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Biomedical engineering is vital for the effective functioning of modern hospitals and healthcare centers. Biomedical engineers design, maintain, and operate the machines and devices necessary to test, identify, and treat disease; without them, doctors would hardly be more effective at eliminating illness than they were a few centuries ago.

Yet, health tech isn’t an altruistic field determined to fund the best solutions and administer them fairly to every medical facility. Rather, endeavors to improve health tech begin and proliferate like all other tech startups in Silicon Valley: with idea pitches, venture capitalist backing, aggressive marketing, and ultimate wealth. Thus, ambitious biomedical engineers would be wise to learn the basics of entrepreneurship — and vice versa.

Fortunately, there is plenty of innovation in biomedical engineering to go around. Here’s how entrepreneurs and biomedical engineers can create profitable businesses in the field of health tech:

Understand Biomedical Engineering
It’s not impossible, but it is extremely difficult to start a business in a field you are unfamiliar with. Before you take any serious steps into starting a biomedical engineering business, you should be certain that you understand the details of biomedical engineering, both so you can appropriately guide your enterprise in the right directions and so you can appropriately predict the needs of your staff.
It is possible to study biomedical engineering online. Enrolling in an advanced program over the internet will provide you with the necessary exposure to the field without dramatically impacting your day-to-day responsibilities and schedule. Plus, such online courses typically train engineers for management positions, which is ideal for an aspiring entrepreneur. Because engineers are unique employees that require specific care and attention, obtaining a master degree that provides such unique training is advantageous before you launch your biomedical engineering business.

Develop a Business Plan
Ultimately, a biomedical engineering business is like any other business. Thus, to be successful like any other business, you need a plan.

A proper business plan isn’t a throwaway document used to woo investors; it is a comprehensive strategic resource that is integral to business success. You can learn the intricacies of building business plans through further education, perhaps in business administration, but if you utilize business plan software, the work is much less strenuous. Your plan should consist of seven elements:

Executive summary. This is the elevator pitch which distills the important aspects of your business into easily digestible language. It must include your business’s value proposition. 

Business description. This will describe in detail what your business does. It should include your mission statement and goals as well as the structure of your business. 
Market analysis. This is an evaluation of your competition and your customers. It requires significant research, and it will help you make strategic decisions about your business and products. 

Organization and management. This is a showcase of your top talent. You should explain how and why you chose your management team. Additionally, you should explain your business structure. 

Sales strategies. This is where you establish your funding practices and your profit models. This should be a detailed section covering everything from price point motivation to web marketing strategy. 

Funding requirements. This will tell prospective investors how much you need to get started. You should be realistic and specific; undercutting yourself will set your business up for failure. 

Financial projections. Finally, you should summarize your current successes and predict your successes in the future. This should be based on accurate information and realistic forecasting. 

Be Aware of Competitors
Biomedical engineering works toward the health and well-being of the population — but make no mistake, it is a cutthroat industry. If you skip the rest of business planning (but you shouldn’t) you should at least put significant time and effort into the third section, market research. To ensure your success, you should become an expert on your competitors; you should know what devices they specialize in, what their audience is, what their marketing strategy looks like, what their price points are, and more. For every competitor, you should compile a list of strengths and weaknesses, which you can use to carve out your own space in biomedical engineering.

During this process, it is wise to become gain the trust and support of true biomedical engineering experts. Especially if you lack thorough experience in the field, it is invaluable to have a network of experts providing advice and guidance. Ideally, these experts won’t be in direct competition with your budding business; instead, you should seek alliances with biomedical engineers across the country. Then, you won’t have to cut your mentor’s throat when your business gets big.