Greg SummerlinStart ups, product and business strategist

Eighteen years of enterprise software experience, start ups, business development and strategy, product development and management, operations, three previous start ups, one successful exit.

Recent Answers

Hi Gabriel, I applaud your idea to partner with insurance companies. I'm presuming that your rationale is that insurance companies could use your product as a alternative to more costly sleep medications? Just so you know I've built and sold solutions to the insurance industry for many years (mainly software and related services). I can't say I've dealt with Swedish health insurance companies but for arguments sake I'll assume they are similar to other insurance companies.

In order for your solution to be selected as an approved treatment (that they would pay for) by insurance companies, you would have to demonstrate clinical efficacy and lots of data to support the treatment. Additionally the care providers are going to have to make the ultimate decision to use your treatment. Generally speaking not many treatments that are considered holistic or natural make the list of approved treatments because they lack the rigorous clinical data proof and governmental approval that prescription drugs provide.

Have you instead thought of targeting the holistic and natural remedies market? There is a huge global demand.

Good Luck!

While new technologies are obviously important, it is more important, IMHO, to figure out how to apply technologies to solve real world problems. Look at any of the hottest companies, snapchat, Uber, Airbnb, etc. If you get to the core of their strategies, they simply leveraged technology to solve a problem. Occasionally someone will create a new technology that on its own merits is a winner. But even those companies are solving a real world problem. Sometimes the problem is one that is subtle and people didn't even realize they had until a solution came along.

I would also look hard at the enterprise space. Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to enter this space because they believe its lame, they don't want to deal with corporations, or they don't understand the problems. But don't let those factors stop you. Many people have built very successful companies focusing on boring industries.

The other benefit to considering enterprise space is that because of the perceived negativity surrounding enterprise solutions, you'll have less competition. One other benefit is that many corporations today are hungry for solutions and turn out to be good investor partners. I have many years building solutions in the enterprise space and can talk to you in more detail about this topic.

So the question is what are your "Plan B" options. Let's assume for a sake of argument you've weighed the options (build your own, buy from an established competitor, partner with this startup) and you've decided that partnering is the best option. One way you could protect yourself in the event this company either shuts down or pivots and no longer supports what you need, you could negotiate to have the code put in an escrow account that has triggers to release the code to you. You of course will be restricted to the usage (e.g. you couldn't take it and compete). I've used escrow agreements in past deals and can discuss the details if your interested. Caveat, I'm not an attorney so can only provide business advice. Good Luck!

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