Biomedical startups' multinational strategies: SURGLASSES: Agents, Contracts, Insurance

Biomedical startups' multinational strategies: SURGLASSES: Agents, Contracts, Insurance

Following the first-generation smart surgical glasses solution Foresee-X, SURGLASSES CEO Wang Minliang stated that the team has launched the second-generation smart surgical glasses Caduceus system, reducing the surgical error range to 1.5mm and shortening the surgery time by 70%. Currently, it has obtained the second-class medical device certification from the FDA in the United States and CE certification in Europe, and the certification from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration is under review. The startup business development has entered the "Go-To Market" stage, and Wang Minliang analyzed that the entrepreneurial methods at this stage are quite different from the previous R&D stage, and attention is particularly paid to the interaction with target market agents, regulatory coordination, and contract signing methods.

Establishing Key Agents through Exhibitions

During the demonstration, Dr. Wang Ming-liang showed that during the use of smart glasses, the operating surgeon wears the battery pack around the waist, allowing adjustments and integration with preoperative imaging to enhance surgical accuracy and efficiency.
In response to the global rush for medical technology-assisted innovation, Wang Ming-liang emphasized the importance of establishing connections with local agents for the startup team. - Cai Tenghui

Wang Ming-liang emphasized the importance of establishing connections with local agents for medical technology-assisted innovation on a global scale. The startup team participated in over 20 exhibitions worldwide, where the sizes of agents varied significantly. Wang highlighted the effectiveness of smaller agents, citing the example of a Greek agent with only 15 employees who managed to secure deals with several key medical institutions locally, facilitating bilateral trials and adjustments. In contrast to pursuing sheer size and quantity, Wang stressed the importance of "mastering key agents" in the biomedical field.

Currently, SURGLASSES has signed contracts with agents in seven major countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the Middle East. These agents are responsible for marketing assistance and may assist the team in selling software and hardware services based on agreed-upon amounts or quantities. Wang particularly noted the challenges of entering Middle Eastern countries, where obtaining FDA certification from various countries may take 3 to 6 months, in addition to CE certification. Wang, who has signed 1.5 to 2-year exclusive contracts with agents, has already sold a set of surgical smart glasses in the Middle East.

Wang shared his experience in contract signing, emphasizing the importance of obtaining seals and certifications from both foreign affairs ministries and offices. Experienced foreign colleagues were enlisted to enhance the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation. Given the need for a stable MR navigation system during surgery, insurance coverage is necessary to address potential significant injuries. Wang stressed the importance of purchasing insurance from international insurance companies and staying informed about foreign hospitals and global insurance dynamics to conduct global business effectively.

Insurance and legal issues are best addressed by multinational teams.It provides real-time local support.

For example, if a problem arises with a client in South Africa, insurance professionals from South Africa can assist in resolving the issue. Additionally, because the voltage and basic equipment connections vary between countries, in the event of major incidents like short circuits or fires caused by human error, insurance companies with international support capabilities can promptly assess and clarify responsibilities. Wang Minliang noted that due to the high safety and stability requirements of medical materials used during surgery, multinational insurance companies fly to Taiwan's Taichung to inspect the products before providing coverage.

As business development progresses into entering markets and conducting multinational business, Wang Minliang analyzed that legal issues become increasingly important as the business expands. Early awareness of crisis prevention is crucial for understanding the differences in legal perceptions between Taiwan and foreign countries. Depending on the region, different cultural nuances must be considered for interactions. For instance, based on experience, legal disputes are less common in India and Southeast Asia, while they are more prevalent in the United States and Europe. Therefore, law firms involved in partnerships should be multinational and reputable, capable of handling local legal challenges.

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