Advice to Medical Device Inventors

May 30, 2024


In this engaging episode of the Global Medical Device Podcast, host Etienne Nichols sits down with Ron Richard, a seasoned expert in the medical device industry with over 35 years of experience.

The discussion delves into the essentials of bringing a medical device to market, from the inception of an idea to commercialization. Ron shares his journey, the importance of effective elevator pitches, the nuances of regulatory pathways, and practical tips for aspiring inventors.

With insights on avoiding common pitfalls and strategies for securing funding, this episode is a treasure trove for anyone interested in MedTech innovations.

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Key Timestamps

  • [00:00] - Introduction and Ron Richard’s background
  • [04:50] - Early successes in inventing and bringing products to market
  • [10:30] - Validating ideas and market need
  • [17:15] - Regulatory pathways: 510(k) vs. PMA
  • [24:00] - Class I products and direct-to-consumer strategies
  • [30:45] - Funding strategies: Family and friends, VC, and IPO
  • [42:20] - Overcoming pitfalls and avoiding shiny object syndrome
  • [49:10] - The importance of having a clear cap table
  • [55:30] - The chasm: Making the leap from idea to market
  • [01:01:45] - Final takeaways and advice for MedTech innovators

Practical Tips for MedTech Professionals

  1. Elevator Pitch: Develop a concise and compelling elevator pitch that clearly communicates your product’s value.
  2. Validate Early: Use focus groups and stakeholder interviews to validate your idea before heavily investing.
  3. Funding Strategy: Start with family and friends for initial funding, then approach VCs once you have patents and prototypes.


Memorable quotes:

  • “One of the biggest things I tell inventors is that in order for you to raise money, people have to trust you and like you. You have to share within 30 seconds what your product does and what problem it solves.” - Ron Richard
  • “Pioneers get shot, settlers get rich. You can be innovative with a 510(k) product by making evolutionary improvements.” - Etienne Nichols
  • “The road to success is always under construction. Be prepared for obstacles and have a plan to navigate through them.” - Ron Richard


Love this episode? Leave a review on iTunes! Have suggestions or topics you’d like to hear about? Email us at


This episode is brought to you by Greenlight Guru, a quality management system and electronic data capture software designed specifically for medical device companies. Streamline your processes and stay compliant with Greenlight Guru.

About the Global Medical Device Podcast:

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The Global Medical Device Podcast powered by Greenlight Guru is where today's brightest minds in the medical device industry go to get their most useful and actionable insider knowledge, direct from some of the world's leading medical device experts and companies.

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Etienne Nichols is a Medical Device Guru and Mechanical Engineer who loves learning and teaching how systems work together. He has both manufacturing and product development experience, even aiding in the development of combination drug-delivery devices, from startup to Fortune 500 companies and holds a Project...

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