Venture capital has a productive model of filtering prospective business ideas through entrepreneurs that are fresh out of the trenches of operating a company. These entrepreneurs-in-residence bridge the disconnect between fledgling companies and investors that may or not remember what it was like to run a company once upon a time.
My hypothesis is that healthcare institutions could also benefit from having a clinician-entrepreneur-in-residence who is bilingual in clinical practice and business operations. Such a position could catalyze the evolution of the abundant raw ideas and insights within healthcare institutions into viable commercial products. The objective of such a position would be to channel the highly specialized expertise and unique insights of clinician-researchers and decrease the activation energy needed go from idea to value-generating product or service. I also hypothesize that this role can save time and money in learning whether an idea has commercial and/or social worth.
Over the next 3-6 months, I will be assisting a clinician at Boston Children's Hospital to test whether his idea is viable in the marketplace. The clinician has never started a company before. And he has no formal business training. I look forward to reporting the progress and learning from this experiment.