said, the less risk the better, right. And so when we think about progressive de risking, right, starting with technology risk, and then with regulatory risk, and then reimbursement risk, and ultimately commercial traction, right, depending where you are in that path. And and I think it's important, if you help us understand how you de risk how you clear the risks, right? At times, there's a lot of assumptions on the companies, I think the more you help us sort of check that box, the easier it is to move to the next phase, right. And that translates into evaluation because the risk is less.


Finn Haley  22:03  

You know, in our space, again, it's perhaps a little unique in that we're, we're going so early on a lot of these technologies that from a commercial standpoint, I rarely get to buy anything with sales, right. But we do find that we're doing a lot of a lot of option deals in this space, right? That's something I say a lot. I mean, the market participants, broadly us, Medtronic, Bas and others. And those structures are unique in that they oftentimes systematically try to de risk the development pathway. Clinical is obviously important for us. So oftentimes we look at meaningful milestones from a clinical experience. And like I said, the the clinical results don't have to be immaculate, we understand the messiness of it. regulatory risk is nice if we can take that off the table, sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Reimbursement in our space is always super messy. Oftentimes, we'll come into you'll evaluate a technology. And we'll say we think this is a challenging health economic story. If you look back at some of the areas that we've looked at, it totally changes over time, and people invest in the evidence and all that. And then from a commercial standpoint, again, these usually we bring these technologies in house before there's any commercial traction.


Amanda DePalma  23:20  

I think for us similar to the others here, it depends. If it's a technology that is going to integrate into our systems, let's say an AI algorithm or something to that effect, it's it's really going to be the performance of that algorithm and our assessment of the clinical need, and how it can integrate into the workflow and the jobs that our customers are trying to do. If it's a full solution, then like the others, I think we're going to want to retire as much risk as possible. I'd say for us, having been in PMA devices or class three devices. We are more in 510K. And so often it's it's really about regulatory clearance, there's not going to typically be large clinical studies that are underway, reimbursement is often DRG. So it's more about the market and the problem that's being solved, how large that market is, is money being spent there. And will that help us to grow our position through our channel, often not necessarily commercial or pretty small from a commercial standpoint? Because that's really where we start to bring the value is with the channel and the commercial element.


David Mildrew  24:30  

You know, this is just kind of a follow on but an observation that we've had recently in our executive search practice is they're in touched on this health economics reimbursement importance. The we're seeing more and more requests from earlier stage companies to get a handle on that earlier on, how are we going to go to market in terms of where are we going to be reimbursed? You know, is this going to be a product that's going to be selling reimbursed a sell pay? Or is it going to be something at some point, we can expect? You know, a very nice and good return on the, from a reimbursement perspective. So I'm curious if anybody has any other thoughts about? Are you seeing this? Companies worried about this at the earlier stage or not?


Antonio Sanchez-Cordero  25:20  

Happy happy to take that. I think it goes back to my point about helping us take risk out of the equation, right? So if you come to us, and you say, Well, this is the product, I haven't started selling it yet, or I just started now and we have half a million dollars, that is going to be $100 million in three years. Let me tell you why. And that is grounded in facts. It's grounded in a good assessment of the health economics, that reimbursement landscape, they might not have reimbursement, but they can compare to, you know, an illogical to other situations, that makes it way easier for us to build that valuation and have come forward with that assessment versus not having any of that, then it becomes a harder conversation. So I think that startups are understanding that, and they're finding relevant to build those muscles and exercise that in anticipation of their fundraising, but also their discussions with strategics.


David Mildrew  26:05  

Any other comments on that?


Christos Monovoukas  26:06  

Yeah, I just wanted to I mean, it's an integral part of the story. I mean, if you if you don't have that piece of information, how do you pitch right to your point. The other thing is, of course, when you do pitch, there is the clinical value that everybody sort of understands or couldn't rally behind it. But the the economic value, the value proposition is the one that at the end of the day will make or break the company in the future. Because if you want to present to an investor or a strategic, an alternative path, not just IPO, or m&a, you need to have a viable business business model that will provide an option or a sort of a, a plan B, so that you can actually get to the valuation that you want and present it as a option for the company. So if you don't have that, in my opinion, you haven't done your homework. And it's not a complete story.


Finn Haley  27:07  

I could not agree more with everything you just said. I would also add to it, I you know, we have a really good team of reimbursement professionals at Edwards. I don't know how they do their job, because you have all the nuances, just standard reimbursement. And then we have all the dynamics that are happening with a shift in where care is actually happening. And that just adds a whole other layer to it. As we shift more care outside the hospital other sites, how does reimbursement impact that? You think in our world where tavern Tavern is the primary procedure that, you know, is fascinating? It wasn't that long ago, we were talking to a cardiologist recently that he was saying, maybe not here in the US. But I think it was over in Europe, they're already experimenting with can you do procedures like to have run an outpatient basis, in a center where you go home the same day? And it's like, wow, this I mean, it's just kind of mind blowing stuff, right? But you think about and you, it's hard enough to project, you know, where this is all gonna go. But oftentimes, you know, we try to do our best. And then we say, we know we're going to be wrong with reimbursement. But you got to have like you said, you have to make the case. And you have to have the discipline to to try to try to gaze in your crystal ball.


Ye Bu  28:14  

Yeah, I agree. Because for us, sometimes I separated reimbursement from health economics, because, you know, in the implant of pursuit of therapeutic delivery world, it's important for me to have reimbursement for some for some of our product, which is more diagnosis. It's not about reimbursement, and then you come down to health economics, right. And then, you know, one of my colleagues actually told me something the other day, which I think is very valuable to me, he said, you know, if, if the new technology, well, by definition, you think that new technology is better, but it's just better by 15%. It's very hard for people to actually change their behavior today. Right? It has to be either is so differentiated, that people were just adopted, even without all those analysis. Or, if you can have your health economic story, try to spell it out, or you'll get reimbursement, it just helps the adoption dramatically. You need something there to help us think through it. And also for for us, you know, the more the companies have thought about it, the better because for GE Healthcare, we're still kind of new coming out of GE, a lot of things are being rebuilt, although we're trying to do all the things that you know, the, the panels that I've been talking about our team, the BD team is relatively small. So we have a little bit capacity constraints on some fronts, so the more prepared the entrepreneurs are, the better for us to really kind of understand the story thinking about risk mitigation.


Amanda DePalma  29:52  

If you look at our customers today, hospitals right now around the globe are operating in the to red, regardless of how their system is set up, and so anything that they are going to purchase has to provide some level of efficiency, it has to, you know, shorten the amount of time that's required for procedure make the workflow that allows them to focus on patient care versus all the charting and coding that they have to do today. So there has to be a tangible economic value proposition in the sense of time, or reimbursement or throughput that you can quantify, it can't just be, it can't just be kind of a back of napkin, you've got to be able to really quantify and prove that it is going to make that difference to the hospital, because every company is coming at them with a similar story. So how do you truly differentiate yourself, and ensure that the technology that you're bringing forward is one that will be adopted, and will absolutely impact their ability to move patients through this system?


David Mildrew  30:56  

You know, I know there are a lot of early stage companies out in the audience. And then we have some that are at commercial stage, but a lot of very early stage. And this next question has to do with I think you touched on this a little bit Finn. When do companies small companies approach you? And what's the best way to approach you? Because I think oftentimes, they look at these behemoths, the large, the titans of the industry and say, How do I talk to those people, then when should I approach them? So would you like to start without Amanda or someone down here?


Amanda DePalma  31:33  

I can start. I mean, I think meetings like this are a perfect opportunity to come together, I would say, you know, make sure that you understand the company that you're going to and where they are focused as a business and their targets. I think many of this make that pretty clear. And often there are, like I was just talking to somebody from Medtronic, they've got a portal that really talks about their areas of interest. So make sure you understand the company and their areas of business as you come forward with your technology or solution in that it truly does fit with their strategy. But I think you know, forums like this are a great place to come together. I don't think it's too early to ever have a conversation. I mean, I think we're all trying to solve hard clinical problems. And while it might not be the right time to make a deal, just understanding what's out there, understanding how things are evolving over time, is always important, I think, the pitch competitions that we've seen lately with medtech, innovator and med tech color, and the way that they're able to drive awareness around the startups that are out there, and technologies allows us to see what's coming what's on the horizon. Some of the new innovations that we just don't have the ability to work on in house. So I think, just be strategic and who you're going after, understand their business and how you can be create your value proposition. But I think forums like this are really a perfect place to come together.


Finn Haley  32:58  

That was a great answer. I will add a few couple things. We always travel in packs at these conferences. So we have a team that's here. This week, a bunch of folks from Edwards, different businesses just come and approach us. We go to all the major cardiovascular conferences, we blanket all of them. So I'm sure you'll bump into us there. A lot of people reach out over LinkedIn, that's totally fine. I do check my LinkedIn messages. The only thing I never check actually is my voicemail at work. I don't like no one calls me on my phone. I don't think I've I don't have been here three years. I don't know if I've actually checked my voicemail at Edwards in three years. So yeah, so don't use that. That doesn't work. But pretty much any other way to reach us. And anytime is good earlier, the better. So


Antonio Sanchez-Cordero  33:42  

I was just thinking I'm not sure I have an office number. I'm sure I have one i I don't know. Anyway. Yeah, I think LinkedIn is good. I think like they said, right, the earlier the better. I think for me, I would I would say the more explicit you can be about how we can help you right? What do you need, and I know there's a healthy degree of skepticism, not sharing to margin on that, I get that. But if you need money, right, and you're going to fundraise tell us if you are thinking about selling tell us. And if you do it the other way around, sometimes it's confusing, it doesn't help us position the opportunity internally the right way. So I think the more explicit you can be by what you need about how you think we can help the better. And I think the more voice of the customer, you can bring into the discussions, the better, right? I mean, it's, as you can imagine, we get pitched in a number of technologies. And and if there is mean, just back to the point, does it work? Great. Does it add value, maybe but hearing a customer right with a physician or an administrator explained that you speak of commercial traction, that that makes a huge difference. So I'd say as early as possible, as clear as possible and with as much voice of the customer is possible.


Christos Monovoukas  34:50  

Yeah. So let me I have a lot of comments about this because I get asked all the all the time. I'll give you 10 numbers. Okay, write them down. It's 978835547 That's my cell phone number, right here. But I mean, in all seriousness, anybody, I think the the concern I get when I get that question is not how do we reach you, it's like, should I reach you, you're a strategic, you're going to perhaps steal my IP and all that, that that should never be the case. If anybody on anywhere, sort of from a strategic as a business development in their title, they want to talk to you we're not sitting behind our desks, you know, trying to do other things, we want to be out there talking to the community and, and make the connections, etcetera. So, like I said, anybody with a business development title should be able to take your call, they're not doing their job if they don't. The thing about calling somebody though, is that you need to be focused, you cannot be calling Zimmer Biomet for a atrial fibrillation sort of device, you know, you got to know the space. We are in implants. We are you know, we we are in orthopaedics. If you want to stand you have a stem product called Boston Scientific, if you want me to give you the names and numbers, call me, I'll tell you. So so no, no, who, what you want and who is in your ecosystem, you know, in the in the space, call them, pick up the phone, email, LinkedIn, it's, it shouldn't be a problem. And I know that the community is very resourceful. So I don't want to, you know, talk down on them. It's just, sometimes I get a call. And it's like, I have a spine product. Well, we've divested the spine business two years ago. You know, do a little bit of homework, not a lot.


Ye Bu  36:52  

Yeah, I agree. You know, for us, it's not necessarily the earlier the better, because we're we're still have, we still have a small team relatively. So we're kind of sometimes still constrained on the staffing front. But I agree, I think one thing for a lot of people to keep in mind, you know, a lot of folks come out of big companies, they probably have friends, or they're, they talk with r&d, folks. But keep in mind, if you want to do more than just technology, collaboration, or commercial collaboration, if you're looking for financing, or acquisition is the strategy and BD team, most of the BD team, then you need to talk to, we don't know them can just, you know, doesn't hurt to ask your friends, who is the BD person that I, you know, should talk to do you mind, you know, just connecting with us. So that's one thing. And then in a day, some of the some of the field folks are like commercial folks, r&d, folks, they're very good at bubbling up the opportunity to us, but not all of them. So feel free to ask that question. And then the day it comes to us, right, that this is our day job, this is what we're paid to do. Another thing I, you know, started to appreciate ever since I moved to GE, healthcare is that it does take time to educate companies like us, when when when you want to get a deal done, it takes a bit of time. So when you were thinking about, for example, you want to do a financing, you know, it's hard for us to do good and say, Hey, we're gonna close a round, like in two months, right? If you just started the process, then it takes more than two months for us to really to understand that to company and really kind of find those sponsors. Internally, again, everything aligned. So keep that in mind. You know, when you have deals in mind, you know, maybe build up a few months, half a year, the year before that even better, just educate organization about it. Yeah, we will never just kind of say, hey, you know, don't call us, we're welcome. You know, well, welcome all the opportunity to talk with, you know, the entrepreneurs. Yeah.


David Mildrew  38:57  

So we have just a short period of time left. But, Antonio, I think you sent me an email with an extra question. And that is, maybe if you have any good stories, about do's don'ts, and things they should watch out for when they are approaching the strategic. Did you have something in mind when you ask that?


Antonio Sanchez-Cordero  39:16  

I should have although they should have said that question. But I think we've said a lot of the do's and don'ts were part of this goal of this discussion. I think a couple of additional pieces. One is the earlier the better, we were just saying that but I think it's important to have the story to Chris's point together. Right? I find it I was actually in New York last week meeting with private equity and bankers and you know, I was in a conversation about a certain company in certain asset and you know, they have evolved a lot and how difficult it is to change the perception internally of a company right and so I was thinking, you know, the earlier the better but but get their story right because once we have your story once we tabled it once we work on it if it changes significantly gonna be hard for us to change internally the perception of the company, I find that surprisingly hard. And so I think that's one piece. The other is more related to, to the do's and don'ts is understand really who you're talking to. I mean, I think we are complex organizations where large organizations are not the most fragile or nimble. So I think I would advise the entrepreneurs to understand where they're talking to how his decision take place, make sure that they have an internal champion, who's their internal champion, and try to understand how we make decisions, because I think in your on their side as they're trying to make decisions and just trying to accelerate or delay some of their decisions, it will be helpful for them to get a perspective of how the decision is going to take place.


David Mildrew  40:40  

Great, and I noticed we have just seconds left. So I won't put anybody else on the spot with that question. Unless someone wants to say something quickly.


Ye Bu  40:48  

One thing I want to add is that even if when you reach out on LinkedIn, or do you didn't get a response, you know, maybe you try it later. Again, sometimes you just get buried, like, for example, like a conference like this, if I get 100 requests, I probably don't get time to respond, respond to everybody in a timely manner. So that's one thing. Don't feel discouraged if you don't hear a response, maybe try another time. Another thing is that even if there are some times that we don't do a deal, at that moment, maybe doing a time is, is is not right. Just stay in touch, really, if you know we will get with most of the time, it will give feedback. And then when you hit that milestone, you know, feel free to reach back.


David Mildrew  41:31  

Well, we're out of time. But I want to take a second just to thank the panelists for being here today. And I'm sure that some of them won't be able to get out of the room before you want to say hello to them. So thank you very much audience. Thank you


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