Thomas had a great opportunity to speak to Jorge Del Carpio, a respected banker and tech entrepreneur. He has worked extensively in operations and venture investments across Europe and LatAm.
COVID and HealthTech
There have been a number of HealthTech start-ups in 2020. Despite the turbulence of this year, have successfully managed to establish themselves. The pandemic has also allowed a number of businesses to continue to expand and help their customers. Such as Push Doctor in Manchester, which partner with the NHS to provide patients with on-demand GP consultations online. How could a potential Covid vaccine rollout affect this?
It’s been quite enough time and quite enough number of people who have tried virtual medical consultations during lockdown and considering the fantastic positive reviews from patients and doctors, I expect this type of consultation to keep being very active even after the vaccine is available. Business offering virtual medical consultation and related products and services are convinced that it is a new industry that has been created and since consumers are very happy with it, it should stay with us for quite a long time.
EdTech and FinTech
We have witnessed Software Developers, Analysts and other technologists, move to work in the HealthTech sector from EdTech and FinTech. Having worked in different sectors yourself, do you feel other sector experience helps when joining a HealthTech company? Could it offer a person starting the new job a different perspective to approach certain projects?
Some tech industries are much more developed in terms of innovation than HealthTech, this is, of course, in general terms. FinTech is very innovative and is on a daily fight to get a piece of market from the big, traditional financial institutions; you have to be very competitive and innovative if you really want to get a piece of their market share, considering that they are also very smart and have big pockets. EdTech is also moving fast, same as HealthTech, but my perception is that FinTech is in another category of innovation. Professionals moving from FinTech to HealthTech, for instance, should be capable to succeed and adapt quite easily, considering that it might take a bit of time to understand the industry, but that is not critical at the beginning if their skills are an asset for the new team.
Brexit and HealthTech
We are at a point where Brexit will be finally decided; and the outcome of a ‘No Deal’ with the EU is a possibility next month. If there is a ‘No Deal’, how could this impact the HealthTech companies in the UK? What impact would this have on European businesses more generally?
Even though the UK market is big enough, there are some local HealthTech firms that have a foot in the EU market, and vice versa. I am very sure they have already implemented their business plans whatever the final outcome is. Opening subsidiaries might be a partial solution to reduce the impact on Brexit but how to share personal, sensitive data and tariff is something they should be evaluating carefully at the moment.
Advice to people starting out
What would be your advice to someone who is interested in starting a new HealthTech company? What challenges may they initially encounter in their first year?
After doing and extensive market research, and even though you know you have a great market-fit product, set up a commercial partnership before writing your first line of code. Getting to know that you already have customers, clarify the path and what motivates the team much more to finalize your MVP according to your timeline. There will challenges along the way, but knowing that your first customer is right there, waiting for you and ready to promote your product should be an extra motivation, and a critical factor to success.
Many thanks to Jorge for his valuable insight into this industry.
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