I have one failed startup and I have one startup in progress. In six months, we have made more progress than in 13 months of Dizeo. Why? One of the reasons is because I have invested time in building relationships. It has led me to firmly believe that relationships are one of the most powerful assets of a company. Let me explain.
As a medical devices startup, we have a number of complexities in our path. We need significant pre-revenue funding to get to market, we need to undertake clinical trials, we need to gain regulatory approval to get on the market and then once we get there we need to make sure we have people to buy it. When I started snap40 in July, I freely admit I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to undertake a clinical trial and I had even less of an idea how to gain approval for a medical device. I didn't even really know how to put together electronics.
I got around this problem by building relationships, by recognising those weaknesses and by finding people who could help me to build snap40. Many of those relationships were only able to be cultivated because of introductions from other people. People who had nothing to do with healthcare or medical devices, but who had friends, family and colleagues who did. You have no idea who someone else knows or who they can can introduce you to. This is a key point, be open-minded and be willing to see where things go. That doesn't mean you should spend every hour of every day having coffees, but do keep an open mind.
How do you get these people to make introductions for you and to help you out? For me, the answer is in the title. Relationship. Don't just go out expecting but instead look to build a relationship. Explain who you are and what you are about. Sell your startups vision. I have found that if you do, if you show your passion and commitment to doing something positive, people will move mountains for you. And when you can, give back. If you can do something to help, then thats what a relationship is all about.
Relationships have built snap40 into a strong pre-revenue startup and I fully believe those relationships will be one of the reasons that we grow into a successful, global company that makes a positive impact on patients and healthcare.