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ETNews Strategic Go-to-Market Series

Digital Transformation is the most popular word in business globally. Digital Transformation means that technology allows people to solve their traditional business problems in new ways. Unfortunately, it is used in so many ways, that we will need to define its use in two contexts. The internal context means improving operations for better profitability and agility using modern digital innovations. The external context means that digital technologies and processes are used in building best-in-class products and customer experiences. Ideally, the leading companies implement Digital Transformation on the inside and outside.

It is taking place everywhere, but there is no other sector where it’s harder to implement than in healthcare. What can Korean companies do to undergo Digital Transformation and win in global markets? What are the opportunities and challenges?

Electronic Times along with Suzy Im, a professor from Emerson College in Boston and leading expert for Digital Transformation in high-tech and healthcare industries as vice-president of global marketing company TribalVision Worldwide and managing partner of its international division Business Development & Marketing Transformation (BDMT) Global, will provide you with deep insight so that Korean companies and executives can more effectively implement Digital Transformation at home and win in overseas markets.

#1 Digital Transformation Failure – Prevention for 3 out of 4 Who Will Fail

Digital Transformation of most industries is now on the roll globally. Your company is probably in the middle of one now or is planning to launch one soon. Yet, according to the Everest Group, a U.S. analytics firm, 73% of enterprises failed to provide any business value from their digital transformation efforts.

You can invest into the Digital Transformation initiative and are likely to advance automation, usage of digital technologies, and change the business and production processes. However, it takes a different set of skills and expertise to realize true business value from this undertaking.

High-impact Digital Transformation requires stepping outside your comfort zone, challenging the status quo, such as inventing new products and customer experiences. Last time someone challenged the status quo at your company, he or she was probably fired to preserve the harmony of the environment.

It is said—and it’s more true for Digital Transformation—that consultants are hired for what regular employees can be hated and fired for. Transformation erases the boundaries of power kingdoms of your company, threatens domination of traditional power brokers and gives a bigger seat at the table to customer-facing teams and advocates.

Yes, for survival and for succeeding in the digital economy of the 21st century you must do it. How do you save your major investment into Digital Transformation from failure? How do you realize the dream of the next-generation customer-centric enterprises, effective internally and engaging externally?

  1. Commitment and investment. It is an expensive project—your financial bottom-line results will take a backseat for 12-24 months, so plan a swift roadmap and do not drag your feet.
  2. Different decision-making. You will need key decision-makers on this project at all times. Engage the staff to free them from their daily routine or hire temporary decision-makers.
  3. You are unique, don’t copy and paste someone else’s blueprint. Even though enterprises are made of similar parts, each business is at a different starting point and is too unique to simply copy someone else’s. Develop your own plan and follow own direction.
  4. Customer-centric concrete vision. Define and validate cases that will be possible thanks to the transformation of external and internal customers. Don’t start with the solution.
  5. Iterative Fail-Fast and Test-and-Try agile approach. The massive change you are executing is unique and has never been attempted before. You will make mistakes on the way there. Not making mistakes means you are not pushing your boundaries far enough.


#2 Korean HealthTech at CES. Maximizing ROI on Event.

Despite many large trade shows being canceled for the rest of the year due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this gives your company the time to strategize how to make the most of next year’s trade shows, such as CES 2021. We will share the insider view from our experiences promoting Korean companies at CES to the U.S. market and globally for the past several years. It’s a hard job: in 2020, The Consumer Electronics Show welcomed about 175,000 attendees and over 4,400 exhibitors, with over 350 being from South Korea.

Start with the objective: why are you going to CES? Are you planning a launch, a new market entry, or hope for a boost in awareness? Looking for distributors, qualified leads, partners? Your decision to go and the strategy of how to maximize the ROI will differ based on your main goal.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Of CES

Let’s face it, not every trade show will be suitable for HealthTech. There is no guaranteed success at a conference. What insight will help you when considering CES for 2021?

The Good. It is always great to see LG and Samsung, two leaders in consumer electronics from Korea being recognized for their innovative, prominent, and successful products and for generating both traffic and media coverage. This year’s Korean HealthTech was prominently presented with a number of great products with about 40% of Korean brands coming from HealthTech. Several South Korean products received Innovation Award Honors, including Charmcare, Olive Health, DSGlobal, Rice Ear, and Motion Pillow. It is proof that Digital Transformation (applying technology in solving traditional problems) and customer-centricity (best experience for the customer) is taking over a traditional industry like healthcare.

The Bad. Korean exhibitors face common challenges of overcrowded spaces: it’s noisy and hard to navigate. Located in three different expo centers around the city, it is physically hard to conduct market research and competitive benchmarking and to make deep connections with the right people.

The Ugly. TV and online coverage show CES as a glamorous event. The truth is the chance to meet your goals—be it awareness, media coverage, lead generation, or distributor/partner contracts is very small without extensive pre-show preparation.

We see it again and again—Korean manufacturers with very innovative products stand in their expensive booths, watching massive waves of traffic walk by. There are smarter ways to maximize your ROI at CES!

Succeeding at CES is impossible without significant investment to make an impactful appearance in front of an overstimulated audience, massive push for awareness, and scheduling meetings with key influencers, buyers, and distributors prior to the show. Proper preparation is at least a six-month, multi-channel campaign that includes tactics like PR, AR, thought leadership, speaking ops, etc.

It’s likely everyone you need is there—you just need to help them find you ahead of the event.


#3 South Korea Can Play in Global Digital Transformation in Healthcare

Transformation of healthcare is a hot topic as this major industry is on the move to revolutionize its conservative processes, to invent new products, and to adapt and improve infrastructure innovations already implemented in other industries. Globally, massive investments are made into custom solutions to meet the unique needs of healthcare providers and customers.

In the healthcare industry transformation, we are observing multiple trends that are shaping what healthcare will be like in the future. The objective of this article is not so much to tell what is happening, although we are going to mention that to make sure we are on the same page.

Drivers and trends. Digital Transformation enables changes along the end-to-end healthcare value chain, including the design and manufacturing of products, procurement logistics, and consumption by end-users. It aims at fundamentally changing how healthcare is produced and consumed.

Healthcare on-demand is the primary driver and disrupting force of this traditional industry. Why is it happening now? The aging population around the world cannot use the same healthcare model previous generations did – there are not enough hospitals, clinics, doctors, and financial resources to meet the needs of more humans living longer with fewer children to support them.

From the consumer standpoint, it will be AI-based diagnostic and treatment database (Virtual Doctor) enabled by image and voice recognition (Smart Interface), integrated with doctor/pharmacy (Fulfillment) to proactively assist in sickness and health protection, embodied by a robot-companion with a high EQ.

Enablers of the New Healthcare Model

To implement this vision, innovators enable remote care and monitoring using wearables, mobile-based solutions deployed to predict future events that utilize big data analytics, and AI crunching massive amounts of data ever more effectively.

To satisfy the demand for new solutions, hundreds of startups and large companies invest in major and minor improvements to the value chain in their specialty areas, similar to honey bees working together for the success of their hive. At the micro-level, it can fall apart from chaotically pulling in different directions.

Nobody has designed or implemented the ultimate destination yet because it’s so complex and multi-layered – no one player knows everything. Market giants like CVSHealth, Walmart, GE Health, and Amazon, seek partners and reliable makers of elements and integrate them into branded end-to-end processes. Who will get there first? Will there be new entrants who can solve the end-to-end Digital Transformation?

Winning Game for Korean Makers

The annual U.S. spending in healthcare and long-term care combined amounts to almost $4 trillion, with an average outcome. The South Korean health system is #1 among developed countries and can share the experience of hectically searching for solutions to improve health outcomes with the U.S. We recommend that any successful Korean healthcare industry players should consider expansion into the U.S., with the help of an experienced local agency, due to market complexity and significant differences.

Also, South Korea is the leading nation by the number of robots used in manufacturing; our export primarily consists of high-tech and robotics (>60%). During the export slowdown phase, Korea should find new applications for its robotics before robotics know-how degrades. If businesses can’t sell robots, they won’t hire new workers, and if university grads cannot find jobs in robotics, this type of career will decrease in popularity and the hard-earned know-how of South Koreans will disintegrate.

Korean makers can find their place in the medical future by manufacturing hardware/robots powered by software from powerhouses like IBM Watson and Google AI, thereby forming a new type of global Digital Transformation force. Because in Digital Transformation, digital (hardware and software) comes first, so this collaboration can beat major players like CVSHealth and Walmart, who do not have the critical digital know-how – in fact, they are struggling with technical solutions while excelling in customer-facing apps and better store experience.


#4 What South Korean Innovators Should Know to Develop in Order to Bring Their Products to the U.S. Health Market

The U.S. healthcare sector is the largest, most expensive, and most complex in the world. The annual spending per capita is the highest in the world—between healthcare and long-term care combined, it amounts to almost $4 trillion.

Why is it so expensive? The U.S. healthcare sector is run by a private sector and is very profitable. It brings an average of 9.64% net profit (#8 in the U.S. economy), 45.6% GM (#4 in the U.S.), with the highest remarkable profit in the U.S. economy going to HealthTech: 21.6%.

Changes in U.S. Healthcare Sector

Healthcare in the U.S. is shifting towards quick, convenient, close-to-consumer provider types with low and transparent prices like retail clinics, workplace clinics, urgent care, and ambulatory surgical centers. All these new areas grow very fast at 6% to 26% annually. Some other areas are in decline, for example, rural and remote care centers are closing (about 100 closed since 2010, 700 are vulnerable to closure).

What is growing so fast and why? The expected answer is – follow the money.

The trends responsible for this shift are the same everywhere – a rapidly aging population that lives longer and needs more care, as they are sicker, resulting from bad prevention methods and lifestyle choices.

The catalyst to the market shift came through the U.S. regulations that changed service reimbursement rules from fee-per-service to the outcome-based model. If in the past, care providers were paid more for doing more procedures.  Now they are paid more for a healthier patient.

What are the key opportunities for Korean companies?

We observe a shift from large to small, home-based and mobile provider capabilities. Nursing homes can not accommodate all aging citizens. This stimulates the growth of retail clinics, self-care at home, and tools for traveling nurses to serve this population in need. The tools used by these types of providers need to be smaller, yet display high-quality in operation and user-friendliness. An increasingly lower level of workforce qualification requires easy-to-operate tools that prevent users from making errors, assist in decision-making, and use advanced analytics for more value addition.

There is major growth in wellness and fitness products and remote care (especially in rural areas), requiring novelty products and operations to monitor, coach, and keep people from getting sick.

South Korea has the #1 health system in the world and is home to many high-quality product makers. Korean companies are known for their outstanding hardware and robotics, while U.S. or EU companies make better software and interfaces. We recommend that Korean manufacturers collaborate with overseas partners on developing best-in-class digital solutions using their unique know-how.

When going to the U.S. market, make sure you bring a product developed based on the U.S. buyer’s tastes and expectations, with the best strategy to partner with local innovators like CVSHealth or Walmart to insert your product into a complete, more marketable solution.

If your offering increases doctor office productivity or improves patient experiences or outcomes, you are ready to explore the U.S. landscape for potential market entry, with the assistance of an experienced local agency familiar with the market for faster traction and loss mitigation.


#5 Iconic Healthcare Show is Cancelled Due to COVID-19. What Korea Can Do to Win in Global HealthTech Markets in 2021?

HIMSS2020 is typically the biggest HealthTech get-together in the U.S. With only seven Korean companies among 1,300 exhibitors registered in 2020, what are they missing?

HIMSS has been the largest healthcare technology trade show in the largest healthcare market (the U.S.) organized by the American Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society for half a century. The first conference in 1962 included 89 healthcare systems engineers – a new profession in the new era of computer systems. Since then, the trade show has grown in size to about 45,000 attendees and 1,300 vendors that pay $50,000 or more per booth. HIMSS is the second most valuable major trade show in the industry: for each exhibitor, there are 34 attendees. This is almost half of KIMES’ (Korea International Medical & Hospital Equipment Show) with 61 attendees per exhibitor. Still, it’s more than China Health, Medica, and Arab Health with 29, 25, and 21 attendees per exhibitor, respectively.

Since its founding in 1962, HIMSS has prided itself on advancing three key missions: education, exhibition, and networking. HIMSS invites major government officials, CEOs of innovative health tech companies, and prominent cultural figures to speak, staying true to its mission to educate and network. At HIMSS, industry leadership, invited speakers, and U.S. officials mingle while vendors come to be seen and to hear thought leaders and policy/government leaders set the tone and priorities for the following year. Leading care providers come to see what’s up and coming from the healthcare technology vendors. Any notable vendors in the industry always exhibit at HIMSS and have already booked next year’s booth before this year’s show.

HIMSS is the membership club of a tightly-knit industry, where everyone has known everyone else for years. This is thanks in part to the active HIMSS organization and to the active attendance of the annual trade show and other HIMSS events. HIMSS membership lets its members be on the inside and serves as the connector and catalyst of deals and long-term collaborations. It also makes the market hard to penetrate to outsiders.

What can Korean companies and healthcare leaders do to advance and take more of the U.S. market? 

First, start with a public awareness campaign— let everyone in the healthcare industry know that South Korea is the country with the best access to universal healthcare in the world that addressed the COVID-19 crisis in the most organized and effective manner without shutting down the economy, and present its many accomplishments. The awareness campaign should include events and experiences large and small to share with the American public and professionals. This pertinent and relevant experience would be valuable to learn in the countries that have failed to effectively address COVID-19 and inspire them to learn from Korea. Sign up for HIMSS Membership, attend events. Speak at HIMSS conferences—everyone should hear about Korea and its flagship manufacturers like Samsung Healthcare, but also about smaller innovators who have participated in eliminating the spread of COVID-19. This is the year that can be unique for Korea as it gives the opportunity to shine on the global stage. Find ways to collaborate with HIMSS and other leading organizations. Sponsor a country pavilion to get to the inside of the U.S. healthcare industry and wow them with Korean technology and innovation.

Second, transform KIMES to compete with HIMSS. Start sponsoring and offering more educational content, thought leadership exchanges, and networking opportunities, move the event online this year to fill in the void. KIMES could also implement gamification by incentivizing attendees to come year after year: HIMSS exhibitors never skip a year, as they lose significant points tied to loyalty. U.S. companies prioritize HIMSS attendance as a must-have for decades. As most CMOs put it: “We just have to be there.”

Take KIMES online. Go visit HIMSS next year. Speak about your COVID-19 success. Show how your products compare. Join the club. Elevate Korea’s status as a healthcare tech leader. Compete with legacy players. Win. 

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#6 What Will It Take for Korean HealthTech to Break into Global Leadership? – KIMES to Become Catalyst of Korean Expansion Globally in 2021, After Canceling This Year’s Event Due to Coronavirus

The international medical industry is booming because as the population gets older, it requires more healthcare, not to mention the investments made in relation to COVID-19. More money is being spent on healthcare by all nations, now more than ever before, with the U.S. leading at over $10,200 spent per person (pre-COVID-19). It’s no surprise that HealthTech is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world: in the U.S., for example, healthcare and HealthTech are not only the fastest-growing but also the most lucrative industries, with the profit margins ranked at #4 and #1, respectively, in the U.S. market (2019).

The American Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) project that by 2028, such costs will climb to $6.2 trillion, or about $18,000 per person, and will represent about 20 percent of GDP.

Who will fulfill all this spending?

Korea is the best positioned to benefit from this trend and growth—it has the best medicine among developed countries, the best high-tech workforce, automated manufacturing, and the best innovations in wellness and HealthTech, as we have seen at CES2020.

How can Korean innovators lead the HealthTech revolution and benefit from this rare global/ U.S. profit opportunity

One, but not the only, growth vehicle is exhibiting at trade shows. Where can HealthTech manufacturers exhibit to increase awareness about their products and acquire new leads? There are three mega healthcare shows—Medica in Germany, China Health in China, and Arab Health in Dubai—that lead the industry. And there is KIMES (Korea International Medical & Hospital Equipment Show) in Korea, as well as FIME (Florida International Medical Expo) and HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) in the U.S.

Among all these trade shows, KIMES is the most valuable medical trade show, if you count the number of visitors per exhibitor: 61 compared to 25 at Medica, 29 at China Health and 21 at Arab Health. Yes, for exhibitors, being at KIMES is over two times more valuable than attending any other medical trade show. In part, this is thanks to the nominal $8 entry fee. Now, KIMES is not the largest show: it attracts 73,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors compared to 123,000 and 5,000 at Medica, respectively, but we believe that it has the potential to grow bigger and become the center of Asian and global HealthTech innovation

KIMES foreign visitors rave about how innovative Korean manufacturers are and how the products are great. Yet there is this known barrier for mid-sized and small Korean manufacturers penetrating global markets. We see it again and again—innovative Korean products surpass competitive offerings but make little progress in global sales. What is missing? Frequently, Korean manufacturers are local market-oriented and lack global understanding and global GTM know-how. Sometimes, it’s as simple as not being advanced in English that prevents a great innovator from winning in the U.S. and global markets.

There is more to be done by the KIMES trade show to ensure more wins for Korean exhibitors next year. Having seen all the global trade shows, we are confident that there is a big potential for KIMES to increase exhibitor success via special programs in 2021. 

One high-potential program could be fostering a greater alignment of the Korean manufacturers with the U.S. market trends and needs, as the largest market in the world, by starting early in the innovation cycle. The fastest growing and the most profitable, the U.S. market is worth being creative for. Clever self-promotion and more successful exhibitors can boost KIMES into joining the ranks of mega shows and Korea into the global center of HealthTech innovation. 

KIMES can become one of the driving forces behind Korean HealthTech, meeting the needs of and leading on the booming global and U.S. markets. There are more levers that need to be activated, KIMES is one of the easiest to push.


#7 Key Players in Global HealthTech. Race to Solutions in Healthcare: Join or Compete?

Healthcare and HealthTech are becoming more sophisticated every year. The world is grappling with a quickly aging population, climbing comfort expectations, and increasing life expectancies in most countries. Governments have long been custodians of national health systems in the most developed countries (except for the U.S. and South Africa), and even their resources are being stretched thin now, while industry paradigms are shifting from the old to the new. 

Investments are being made at unprecedented levels in automation, digitization, connections, new medical devices, and treatments. These investments are aimed at sustaining public health at reasonable costs while bringing results and convenience of healthcare and wellness, which will enable longer, happier lives. 

We can see it in the numbers: the global healthcare market reached a value of nearly $8,452 billion in 2018, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% since 2014. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% to nearly $11,908.9 billion by 2022, far exceeding any economic growth of any country.

Major healthcare players of the world are trying to figure out how to create a value-chain of healthcare and health treatments/fulfillment by combining digital and other 21st century technologies: AI, VR, remote robotics, home care, etc. However, even the largest companies, like CVSHealth, have a hard time developing end-to-end solutions that work. 

We asked the innovation and technology leadership at CVSHealth, the #1 global corporation in healthcare and pharmacy when CVS planned to implement a seamless, mobile-based, remote, and effective end-to-end value chain for healthcare diagnostics and treatment. The answer was: “We have it on our 5-year best-case scenario roadmap for very simple routine use cases, but we are not very optimistic, because it is very complex to make it happen and make it work well. We don’t have all the resources we want, we don’t have every technology needed to implement it, and when we eventually get it through the development phase thanks to partners, acquisitions or else – it will still be very hard to make it work end-to-end. We are constantly looking for technology partners.”

If the largest health company in the world is not so optimistic—should Koreans join or compete?

In our first article, we suggested that Korean innovators should join efforts with the world’s giants, like IBM or Microsoft, to come up with solutions where each party would bring its strength: Korea – robotics and electronics, other parties – software and AI. 

Another possible path for us would be joining the vision of CVS or similar specialized healthcare players and fill in their blanks with our innovation as a partner to benefit from the results. 

Or, we can try to compete. Korean culture is strong, thanks to being very organized and collaborative. Can we pull together our innovative resources, make an investment, and with the addition of some missing handpicked foreign technologies, create an end-to-end digital health solution, blending digital and real-life experiences for our citizens? Can we export it around the world and gain influence, export revenues, and leadership status in innovation beyond robots? 

Partnership or competition, this effort would make a critical contribution to South Korea: we have the fastest aging population, among developed countries, that will badly need some scalable, technology-driven solutions to provide the elderly generations with the healthcare and the long-term care they need, in lieu of the vanishing hyodo (filial piety).

Can Korea become the leader of global healthcare? We believe we can. However, as we are standing still, the world is moving. We should decide on a path to take, or walk multiple paths to ensure one of them will bring us to global leadership and solve our own problems.


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#8 Three Directions for CEOs to Proactively Prepare Their Company for Post-COVID-19

There are a few things that cause business owners more anxiety than uncertainty, which COVID-19 has brought in spades. Mandatory shutdowns, supply chain interruptions, and social distancing are impacting every industry differently. 

What can businesses do to proactively respond to the market changes and to best adjust to the new needs? Despite the radical changes that are happening almost daily, now is the time for three important investments that most leaders have put aside due to urgent matters.

Companies can start strategizing for the future by training employees, producing digital assets, and seeking new opportunities. Don’t fight harder against changing market forces; think long-term. While companies must accept the short-term challenges and find quick solutions, they must also prepare for post-COVID-19 to make up for the losses as soon as the markets recover.  

Training teams for the future

February 2020 CMO Survey results suggest that companies only spend 4.7% of their marketing budgets on training. Now is the time to invest in training. The market will not be the same post-COVID-19, and it will require critical skills that are now lacking.

For example, a medical device company located in the U.S. (with HQ in Asia) that relied on trade shows for awareness and leads was left without the opportunity to fill in the pipeline because all trade shows got canceled. They also discovered that the medical sales cycle was longer than in the commercial sector, where the company was initially very successful. 

What they needed to do was implement inbound marketing that would allow medical researcher prospects to easily find information about their innovative solution and consider their product for research. It turned out that nobody in the company was familiar with inbound marketing and the organization needed a holistic training of marketing and sales in what inbound marketing was and how to properly implement it. 

Changing their traditional outbound approach would mean building a new type of content, finding publishers to place it, improving their email practices, and switching from product-pushing sales messages to education-based messaging.   

Build stronger sales engine combined with GTM strategies for global expansion 

The innovative medical device company mentioned above relied on trade shows for lead generation—trade shows were the second-highest converting channel after inbound inquiries. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, trade shows were canceled everywhere and this channel wasn’t generating any revenue. The business switched to more email usage, without having a reliable process, email marketing know-how, and suitable professional tools, when their target list had 40% of email addresses missing. 

They were receiving a small amount of response but didn’t have the right kind of expertise to build a reliable source of revenue to replace lost trade show-based streams of leads.

Seek out new opportunities

While training employees and cementing powerful sales engines, companies must innovate their go-to-market approaches and come up with the offerings for the industries and niches that are expanding quickly (telemedicine and at-home fitness, cleaning and hygiene products, for example) and also use this unique chance to launch into other markets. The opportunities can include selling goods or servicing expanding sectors. 

With a strong sales engine and well-trained employees, your company will be fully ready to launch by adapting its marketing accordingly to meet new needs and opportunities during a soon-to-come period of growth to capture opportunities in the post-COVID-19 economy.


#9 Key Trends in U.S. Healthcare to Know Before You Enter the Market

In a world shaken by COVID-19, predictions can be somewhat unreliable; however, we will still put them into the perspective for those evaluating future investments to help them make the right decisions.

  1. Sanitation, Virus-Fighting and Sickness Prevention. The U.S. is battling COVID-19 and it will be a long battle until a vaccine is invented. The U.S. health system is very ineffective at flattening the curve and the U.S. is likely to be opening and closing the economy back and forth, longer than most other countries due to differences in state-driven pandemic management regulations and a paralyzed federal government. As the federal government abdicated its responsibility for fighting the virus, citizens must, largely on their own, survive the pandemic. Everyone, especially the affluent minority, will not be shy about spending on virus-killing products, products that strengthen the immune system and protect from COVID-19 and similar viruses in the future.
  2. Home-Based. mHealth (mobile health) and remote care are designed to keep patients at home and reduce overall costs while improving user experience and convenience. Healthcare is moving from the hospital room to the living room at a high speed. Manufacturers that historically make devices for hospitals, gyms, and other institutions have come up with scaled-down (and less expensive) versions of their products for home usage, which is further accelerating home-based care and reduces medical facility utilization to be only for emergencies and hospital procedures, especially under COVID-19. This will lead to more closing of hospitals and clinics and the virtualization of non-urgent and non-invasive care.
  3. Patient-Driven. U.S. consumers are paying more and more out of pocket for their healthcare—they, naturally, want to minimize that spending and get better results for what they spend. Technology and abundant information give patients the ability to be an active participant in their wellness and treatment. More importantly, technology allows patients to monitor and prevent conditions that are especially costly and complex (strokes, diabetic comas, heart attacks, and other undesirable outcomes) in the form of intelligent devices, wearables, AI, etc.
  4. Integrated & HealthTech Enabled. Connected smart devices and analytics, advanced security, robust networks, telehealth, industry-specific middleware, and a litany of high-tech products and services can enable end-to-end virtual healthcare. Currently, it is hard to execute it all: only a couple of industry giants have been successful in putting together just pieces of it. Why not the whole healthcare system? It’s just so complicated and infeasible, that even forces, like CVS and Walmart, struggle to execute it well.
  5. Costly. At this time, the average out-of-pocket cost for an American is $3,200 per person per year. The concentration of longer-living elderly in LTC (long-term care) facilities or at home, puts pressure on families to pay more for longer.

The significant price tag of innovative point solutions, if added up, makes it very costly for an individual to monitor, prevent, and avoid/minimize health damage. In countries with a single-payer model, all citizens can benefit from the advancements. In the U.S., this only applies to affluent citizens and their family members. Nonetheless, the wealthiest top 10% owns 77% of buying power which, at this point, generously rewards healthtech innovators: healthtech is the most profitable industry in the U.S. with an average of 21.6% profit margin.

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#10 Entrepreneurs Go Global with Help from the For Creators By Creators (FCBC) Movement

It’s difficult to start a conversation on any important topic without reflecting on how it relates to or is affected by the ongoing global COVID-19 crisis. In the case of entrepreneurship, there is an optimistic sentiment.  We have not yet seen the worst interruptions of global supply chains and business relations, but they are coming. What’s going to happen to the world economy currently dominated by major corporations? 

And this is where entrepreneurship has the upper hand – in agility and fast reactions to changing supply-demand and market situations. There is a significant opportunity on the market to establish new players, especially local ones who don’t require extensive global supply chain support and massive operations.

Can small local brands from Asia become more global during this time of crisis? The only thing they need is a platform to do it on and a process that’s going to make them successful.

Entrepreneurship as Economy Engine

Entrepreneurship has always been the key to economic growth. Several international reports and studies have shown the correlation between economic growth and development/innovation. 

Innovative entrepreneurs quickly find open fields of opportunity and new markets, exploring them and creating value by attracting capital to what are potentially the most profitable new segments of the economy.

Korea and Singapore are at the forefront of global product innovation (number 2 and 3 respectively, as ranked by the Global Innovation Index, 2020). This leadership does not guarantee market domination because in order to be commercially successful, the innovation needs to be coupled with a strategic go-to-market plan, aimed at finding the right market, creating and marketing a product that is appealing to buyers, and building a brand.

How can they build on product innovation and translate it into going global, supported by brand building, all with limited resources?  The answer is: with crowdfunding and the For Creators By Creators (FCBC) community.

Crowdfunding: A Stepping Stone to Success

Crowdfunding is the easiest way to build an enterprise with small starting capital and in times of crisis. Established crowdfunding platforms offer good exposure, a reliable way to collect payments, and a tried-and-true venue to reach potential customers before you have invested into actually producing the product. Crowdfunding reduces the risk of failure for good ideas and weeds out bad ideas that are not commercially viable: anywhere between 70-90% of solicited products fail to reach their fundraising campaign goals. 

Brands we all know and love like Peak Design (camera bags), Oculus (VR gaming goggles), PopSockets (phone grips/fidget) and FidgetCube (a toy that helps enhance focus) all had their humble beginnings in crowdfunding, exploding with millions of dollars collected on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and an abundant customer network. 

Crowdfunding can even lead to profitable collaborations and acquisitions after successful crowdfunding campaigns: Pebble Time, a smartwatch company, was sold to Fitbit in 2017 for $23M, and Ouya, a video-game system, was sold to Razer in 2015.

Crowdfunding is not just a path to success for small companies. Large enterprises also use it to strategically introduce new products and to enter new markets, especially as foreign entities on their target market. For example, Rodmi Tech, a subsidiary of Beijing Xiaomi Technology, Inc, is a company with an almost $40 billion market cap. It consistently uses crowdfunding to successfully launch its new consumer electronics products. 

In search of the “next big thing,” large crowdfunding platforms have come to Asia where the culture of crowdfunding is just developing and has high growth potential. Backing crowdfunding campaigns has yet to go mainstream in Korea and neighboring countries in Asia but in the past seven years, local, country-specific crowdfunding platforms have been flourishing.

However, platforms are just that: the place to fundraise and trade. Finding backers, buyers, and building a brand doesn’t come with it. Any new crowdfunding creator will tell you that creating a campaign promotion page and video, building interest, finding backers and so on—all need to be done now by professionals—and it’s an expensive and overwhelming task. What can a small entrepreneur do to enter and win the crowdfunding game?

Crowd is Good. Community is Better

Matt Higgins, co-founder and CEO of RSE Ventures, a Guest Shark on SharkTank, FCBC speaker, and pitch competition panel judge explains, “Crowdfunding can be important in obtaining approval from your customers before you are ready to launch your next product.” 

However, crowdfunding is only the first step of the process and even with a great idea for an amazing product comes the daunting task of promoting the brand, attracting backers, and the pains of designing, producing, packaging, shipping, and delivering the product. For new entrepreneurs, running a business like this and being successful in all aspects can be very challenging, if not impossible. 

For small entrepreneurs to avoid the 90% chance of failure, they must learn complex and comprehensive skills of running an enterprise. At first, it usually comes from outsourcing partners; when the company can prove its viability, it hires internally for all necessary functions. Survival long-term will largely depend on smart strategic planning before and after the campaign, as well as the flawless execution of the strategy.

Later on, becoming successful, especially on a global scale, will take an enormous amount of know-how and a community of a variety of experts. A team of skilled managers, trusted suppliers, and partners is needed. Where can entrepreneurs find them all quickly? And how can they afford all these experts when they are just a startup? Where can they learn everything they need in order to succeed in crowdfunding?  That’s exactly the problem For Creators By Creators (FCBC) was created to solve.

For Creators By Creators (FCBC) Movement and Collaboration Community

“FCBC is a crowdfunding-centered movement and community that connects people, helping entrepreneurs, and sharing the knowledge, experience, and resources to make them successful. At FCBC, creators can learn from the most successful crowdfunded brands, well-known experts, and FCBC founders how to create a successful business with a long-term horizon, prepare and run a successful crowdfunding campaign, and use it as a stepping stone towards achieving a bigger goal—global brand growth. The FCBC slogan, “Exhibit, Sell, Grow – Crowdfunding Going Global Made Possible” means that we provide the most needed resources and opportunities to  crowdfunded businesses.”  

FCBC Co-Founders, Jay Kang, CEO of We The People, and Suzy Im, SVP of TribalVision Worldwide & Founder of Business Development & Marketing Transformation (BDMT) Global.

FCBC was founded in 2018 to be a global movement and collaboration community of crowdfunded entrepreneurs and resources that support them. FCBC was created by two groups of entrepreneurs dedicated to and passionate about helping international startups grow and enter new markets: We The People (WTP) and Business Development & Marketing Transformation (BMDT) Global. 

WTP is the world’s only multichannel crowdfunding retail chain and Global Crowdfunding Product Accelerator from Singapore with retail stores in multiple Asian countries and the U.S. The team of co-founders includes former crowdfunding entrepreneurs Ryan Sim and Joel Liew creators of Kisetsu, a company that makes slim, leather, RFID-protected wallets, and Nison Chan, the creator of Talking Toes Socks, which designs and sells bright, inspirational socks. Sim, Liew, and Chan see their mission as beyond growing sales, though this is an important part of WTP and what Jay Kang, a successful businessman from Korea and co-founder, oversees. Kang, the CEO of WTP, sums it up, “Creators are in need of business support along with a way to link up around the world. We are excited to provide exclusive comprehensive opportunities and support for creators to connect globally.”

BDMT Global, an FCBC co-founder, is an international division of TribalVision Worldwide (an Inc.5000 Fast Growing Company headquartered in Boston, MA) that combines the best of digital growth skills from TribalVision as the parent company and their own unique expertise in global expansion to help international (especially Asian) entrepreneurs break into U.S. markets. BDMT Global leads entrepreneurs in planning and succeeding beyond one campaign and one product. BDMT Global is widely recognized for helping growing companies with the comprehensive development & implementation of go-to-market strategies, global marketing outreach, digital transformation, and new market/new product launches. BDMT Global is the FCBC Community’s brand and growth strategist assisting FCBC brands with global expansion.

Source: Fortune Korea, April 2020