Daniel Chon – AccelSPINE: Right Skills and Right Attitudes


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Dan Abbate is a Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK on Bloomberg’s home in Houston (learn more about Dan at www.robotaton.com).

Dan recently interviewed Daniel Chon, CEO and founder of AccelSPINE.  Originally aspiring to become a neurosurgeon, Danny  has a deep respect for the profession and a passion for helping surgeons improve patient experiences and outcomes. He has more than a decade of experience in the medical and health care fields and is a dedicated entrepreneur who has served in a variety of leadership roles for start-up ventures in health care, technology and international business. He is particularly skilled in strategic solutions, corporate strategies and team building.

DAN: Hi DANIEL! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Can you tell me a little bit about your firm?

DANIEL: AccelSPINE is a national medical device company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. We design, develop and manufacture spinal implants and instruments that are tailored to fit the unique needs of surgeons and the patients they care for. We work closely with our customers to design and construct implants and instruments to “bless the hands of the surgeons”  who use them to improve the quality of life for people suffering from back or neck pain, degenerative disc conditions or spinal injuries. We have approximately 30 employees; however, we expect that number to consistently grow over time. We work with a wide variety of hospitals in more than 15 states and other medical companies throughout the U.S.

DAN:  Today’s interview is all about companies in active growth phases and how they manage that. Can you tell me about your current growth. What’s your strategy? What will your company look like at the end of this phase? How are you managing this?

DANIEL: AccelSPINE is a young company. I co-founded it in October 2010, and since that time we’ve grown organically, serving customers all over the U.S., and we’ve received FDA clearances for 10 devices, which is higher than the national average. The average is about two clearances per year. We spend a lot of time listening to our customers to determine what needs aren’t being met with what’s currently available on the market and creating devices that meet those needs. In the near future, we hope to make our first OUS penetration in addition to serving our current customer base. We’re working with partners diligently to meet all regulatory requirements, such as the CE mark, for our devices.

DAN: In your experience, what was/is the most important thing for you to consider in developing your growth strategy?

DANIEL: The most important thing to keep in mind is your goal. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t make an efficient road map to take you there.  The second most important thing is to make sure that whatever you’re doing brings value. If what you’re doing doesn’t have true value, if won’t be as meaningful and it’s less likely to succeed.

DAN: What is one thing that a company seeking to enter a growth phase should keep in mind? What pitfalls are there to avoid?

DANIEL: What pitfalls are there to avoid? During a growth phase, it’s easy to get off track because everyone is going a mile-a-minute. When this happens, people often head off in several different directions, get bogged down in the day-to-day details and lose sight of the initial vision. That’s why it’s crucial to have clear channels of communication to ensure information flows smoothly.  It is also critical to hire the right people with the right skills and attitude. They need to understand the company’s overall vision and mission, so that they can work toward them as a team.

DAN: What does a high growth rate demand of your organization and staff? How are you addressing this?

DANIEL: A high growth rate demands that we work as efficiently as possible, which again, means having the right people with the right attitudes in the right places. Everyone needs to be in a position that best utilizes their talents and keeps them motivated, so that they can provide our customers with the best products, support and care possible. This attention to customer service is one of the things that sets AccelSPINE apart and helps us continue to grow. We believe everyone is an integral part of our team and it’s important that we take steps to ensure everyone feels valued.

DAN: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today, Daniel. I appreciate you sharing your experience and knowledge and I love hearing about interesting people and companies doing interesting things.  For more information on AccelSPINE call 800-713-9489 or visit www.accelspine.com.

Do you have advice on growing your business? Tell me about it! Email me at dan (at) robotaton (dot) com.