It's Not for the Money: Parallel Entrepreneur Mir Imran's Motive for Starting Medtech Companies

November 29, 2011

2 Min Read
It's Not for the Money: Parallel Entrepreneur Mir Imran's Motive for Starting Medtech Companies

Mir Imran holds more than 200 patents. He's started 20 life science companies and a venture firm dedicated fo funding innovative medical startups. Imran has been called a "parallel entrepreneur." In contrast to the mere mortals who start only one company at a time, Imran sometimes launches multiple firms at once.

In a podcast from Stanford Technology Ventures Program from 2008, which I recently stumbled onto, Imran was asked what his motivation for starting so many medical device companies was.

"It's not money. No one in their right mind would do this for money," he said.

The attraction to medical device entrepreneurship lies in the problem solving, Imran quipped. An engineer with a B.S. in electrical engineering as well as a M.S. in biomedical engineering, Imran says that, once confronted with a meaningful problem that he believes can be solved, he has no choice but to find the best possible solution. "I'm not satisfied with just a theoretical solution. To me, these solutions aren't complete unless you bring them to life and commercialize them."

It can be a difficult process to bring a device to market, but in the end, it's all worth it, he says. "It's an amazing feeling," he adds. "You've created something out of nothing."

Later in the podcast, when asked about how he divides his time between venture capital funding and medical device development, he acknowledged that conflict of interests arise between doing both activities. "There is a simple rule about conflict of interests. If you don't have a conflict of interest, you're not doing anything interesting," he said. Instead of trying to prevent ever having conflict of interests, it's more effective to manage them through transparency and disclosure. 

Brian Buntz 

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