Med-tech innovations are picking up the pace in East Africa in a bid to provide homegrown solutions to healthcare challenges. Being a nascent field there are fewer mentors who have gone before them within the ecosystem to help them scale their innovations. There is a need for more mentors to help guide these innovators to not only develop impactful innovations but also thrive as enterprises.
Mentorship helps innovators (Mentee):
- Gain access to funding – mentors help innovators in fundraising and putting together compelling proposals for their projects so that they are able to compete on a global front.
- Fill the skillset gap – Enterprises gain access to mentors who have years of expertise that complement their team and help them move forward fast with fewer mistakes.
- Access to networks – Mentors can help unlock partnerships with key people who can benefit the enterprise.
Mentees need to
- Really understand their device, process, service of what they are developing, do extensive research on the market to see if it is scalable.
- Think through the business aspect during the product development stage. Don’t look at them too late when so much has been done.
- Evaluate whether they should focus on the R&D later on in their journey or whether they can outsource it so that they can focus on marketing and distribution.
- Mentees also need to reach out to mentors, make the most out of it, and utilize the expertise available to them. Seek out other mentors and do your best to seek the specific guidance you need.
At Villgro Kenya we run a mentorship program for our portfolio companies, in a bid to expose them the much-needed guidance in business development and product development. Feel free to view our mentors here .