YOU BE THE VC 6.1 by John Roland


Company: Buzzy.

Business Idea: Create a device that helps relieve the pain and anxiety associated with getting a shot and the other needle sticks like IV starts, blood draws, and finger pricks.



Strength of New-Venture Team

1       2      3             5

There is no mention of a new-venture team but only funding (very good) and the experimentation that has taken place.  It is assumed since there is now a fully FDA-compliant version the team must have put together a well planned out strategic plan.  Only founder Dr. Amy Baxter is mentioned and she is well qualified to lead an initial team.  My only concern is there is no mention of financial advisors or business experts.  No one who is good at operations or getting a product to market.  The sole focus is on the science of the product.

Strength of the Opportunity

1       2       3       4       5

The strength of the opportunity is very clear.  There is funding from a $1 million grant and it is FDA approved.  There is independent testing and research.  The company is well described and the company history is explained.  There is industry analysis discussing the problem is needles and fear all ages have with shots.  There appears to be a market gap in this area although there is no mention of potential competitors.  Not exactly sure the fixed costs or variable costs are.  I certainly would want to participate but would want to know more about competitors and the economics of the business.

Strength of the Industry

1       2       3       4       5

I would assume the medical industry and the need for assistance in giving shots to be very high and solid.  Not much was discussed regarding the overall market for competitors but an ER doctor certainly has hands on experience with her market.  No statistics shown regarding needle phobia or industry acceptance to a competitor or a substitute to a regular needle.  No real mention of the five forces model: threat of substitutes, threat of new entrants, rivalry among, existing firms, bargaining power of suppliers, or bargaining power of buyers.

Strength of Business Model

1       2       3       4       5

The business model of Buzzy is strong but somewhat incomplete.  We learn of need of the product Dr. Baxter has developed.  We learn of the $1million grant but no information regarding your venture team, her operations plan, her financial projections, management team, company structure or marketing plan.  It appears to have been successful to receive the grant and to later become FDA-compliant.   A lot of details are left out but it is assumed due to their success, they had a complete business model.

Average Score: 4.0/5.0

Decision: I would fund this project due to the faith the NIH had in giving the project $1million grant and the FDA in approving it.  I would want to know more about the business model before I do invest.