A few times a year, I have the distinct pleasure of bringing together a subset of the Hammock Facilitation network for a meal. And while good food and good humor abound, what I like the most is hearing the commonalities across different companies, different sectors, from vastly different style entrepreneurs. At our most recent dinner the talk turned to what we need. As start ups, as entrepreneurs, as companies seeking financing or as companies positioning ourselves for acquisition. And I was surprised to hear a resonating, consistent message for all the institutions and agencies that are dabbling in supporting SME commercialization. We, the entrepreneurs, the ones with actual skin in the game, who’s mortgages don’t get paid if the companies aren’t funded, want one thing. Stand Aside. Stop obstructing. Stop asking us to tie our development programs in knots to fit your narrowly construed definition of ‘research’. Stop superimposing what worked for the last company you had in your portfolio onto our completely dissimilar business case. Stop asking med tech to be IT in it’s deliverables and timelines. Stop asking Pharma to be med tech. Let us be.
Sure, some of us will fail. But let’s not have those failures because our ‘supporters’ encumbered us to the point of handcuffs, restricting our flexibility to the point of immobility.