Brad McCarty • February 21, 2018

Dr. Ronnie Mimran describes himself first and foremost as a neurosurgeon, but then he’s quick to point out that he is also a passionate educator with extensive experience as a medical device consultant. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Mimran to the AngelMD team, where he will serve as the Regional Medical Director for the San Francisco Bay area. I recently had a few minutes to talk with Dr. Mimran about the joining the team, and I took the opportunity to pick his brain about what excites him in today’s world of neurosurgery.

Let’s start with your background

I’m a neurosurgeon by training, and I work in the San Francisco Bay area. I’ve been in private practice for thirteen years in a small group of neurosurgeons. I’m fellowship trained in spine surgery, so that’s the bulk of my elective practice. But I’m also the team neurosurgeon for the Oakland Raiders football organization, so I specialize a bit in athletic injuries to the neurological system. It’s a pretty small part of my practice, escalating a bit in the fall as you can imagine, but for most of the year it doesn’t occupy a tremendous amount of my time.

How did you get involved with neuro startups?

I’ve always been a huge fan of the startup world, and I think ultimately that’s the main reason I joined AngelMD. I’ve been fascinated by medical devices, and given my location in the Bay area, the startup world is pervasive here. I’ve found that world to be infectious. The motivation and ambition of many of these startups is exciting.

I’ve worked for a few different startup companies in various capacities — as a consultant or as a medical director — and I enjoyed my time doing that. As a result I went back to school and graduated with an MBA because I was interested in helping these companies gain traction while making the lives of patients better. As I was finishing the MBA and deciding on what I wanted to do next, it occurred to me that working for one startup was a narrow scope. I started to think more about how I could broaden my exposure and work with many different companies in order to better understand the startup world from that perspective. That’s when I knew that working with accelerators and incubators really made a lot of sense to me. As an offshoot of that, I found AngelMD, and it was the perfect fit.

What do you see as the role of the Regional Medical Director?

I feel like it’s an ambassadorship. I think it’s a role that is designed to bring together different entities. On the side of the doctors, I think they are lacking a vehicle to put their financial and intelligence weight behind. AngelMD, to me, provides that vehicle for them.

I would love to be seen as the face of AngelMD in the Bay area. As these companies begin to get traction, and they’re looking for help, I hope that AngelMD will be able to act as a resource for them to move forward on a sometimes-difficult journey. For AngelMD, I hope to be able to bring these entities of companies and doctors together to provide better outcome success for everyone involved.

How do you filter the signal from the noise in the Bay area?

That’s something that I hope to get better at as I work in the position of Regional Medical Director. I think it’s an experience thing. AngelMD has a unique position in that they’re using a scientific approach to vetting these companies and improving the signal to noise ratio. It’s unique in that it’s this crowd intelligence concept that nobody is really using in the angel investing space. That puts us in the position to have hundreds if not thousands of intelligent contacts, who are experts in these fields, to help us make sound decisions.

What do you want to see in a promising company?

Ambition, enthusiasm, and goal-driven nature. I like to see a good company culture that fosters new ideas and intelligent progression. Obviously a brilliant device with a huge hole in the marketplace is important. I want to see an initial traction of some type. Those early wins are important for de-risking a company’s profile.

It’s really a learning process. If I had all of those answers today then I’d be in a much different position. I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen, and I’m excited to learn more about these companies.

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