Ask Me MD: Medical School for the real world

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA - Running an Incubator

December 18, 2020 D.J. Verret, MD, FACS Season 1 Episode 25
Ask Me MD: Medical School for the real world
Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA - Running an Incubator
Chapters
Ask Me MD: Medical School for the real world
Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA - Running an Incubator
Dec 18, 2020 Season 1 Episode 25
D.J. Verret, MD, FACS

Dr. Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA, CEO & co-founder of Health Wildcatters, joins the show today to discuss his non-clinical career and give insights into success as a startup company. Dr. Zajicek provides insights he has gained over the past decade investing and mentoring medical startup companies.

If you have questions or ideas for a show, send us an email at [email protected]. Hear the latest podcast at http://askmemdpodcast.com or through your favorite podcast directory.

Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA, CEO & co-founder of Health Wildcatters, joins the show today to discuss his non-clinical career and give insights into success as a startup company. Dr. Zajicek provides insights he has gained over the past decade investing and mentoring medical startup companies.

If you have questions or ideas for a show, send us an email at [email protected]. Hear the latest podcast at http://askmemdpodcast.com or through your favorite podcast directory.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Ask me MD medical school for the real world with the MD Dr. DJ Verret.

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

Thank you for joining us today for ask me MD medical school for the real world. I'm Dr. DJ Verret. Today we're joined by Dr. Hubert Zajicek, CEO of health wildcatters doctors I check is going to be talking to us about his pathway through non clinical medicine and give advice to anyone considering a medical startup or investing in a medical startup. We'll be joined by doctors I check right after this. Commercial Welcome back to Ask Me MD medical school for the world world. I'm Dr. DJ Verret and t day we have the pleasure o being joined. joined by Dr. Hubert Zajicek, CEO of Hea thcare wildcatters here in Dallas Hubert, thanks for joi ing us Great, great to see you, DJ, and Hubert, we've we've obviously known each other for longer than at least I want to admit. But for our listeners out there, if you could kind of give them a little bit of information about your background, and the kind of circuitous route you took through your non clinical career, I think it would be quite enjoyable. That's great. I'm so glad you budgeted two hours, or was it three for this? It's, it's it's an eight hours, it's eight hours and CME Oh, that then then then we're good. This, you know, take no more than three. But no, all joking aside. Thanks again for having me. As you know, DJ, the, the route I took is one that I could have never predicted, nor could I find any way to replicate it. However, it does have some commonalities to in itself, and I think those are the ones that might be a value, but just going by name rank and serial number. I'm originally from Vienna, Austria, where I grew up and went to medical school there. So graduated from University of Vienna medical school, and then moved to the US to take a take on a postdoc Research Fellowship here at UT Southwestern, in Dallas, and got an NIH fellowship. So I was an NIH fellow postdoctoral fellow in nephrology for several years, got some more grants and joined the faculty at UT Southwestern, originally in nephrology, and then also in cell biology. So my research was in, in those areas. At that time, right about when I joined the faculty, I started looking at, you know, the larger future when you join the faculty, that's one of those moments when you say, Okay, well, I'm successful. And, you know, however confident you are at that. And this could not be my career. And several decisions have to be made one of them obviously, many of your listeners will wonder, what about clinical medicine, why not clinical medicine. And so at the time, I had brought myself to, to like, research, I decided, I really like the career research path. And my wife was going through her residency. And so for me, that was exciting and fun. But I also was searching a little bit and so ended up enrolling at an MBA program at SMU. And really with no particular agenda, except that I wanted to know more about other ways to apply my background and knowledge. And that was truly an eye opening event. I enjoyed it a lot, a lot more than I bargained for. Because as soon as I moved to Dallas, I became a subscriber of the Dallas Morning News. And and here's the funny bit. The one section I wouldn't read, like I literally would put it aside and not even touch with the business section. I kid you not. So I would read the Dallas Morning News, and put the business no interested here. I'm going to business school. Needless to say that changed pretty quick. Still, when you go to business school, and a lot of our colleagues do for various different reasons. It does open your horizon. And so I was interested in that and I didn't know what exactly would come out of it. I just knew that potentially, I would either come away with something I really loved and wanted to pursue or at least with the knowledge that you know where I am is where I should be and those management skills are going to still be good for me in an academic career as well. As luck would have it. I loved everything. I did. There. immerse myself in the NBA experience in random biotech club did all sorts of things and joined the advisory board Scientific Advisory Board off a a local incubator here in Frisco, it does not exist anymore. But just as an advisor as a volunteer, and as I got to know that that team better really, really liked that. And we can go more into detail what that all entails. But long story short, when when I wound up my scientific career, I decided I wanted to be in business, dealing in entrepreneurship with startups. Of course, it did not know exactly how and what, but turned out that the pathway was to join that incubator, as a manager built that up over several years. And I think that's how we crossed paths as well.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

We actually we we did work together there. But we actually were first introduced during your postdoc period at Southwestern when I was in medical school.

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

Oh, wow. Yeah, really?

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Yes. Yes. And that's why I said longer than I then I would care to remember. And then you join NT C. And I don't I don't remember ow it came up. But I saw your ame and remembered and I was ike, that actually, similar to hat you're saying? I said, that ould be an interesting thing to o. And and I reached out to you nd then joined the scientifi advisory board there. While yo were there. So that's that' actually the story on tha background

Unknown:

Okay, cool. I Well, I didn't know remember that twist. That's, that's excellent. And built that up, worked. Every day was startups, which I loved, obviously, just healthcare, built up a large conference there and applied a good bit of my, my kind of academic management knowledge now in real in real in a real scenario, got to meet a lot of startups, which was great. And then seven years ago, had an opportunity to jump ship and start an accelerator, together with three others. And that was amazing opportunity. Again, how did it come together? We can go in more detail if you want on that, because they're, they're quite accidental. But I want to, I want to emphasize one thing, because I think that is the common thread. The the accidental piece of me meeting, my ultimately three future partners wasn't so accidental. When you look at that I was networking a lot. I was participating in a lot of conferences. I was going out to networking events and other events not just as a speaker, but also just a participant in meeting people and and ultimately Those were the people and the time was right. I called one it was clay heighten who was also a physician and said, Hey, I'm looking to make a change. And actually, it was my first call. Not that I wouldn't talk to other people as well. But before I knew it, we had started together with them with Carl Stroman and clay, health lock headers. And of course, our our partner organization was a time tech law cutters. And and then built it up ever since. So I've been a co founder of it from the beginning, ran it from the beginning. And we only invest in healthcare startups now and

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

One for our physicians out there who may not know what exactly is an accelerator?

Unknown:

Sure. And really, this is the perfect opportunity to contrast it with the incubator that I was involved with earlier. I would say there are three there three differences. By the way, this is highly non academic, because there really is you can call yourself an incubator accelerator if you want to. There's no no rules. And it to the point that I actually authored an article on that in Entrepreneur Magazine, because it's so like non defined, but to me, these are the three most important differences. Number one, an incubator is likely to be a nonprofit organization, backed either by an academic institution, or an Economic Development Corporation and accelerator is more likely to be a for profit entity, we can get into the nuances a little bit more, which is almost like a micro venture fund. Number two is an incubator is likely to be focused on developing startups at that physical location for however long they need to help. As you can imagine, both a university or municipality want to grow those startups. I don't care if you do it in three months or six months or a year. Obviously they want to fast but they'll be there as a benevolent helper. All along accelerators, really it's a competitive process. And then right now we're, we're taking over 500 applications for 10 spots from all over the world. And ultimately, the winner from all over the world as well. And they join us here in Dallas this year will be a little different with some more virtual presence. But John's here in Dallas participate in a three month program. So it's a defined code driven program. And that that's the second differentiators as opposed to open ended, cowork driven. And the third one is simple. incubators generally do not make an investment. There are nonprofit organizations that are not in a position to make an investment. Maybe there's some grants involved, or generally to just defray some cost of the office space. accelerators are generally defined by making an investment and taking an equity position in that in that startup. And in exchange for not just the cache, they're also helping the startup get to the next spot. And so that alignment between that investment and the entrepreneurial entity for us to help them get further along.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

And kind of in a bigger sense, both of them, though, are focused on developing that startup company in providing some level of resources to them to become successful. Is that accurate?

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And there's, you know, you would think that, so there are plenty of companies that we have taken on and had spent time in an incubator, or continue to spend time in incubator or join an incubator, because incubators have some incredible resources at times, I mean, you can imagine, one that's run by university would potentially give you access to all sorts of very expensive equipment, people, animal facilities, you name it. So there's very good reasons for joining incubators, and be aligned with them. And accelerators too. We focus more on the business side of the development of the startup. So for instance, we we have sold in downtown Dallas, it's an office facility. It's very collaborative. It's It's fun, it's interactive, but it doesn't have a lab. Okay, so can you can you do a little bit of like a dry lab? Can you do a few things like that? On a medical device? Yes, you can. But we don't have wet labs, we don't have a real dry lab. And so it's really if that service needs to be done, then they would collaborate with someone else, maybe even an incubator, or, or start up their own lab somewhere else. So we're really focusing on accelerating the business making presentable and investable by angel investors.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

And it sounds like you can you can potentially participate with multiple accelerators, multiple incubators at different periods of your development, and kind of depending on what the company needs at the at those stages.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And obviously, just to clarify, we obviously we as health hell walk headers, we're only dealing with healthcare startups that said, we're very broad. So medical devices, pharma. digital health is our number one category, and diagnostics and so on. So we're very broad. But but but still, we're narrowed down to healthcare only. As far as participating in different types of programs. There are also programs called pre accelerator programs. And they really would be the ones to take you from the idea stage, like the napkin stage, to formation of an entity. And we sometimes help with those type of things in in a way, but it's not our bread and butter work. And so yes, we, we we, we endeavor to wrap all the resources around to startup that they would otherwise have, literally very difficult time to vet and procure for their own for their own startup.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Hubert, I think you sit at the intersection of several interests of physicians that may be listening, you're obviously non clinical career that you've you've taken in a way that you've developed and taken advantage of opportunities out there. But you also sit at an intersection of working with startup companies that may be run by physicians or others in the healthcare space, and working with investors in those startup companies. So you kind of get to see both sides of the equation. So I'd like to kind of pick your brain a little bit on startup companies in the healthcare space, if I could.

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

Yeah, sure.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

So let me let me do a couple of most comments for you. What do you see is the most common challenge facing medical startups that come through healthcare wildcatters?

Unknown:

Sure. So I just explained there's a huge variety of startups to come through here. And obviously no startup is like another we have now accelerated 68 startups. Very, very different. I mean, ages you know, I'll just start entrepreneurs that are in their 20s and other startup underwriters that are in the 60s. And and everyone has a different set of challenges before them, the accelerator I, and we're backed by but by the way by myself and my partner, we're all angel investors. So angel investors back to accelerator to make those investments every year. Because this is important. We're taking an investor's point of view, including our own money that we're putting into it. But when we're looking at a startup, it's really our go asset, early Angel investable, it may be venture investable. But our goal is to help each startup normalize themselves and make them presentable and investable by angels or VCs. And so this is not necessarily because there is a deficiency in the startup, but there certainly is. And you could never fault anyone for that a lack of knowledge of what is market or what is the norm. So what I'm getting at is, when you're out there, and you have your startup, and you're, you know, you hire this lawyer and this accountant and you, there's no way for you to know, unless you're a serial entrepreneur, and you've done this a million times, which of the things that I'm proposing here are actually completely out of the norm, right. And there isn't really a good way to solve this academically, because this is something that needs to be solved along the lines of what is in the current market being invested in what is normal. And that would be different, by the way to some degree between California and Texas and Texas, in New York and American companies and European or Asian. So there's there's differences. And so we will obviously help you norm yourself to what we believe our networks, which are regional, but not only regional, would think is a reasonable a good starting point. And so your quote, deficiencies aren't really deficiency, they're just as a first time or first time in health care entrepreneur, there's no way for you to know this. And the question is, will you ask someone that is just a consultant that you hire, and then you worry about was he or she just giving me advice that makes me buy more services? Or is he or she really helping me, position myself? In the accelerator setting, it's pretty simple. We buy common shares in your company, those are the same shares the CEO and founder of the company owns, there is no way that if, if we're trying to help you, they're going to do anything that damages the value of those shares. But those shares are also the very same ones that the founder owns, you're basically alive.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Yeah, you're aligned at that point,

Unknown:

as well aligned as we can be. And it's necessary because we have to gain the trust of the startups at the same time. We're also in a position of again, when I'm saying first time entrepreneur, first time in healthcare, it's also responsibility. So our business terms are public, this would never be the case for Venture Fund. The public, the unknown, people apply to us, and they know what those terms are. Because, as you can imagine, if I do this 100 times, I could take advantage of people. And that is not something we either desire or want to do, of course, and we never want to be put in a position where that is suggested. So therefore, our terms are out there in public. And and we on purpose, put us ourselves into a more vulnerable position as investors at that very early time stage. And I'm not saying that it's not a good deal, it is a good deal for our investors. But at the same time, we also need to gain the trust of the startups and create that alignment, like you just said, so that there is reason for for both of us to do whatever is best for the company.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

And it sounds like the the point you're making is applicable to even companies outside of healthcare. It's making sure that your story is appropriate and timely, so that you can be successful in your fundraising. I mean, that the and that would apply to health care or any other startup business. Would that be accurate?

Unknown:

You're absolutely correct. And the most well known accelerators are generalists. And they've only recently some of them taken some healthcare startups so used to be that when accelerators came about and tech stars would be one of the first ones. They really did software companies only and there would be no particular industry necessarily just software. But over time, they've evolved and some have specialized like us in a certain vertical artists have stayed generalists, and then yet others have like us taking on not just software but also other types of startups.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Now, also in the most common category, and in granted it's you do have different verticals even within healthcare. But what is a common error that you see startups making? That was the fourth and fifth hour, we have reserved it. Yeah. So so you know what i, there are many, many, many, many. And but I think one of the things that is that I run into, and I'm currently working on on a startup with that problem is that very early on, it becomes a catch 22. I mean, again, accelerator plays a role early on, but we're not there when you start to start up. So there are things that you can do that might be faulty or not ideal suboptimal, that we then have to either fix or help or deal with, or just live with. And so one of them is the disputing up of equity between founders and co founders. And what I mean by that is, it'd be very common and did you I'm sure, you'd think the same way like, like, we start, if we start a startup together, let's say you and I, it's 5050. Well, then it turns out, you know, I'm doing the startup every single day 24 seven, well, you're a practicing physician. And you know, you and I meet once a week, and maybe we change exchange emails, well, after a few weeks, or a few months, in a one of us, and that would be me, would feel like Hey, listen to you're making a salary, I'm making nothing. And we're both going to end up with the same piece of equity. So there are ways to address those foundering equities, there are ways to address them so that a investors to some degree will be so spooked with certain setups that they don't want to invest at all unless you fix the problem. And so that is not something that immediately would have, you know, you and I were excited about an idea or starting something, we would not think about this, because it's kind of, you know, it brings up issues, we might not know how to deal with it, there are ways to deal with these things. And what you want is to have a good startup lawyer by your side, that helps you both address those issues as early as possible, because they can blow up deals. And if I see some say some blowing up deals, startups get blown up most of the time, because there's some disagreement between founders, or some founder gives up or something of that nature. So I would say that was numb is one of the first things I would think about, and it worries me the most, because it goes into the deep emotions of how this was all started. And often, it's friends that started stuff together, people really like each other and didn't want to cut each other out family members. So one of the things you we look for for sure is those founders, we're investing in the people early on, right, it's a people business. But think about this scenario, father and son team, we have to ask the tough questions, like, turns out that the Son isn't performing, are you gonna fire him? That is another question. Good question.

Unknown:

That should be the answer should be Yes, of course, if a team member does not perform, you know, you will coach them. And eventually, if for some reason, they're inadequate, you need to remove them. Well, this is pretty hard when it's like your spouse, or your son or your dad. So team, a team members that are composed of families are taking it up a notch because I as an investor know, I am investing my money in you. But you very likely would rather still be on good terms with your dad, and then maybe even have to start over.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

If push comes to shove it's dad over the investor at the end of the day.

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

And that's understandable.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Yeah, and I think you You said something during that explanation. You brought up emotions. And I think that can be one of the biggest problems is when emotions get in the way of the business. And especially when you have outside investors, then you have to deal with the emotions, the outside investors, and it can create a significant issue for the company at that point.

Unknown:

Yeah, it's, it's, we want the emotion we want. It's one of my top 10 things I'm looking for is passion. You know, you the entrepreneur has to be the most passionate advocate of that startup. I cannot make you be passionate. If you're not passionate, you, you by definition have to be passionate about it. But of course, you know, if you don't have that, then everyone else is gonna be less passionate than you. So we don't want that. But at the same time, yes, emotions are difficult. It is a relationship that you have with your team members. And just like any relationship,

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

any conceivable thing can happen.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Now, in since you've seen dozens of companies at this point and probably even looked at more to potentially come into the accelerator, you mentioned 500 applications this year. Is there one chance rate that you've seen, or one, maybe category of traits, that leads to success in a startup company.

Unknown:

What one of the things we're looking for. So again, remember, we're dealing, we have serial entrepreneurs joining us as well, by the way, but we put them most part you will be dealing with entrepreneurs who are for the first time in healthcare or their first time entrepreneurs. So this is new stuff for them. One of the, again, going to the point where I said we're investing in people that's that's not just No, that's that's not a minor point, that's a major point, when you're talking about a pre seed investment with this would be considered pre seed investment that we're making. If you know, the guy or gal quits tomorrow, that's a people problem, right? our, our main thing we're looking for something Ill defined, but loosely called coachability. And this is a very, you know, everyone has their own definition of that. But what my definition is, is that when we invest in you, we believe that whatever you have, and we do due diligence on you, and we know we have this pattern, and here are all the things you have, combined with what we have, which is our mental network of relationships with investors, or resource providers, the whole program unit, all that combined, can yield the result of a startup at the end of the program, that is well positioned to raise the typical half a million a million dollars that our startups raise. And obviously, that does not happen every single time. But in, in many, many cases, in our case, so the coachability piece simply means if I'm, if this premise is correct, that your piece and our piece have to come together, well, our piece is going to require an open mind. Right. So some of the suggestions you might hear from very experienced serial entrepreneurs that are mentors and investors in our program, you may deviate from what your preconceived notion of what the startup should be. So it is not my desire to change your startup. But in this, in this, in this model, I need to have you have an open mind to listen to what you know what you're being advised. And what I want in the coachability piece is I want you to consider what you what you're being advised on. And then I want at least for you to be able to say, I'm not going to do this. And here's why. Or I'm going to do this, and here's why. But it is not possible for me to say for me to hear you say, Okay, I'll do this, no explanation, or I reject this, no explanation. Because I rejected would go toward stay, I know everything already, our premise falls apart, when our piece does not get considered, then the premise of you being fundable at the end of it was wrong. And therefore our prediction of your potential success is diminished. And so I can't see this work, on the other hand, almost scares me more. And we sometimes call it mentor whiplash or whatever. But an entrepreneur founder, who after a half an hour conversation changes his or her mind and says, Okay, this is the direction we're going to go. And then heaven forbid, they have another conversation with another person. And now they change again. So basically, meaning, if you are changing or changing your company in a material way, based on a half an hour conversation with someone who knows much less about your particular startup, then we got a problem too, because as an investor, I want to see a startup like a ship that is changing the direction or the port that they're going for, you know, every other hour, you'll never get there.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

It's it's a very interesting observation. And I'm thinking about some of the discussions we've had with other successful entrepreneurs, were one of the things that they said was, you have to always keep an open mind and be willing to change the direction of the company as new opportunities come along. But you bring up a very good point on the other side of the equation that the person running the company has to be open to that change, but also not completely open. That they get, as you said, they get whiplash and the company is without any direction at some level. So it's a it's a very interesting observation. You're listening to ask me MD medical school for the real world. Today we're talking with Dr. Hubert zajicek, CEO of healthcare wildcatters about his non clinical track and what it takes to start a healthcare company. We're going to take a sharp break and Hubert is going to share his top three right after this.

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D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

And we're back with Dr. Hubert Zajicek, CEO of healthcare wildcatters. As we do with most of our podcast, we're gonna let Huber give us his top three. And on this one he would i would pose to you actually a little variant. If you could tell us the one thing you would tell a physician thinking about a non clinical career, a physician thinking about starting a medical startup, and a physician thing about investing in a medical startup, if you could tell each one of those potential people one thing, what would it be? So what would you tell someone a physician thinking about a non clinical career?

Unknown:

Sure, I think I think this is fairly obvious. But it has to be stated. You have invested a long time in, in your ability to practice medicine and gone through a lot of pain and suffering to be there. You're licensed, so you're invested time, energy, money into your career, so nothing, nothing you do when we're talking about a full stop, start something completely new in a non clinical career, obviously should happen overnight, or as a knee jerk reaction. And then and I get put in this question comes to me quite often, when especially you know, something terrible happened, something somebody's involved in their first major lawsuit, and they take it too hard. I mean, it's just a brutal and horrible thing that will, that can happen and statistically happens to a lot of physicians, of course, it would, of course, have a career, and then that knee jerk reaction, then do some nails. Well, a lot of your, your acquired skills are. So I guess to cut it down to a bit of information is simply be deliberate. Be careful, take take a time and network with people who are actually in your potential shoes that you're considering, and interview them, because it's a big decision. And in many cases, I've advised to just stick with your clinical career. And check this stuff out on the side, until you're really convinced that this is something you want to want to, you must stop and jump into. So I would not advise to just drop it in and run as a result of a frustration that is temporarily.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

And that's something that you did as you were coming along, when you were mentioning your story, you did the MBA program kind of saw what was out there did some networking during that time period. And then at some point decided to go down a different path. So it wasn't an overnight process for you by any stretch.

Unknown:

No, and I think the networking piece is the number one thing put yourself out there into settings where you're not surrounded by the physicians go to something that's not healthcare, go to something that's maybe in your desired direction. And it'll be weird, because it was for me to I was the only researcher in business meetings and you know, nobody wants to talk to you. In my case, it's different for you as a physician, but I'd kind of worked at that researcher label. And so, you know, you're not the one that's able to make a ton of conversation real quick, because you don't know a ton about it. But it's okay, you've got to get out of your comfort zone and and deal with it and keep an open mind.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

Now, what would you tell a physician who's thinking about a medical startup company?

Unknown:

Sure. I've met with a lot of really smart people that are physicians that are starting something or wanting to i, there, there are a lot of points that fall under this one. Here's the number one thing I think, through your career, you have been a able to become a problem solver as a physician. And, and and if you really love what you do, then inevitably you will discover better ways of doing things, which is wonderful, because you've been trained to do that. The next step is a much more difficult. How do you either make that change happen and create that startup or create that change that brings a better medical outcome? Or medic medical device to market? And then secondarily, how do you do that without giving it away? So most of the startups ideas get given to the striker and want to single out striker but to the rep and they are who is just observing the use of a device and then walks away with observations that maybe you have given him an hour and that's okay. But ultimately, you're clearly at that intersection where you say I want to start a startup. I think the best thing I can advise you is to talk to people. I've done it before, find people who have done it, who've done their own startup I've seen, and this is a warning, I've seen a lot of physicians start something with the help of a bunch of consultants. And then it becomes this, this, this never ending drip of money that flows into their direction, and really no incentive for them to stop, because as a physician would consider you an A citizen. jokingly, but armed and dangerous, you have enough income of some kind, that you can entertain some of those things, but you don't have enough time to really pay attention to all the details or scrutinize these things well enough. And so this is sometimes the danger point. So again, find friendlies that have done what you're trying to do before, and maybe potentially consider partnering with them. So you can decrease your risk. And that's probably the best I can do in a short period of time.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

And finally, what would you tell a physician who was thinking about investing in a medical startup?

Unknown:

Sure, I think it comes natural, you, you're smart, you see stuff. And inevitably, something comes your way. And you think it's, it's an amazing idea, and you should invest a couple things. Here, here's something you know, you know, that the first patient that walks in with a certain condition into your office, this is your first and chances are you don't have to experience you're gonna have to read up, you're gonna have to ask colleagues and how to deal with this new, let's say it's something a little bit more exotic medical condition, we'll treat this medical investment opportunity the same way. Because the end matters, it matters how many times you've seen deals approached you. And I'll just be the point to my to myself, my first few investments, were not the best ones, by sure, for sure. And the reason is, I love them, I started saying, hey, why not? And then I made an investment. And I might have seen three, and I made one investment. Well, that's not the way you just heard was that earlier, I mean, we're looking at 500 deals and make 10 investments. And that's in the venture world already considered a lot. So you should see a lot of deals before you jump in on something that said, sometimes you make something called a relationship investment, and I'm not immune to that I've done that too. You trust someone you say, No, I'm gonna go in, just make sure that this isn't something where you can lose more than what you put in, I think that would be my number one thing. And many of you will run practices and you know, that, obviously, your partner so if something goes wrong, you, you're going to be the one who has to pay for it with an investment. Make sure it's something like a C Corp, something we're the worst that can happen to you is that you lose that investment. But not worse than that. That would be my number one thing to advise and, obviously, deal flow is important. diversification is important as an angel investor, Angel capital Association wants you to look at invest in 20 deals before they consider you diversified. Within angel investments, that's not easy to do, unless you join an angel group or look at accelerators or something like that.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

I like that analogy you were using about seeing your first patient and not being really sure and needing to get help. I think that's that is definitely a good analogy for angel investing. And I'm in exactly the same boat, you were describing, my first couple of investments didn't turn out so well, fortunately, have been 12 years into doing it and have passed the 20 mark. So some of them have actually done pretty well. But it it's definitely a steep learning curve. And, and I think you make really good points about making sure that you don't invest more than you can, you can lose, be careful about the structure and what you're investing and and get help make sure that you talk with people that have done it and have some experience behind it. Because it does take a lot and even with experience, you know, you guys, you said you pick 10 out of 500 I would suspect probably not all 10 of those are going to be highly successful, even though you you have a really good process calling now to try to maximize your opportunity for success.

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

Yeah, it's it's even in our case. There's a lot of risks to left, we invest before angels do and we take on additional risks that an angel investor would not find acceptable. And so because of that, even with all the vetting, stuff happens, and there's just nothing you can do about it. So you do have to have many to get the few wins.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

High risk, high reward at the end of the day. Right.

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA:

Exactly.

D.J. Verret, MD, FACS:

We've been talking with Hubert Zajicek, CEO of healthcare wildcatters about his non clinical track and investing and starting medical startup companies. You're listening to ask me MD medical school for the real world. I'm Dr. DJ Verret. Thank you for joining us make it an awesome week.

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