2008 Hot List

Health

Years on the list: 2 out of 21
Biotech and Health Tech
We're way beyond Band-Aids; today's health care has gone high-tech. Dan Skovronsky, 34, is realizing big things with his molecular imaging company, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, in Philadelphia. Having just closed a $26 million round of funding this year, Avid is proof of the growing success of biotech and health-tech companies. "[The industry] is being driven by aging baby boomers and the cost of health care," Skovronsky says. "There's pressure to do things a little smarter. We're starting to shift more toward early screening, early diagnosis and monitoring."

Dr. Gary J. Kurtzman, vice president of the life sciences group at Safeguard Scientifics, a technology and life sciences holding company, sees health-tech entrepreneurs coming from various backgrounds: Some are doctors, some are academic researchers and some are serial entrepreneurs in the medical device field. "This is not an area for someone who wants to play it safe," says Kurtzman. "People have to be very realistic about how long this takes--and [know] it takes a lot of money." Prospective entrepreneurs should surround themselves with a strong team and be prepared to tackle financing hurdles. Says Kurtzman, "It's the relationship between the people, the ideas and the capital; put the right mix of those together, and you have a formula for success." --A.C.K.

Years on the list: 16 out of 21
Health-Care Staffing
You can't stop Father Time. Along with a growing aging population, we're seeing an increasing amount of ailments. With all those extra health issues, we need as many medical professionals as we can get. But 2006 projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed an expected shortfall of more than 1 million nurses by 2020. That's a clear call for staffing professionals to step into the health-care realm and help companies deal with the shortage. Lisa Dearborn, vice president of health-care services with staffing firm Response Companies, also sees a growing demand in pharmacy staffing and preventive health care and disease management.

For entrepreneurs thinking about entering the field, it helps to have more than just recruiting and staffing experience; you need to have your finger on the pulse of the medical community. "At the end of the day, you have to have a genuine interest in your candidates' lives. You have to understand where they're coming from, and you have to be able to relate to them," says Dearborn. That means hiring recruiters with medical backgrounds who can communicate effectively with potential candidates and clients. Looking ahead, it's a healthy prognosis for health-care staffing. --A.C.K.

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This article was originally published in the December 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 2008 Hot List.

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