Dr. Hobart Harris Cites Benefits of UCSF Entrepreneurship Center in Turning Innovation into Marketable Product
UCSF News reports on the Entrepreneurship Center at UCSF which prepares inventors to launch start-ups and supports innovators seeking to commercialize life-changing inventions. Hobart W. Harris, M.D., M.P.H., Professor and Chief of the Division of General Surgery, founder of Vitruvian Medical Devices, and a pioneer in the management and repair of complex ventral (incisional) hernias, extols the benefits of the Center's "Lean LaunchPad" course in the development of his company.
Hobart Harris, MD, who has served as chief of general surgery at UCSF for the past 13 years, believes the Lean LaunchPad program is indispensable. Harris, a Harvard graduate who founded Vitruvian Medical Devices in 2012, saw first-hand how novice entrepreneurs can fall victim to faulty logic.
“I had fallen prey to a very common assumption that I think naïve or inexperienced entrepreneurs suffer and that is thinking that if your idea works, then all the additional steps required to bring your idea to the marketplace will just fall into place, like a row of dominoes,” Harris said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. When I attended the Lean LaunchPad course, through the interview process we saw our ideas kind of turned on their head in respect to both pricing and what would be the required information that would compel users to buy our product.”
The Flint, Mich., native soon discovered that obtaining the regulatory approval for his product would cost more than $75 million and take four to five years. That realization led him to change the nature of the device and the patient population he would first look to serve.
“It probably would have been years before we ultimately realized we were taking the inappropriate path or approach,” Harris added. “I can say this: There have been two or three courses in my entire education that have genuinely changed the way I think, and this course is one of those.”