Bringing your medical device to the U.S.? Start in Massachusetts

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I’m fortunate to live in one of world’s great medical device hubs, so I hope you’ll forgive this unabashed promotion. Massachusetts is home to hundreds of innovative medical device companies, and we are well known as a source of med-tech start-ups. What’s less known is that Massachusetts is the best place for European and Israeli companies to set up their US operations.

Andover Massachusetts (population 33,201) is practically the United Nations of medical devices, hosting Switzerland-based Straumann, Netherlands-based Philips, Germany’s Draeger Medical, and UK’s Smith & Nephew.

Last year, Syneron merged with Candela in Wayland MA, becoming the largest Israeli medical device company in New England. Israeli start-up Odin Medical located its US HQ in MA prior to its acquisition by Medtronic, and Israeli start-up rcadia has their HQ in Newton, MA.  EarlySense is the most recent Israeli company to locate here.

Ireland-based Creganna, a leading provider of medical device contract R&D, set up its first US location in Massachusetts and later expanded to locations in California and Cleveland. Ireland’s Shimmer Research, designer of new devices for wearable health sensing, set up their US operations in Boston.

I’d love to see more European and Israeli companies set up shop here. If you are developing a great new medical device outside the US, and thinking about entering the US market, you should be thinking about Massachusetts. Here’s why.

First, it’s an easy commute to the EU and Israel. To be successful in any geography, you need to spend time on the ground. The US is no exception. The eastern time zone makes Skype easier too. The west coast adds 3 more hours of time zone and 6+ additional hours of flying time. Don’t even think about it.

Second, the medical device ecosystem in Massachusetts is built for success: regulatory and clinical trial management experts, senior staff to run sales/marketing/logistics/service, top-tier lawyers and accountants with deep medical device domain expertise, and access to funding sources from angels, to venture capital to public markets. In metro Boston you’ll have no trouble finding staff with specific expertise in your medical device sector, from anesthesiology to vascular surgery and every specialty in between.

Third, MassMEDIC – the center of the medical device community in New England and the largest medical device industry association in the country. MassMEDIC provides unparalleled educational and networking opportunities. Just join it. There’s still time before the annual FDA update, one of MassMEDIC’s most popular programs. Don’t miss it.

Fourth, we make you feel at home. You probably already know that Boston (and its metro area) is an incredibly international city, with over 140 languages spoken by its residents. Yours is probably one of them. In 2009 the Boston Globe wrote that “Massachusetts’ immigrant population rose last year in the middle of the recession, bucking a national trend that showed a decline in foreign-born residents for the first time in decades.”Boston also boasts country-specific organizations to help you succeed in the US, such as Enterprise Ireland and the New England-Israel Business Council.

Massachusetts is the obvious choice for international medical device companies coming to America. MassMEDIC, MassEcon, and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development are ready to help.  What are you waiting for?

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3 thoughts on “Bringing your medical device to the U.S.? Start in Massachusetts

  1. One could argue, if they happen to live on the other coast, that locating in the SF bay area would give those companies greater access to Asia, arguably the fastest growing economies in the world. And we have better weather, but I might just be biased.

    1. Thanks Karl. Good points – there is a real and growing set of Asian opportunities. I might suggest that an Asian strategy for a European or Israeli company could benefit from a direct Asian presence.

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