The AngelMD Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) is the single most important group of members in the AngelMD community. If you are a physician with curiosity and creativity, you should be in the group.
But we’ll step back and provide some context.
Physician influence in the marketplace has been waning for years for a variety of reasons. Among the reasons are the fact that physician groups have increasingly sold out, turning independent physicians into employees. Medical Societies no longer have the political muscle they once had. As reimbursements have declined in areas, physicians have had to spend more time process engineering or driving patient volume to make up for the delta. But the fact remains that physician expertise, and the physician relationship with the patient, are paramount to all new medical advances.
When AngelMD got underway, people would ask “Which startups are the most promising?” This led us to begin building an evaluation framework to help answer that and similar questions. We always wanted to have the humility that any evaluation system we develop will be a blend of art and science. There is no one answer to questions like these. But applying the Pareto Principle of 80-20, we knew we could zero in on innovation with more promise versus less and provide critical insight for the market.
Early on, we tested how to best compensate physicians for helping to evaluate companies. We tested cash, gift cards and access to special opportunities. While they were all fine, the evaluators consistently told us they were learning a lot doing the evaluations and it was fun, so the other compensation was not as critical, if needed at all. That said, we wanted a scalable solution and we wanted to acknowledge the extremely limited time physicians have available. While medical journals get published papers for free, this was not going to be our model.
We knew startups would never be able to pay the cost that an evaluation, and resulting report, would warrant. On the open market the work effort would be a $50K+ endeavor. It also turns out that investors aren’t willing to pay much, or anything, for analysis. They tend to feel like they have it more or less dialed in with the exception of a Pitchbook subscription here and there.
Enter the equity pool. What startups do have is a potentially valuable currency in the form of equity. Clinicians overwhelmingly told us they would appreciate earning equity in exchange for their time and expertise. So, we arrived at a place of equilibrium in which there is a fair exchange of value. Physician time and expertise is properly appreciated by earning ownership in a pool of warrants created from the startups being evaluated. The pool ensures that conflict of interests don’t arise because evaluations are not being done on a company in which you are directly earning compensation. Further, the pool creates diversification. If you earned equity in one or two startups, the chances that the equity matures into something of value is low. On the other hand, if a pool includes equity from dozens of companies, the chances that some of them have valuable outcomes is mathematically much higher.
But the CAB isn’t just a simple startup evaluation entity. It’s something much more powerful. It’s a group of physicians essentially helping identity market demand in a wide variety of sectors. If I am an executive in the medical device industry, or an investor with a venture capital firm, my entire livelihood relies on being able to assess potential market demand for products and companies. I can hire market research firms, but they have significant limitations that don’t exist with a group and membership like that on AngelMD.
Here is an interesting parallel. The entertainment industry, let’s loosely call it “Hollywood”, has always relied on a model in which they create shows/movies “Product” and hope there is an audience “Demand.” Hollywood had formulas like placing A-list actors in a show to guarantee draw. As content proliferated to include every person on the planet with an iPhone etc, this model has ceased to work. Hollywood can no longer stick Tom Cruise in a starring role and ensure their movie makes money.
Enter Angel Studios. This is the group behind the recent hit “Sound of Freedom”, among other winners. They have created a model in which they determine Demand for content, then they fill it with Supply. They have a group they call “The Guild” that reviews projects and gives them the Green Light or Red Light. If the project moves forward, a prototype (scenes from the show) is created and shared with their broader membership. The broader membership votes with their checkbook by putting small amounts of money up to get it made. Angel Studios already knows the program is a winner before it’s ever created. Their success is off the charts. More studios are now working to reverse the Demand-Supply model to ensure they are sustainable.
AngelMD is applying this model to healthcare innovation. The CAB provides the initial evaluation of a project. From there, the broader membership has the ability to get involved directly or indirectly in many cases. There will be more expansion of this engagement opportunity for the broader membership over the coming year. First, we are focused on getting the CAB solidified.
By the way, there is no time commitment to join the CAB. You only commit time if you accept a project for evaluation. We hope to scale the volume on these evaluations so you get several opportunities each month. Some months may have more and some less. We have also added a new “insider” newsletter just for CAB members. You get insights into projects we are seeing and opportunities we don’t necessarily share with the broader membership…or you get to see them earlier.
Want to be a part of the group? Membership positions are still open across all specialties. Sign up HERE
If you previously signed onto the CAB, hold tight. No action required.
Startups – if you want to be evaluated by the CAB and receive a comprehensive analysis with insights for potential improvements, and a report you can share with investors, stay tuned. We are not accepting evaluation applications at the moment.