Minds and Hearts: A Schulich Connection

This week, we were lucky enough to spend a morning interacting with others in the Schulich community. As alumni and faculty of the Schulich School of Business, it was novel to find ourselves at Sunnybrook Hospital, home of the Schulich Heart Centre.

The discussion that we lead was under the admittedly wide banner of commercializing medical technology. The impetus for these monthly forums is to connect the business school and medical practitioners to enable good ideas to become feasible in a commercial forum. Apparently, Seymour himself had a hand in this collaboration!

Consistent with our survey results from this past summer, we spent some time discussing the importance of “what’s in it for you” (WIIFY is the less celebrated cousin of persuasive communication’s “What is in it for me?/WIIFM”). Our premise for the self-centred look is reasoned: if you are going to put the work into, for example, developing a new medical device, the late night workbench tinkering is only part of the effort. You will need to figure out a model, look at numerous regulations, find funding, protect IP, explore international markets, network, pitch, present, draw up business plans… lather, rinse and repeat.

A little fire in the belly will be required to follow through. Such questions as, “What part of the status quo is intolerable to you?” and “What difference will you make and how will you make it?” can help to stoke those flames.

The other more practical questions we covered were: (1) are you solving a problem that others actually have? and (2) how will you get funding for your business?

Our friends at Maple Leaf Angels will provide clear insights on the latter in an event next month.

All of these questions are worth some thought, which is a good thing because one can only tinker for so long…