The Sweet 16 round of the all-virtual Dempsey Startup Competition is happening today, where the Top 4 will be decided, then the winner will be announced during a virtual celebration tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing from these student entrepreneurs and judging the final teams.
As a venture capitalist at Bay Partners, I tend to stay away from healthcare investments as it often takes a long time to go through the regulations and see a return on investment. PreferUS was a different story. The management team and vision for the company are very inspiring.
Mike Franz has a lot of experience selling and developing products with China and Japan. I knew him from a previous investment and my confidence in his skills made the investment decision easier. I go to Asia once or twice a year with Mike and the most recent trip in December 2019 really magnified the excitement around the future of PreferUS.
The opportunity to partner with private hospitals and private investors in China (particularly in the area of orthopedics and sports medicine) is enormous. There are 15-20 million people in dozens of major cities and sports medicine and injury prevention is a part of the culture, even more strongly than in North America.
If I had any advice for people thinking of entering into the Chinese markets, make sure you have a skilled management team who know the landscape and understand how to do business there. It is even more preferable if they live there. At PreferUS, we have management who is experienced in international sales and also two excellent managers who live in Asia who are skilled in financial and hospital management.
Another advantage is that our management team has secured major partnerships with well-known and respected brands. Our connection with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of the best names in heart and healthcare in the US, makes our growth into Asian markets much easier. We also have the relationship with Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute to show our leadership in sports medicine. Chinese investors know that our hospitals will be backed by the fabulous people at Cedars-Sinai as well as PreferUS’s other US partners; Oklahoma Heart Hospital and Texas Back Institute.
The strong management team and clear vision of PreferUS make the investment one of my favorites. I look forward to our regular updates as I watch this company skyrocket.