Building on my MBA thesis entitled "Financing and Beyond: The Role of Venture Capital in Silicon Valley Based
Medical Device Companies" I am completed a DBA dissertation which is entitled "European Market Entry Strategies
for Venture Capital Financed Medical Device Companies: Where, When, How, and Why." A brief summary of the research proposal
global medical device industry is an approximately 184 billion euro industry about 50% of which is supplied by US based medical
device companies. The US medical device industry is characterized by a large number of small companies and a few large companies.
The majority of medical device companies are small, entrepreneurial firms which frequently are born from an idea for a product
or technology developed by an engineer, doctor, or academic institute. These small venture capital financed medical device
companies develop most of the new technologies that are ultimately commercialized while the large medical device companies
often add new technologies to their product offering through acquisitions of these companies. The European market for medical
devices is the second largest market after the US and represents a 55 billion euro market opportunity. The unique characteristics
of each member state's market make the collective European market challenging and effective strategies are necessary to ensure
success. This is particularly true of resource constrained venture capital financed medical device companies under pressure
to maximize commercial opportunities through capital efficient yet effective means.
The dissertation was focused on understanding the current status and challenges
associated with the European medical device market, evaluating the where, when, how, and why (or even if) of European market
entry, and making recommendations specific to resource constrained venture capital financed medical device companies.
A total of 40 interviews were completed consisting of executives of venture capital financed medical device companies, venture
capitalists, European distributors, regulatory experts, and European medical device market experts. The perspectives
of these interviewees were compared and analyzed on approximately sixty topics related to the European market. Some
of the key findings are as follows:
￭The European market is often used to ensure US commercial success by refining technology, patient selection,
indications, training, and sales and marketing strategies as well as by generating valuable data for US based approval and
￭Staged market entry strategies using specialized,
single country distributors are regarded as the most effective and when possible clinical specialists based in Europe should
be used to ensure successful market development and adoption.
￭Germany and Italy are regarded as the most desirable markets to enter
More details on the research will be posted upon the next revision
of the website.
Copyright © 2006 Kirk Zeller, All rights