Accelerating Small Businesses
AdvaMed Accel is the division within AdvaMed dedicated to helping small companies thrive by providing advocacy for a policy environment more conducive to capital formation and innovation; insight into ever-changing regulatory, reimbursement, compliance and business environments; and opportunity for member engagement with peers, subject matter experts and policymakers, as well as strategic partners and investors.
In 2019, AdvaMed Accel advocated for policies that improve opportunities for capital formation for small- and mid-sized businesses. Accel engaged on Capitol Hill to support development of legislation to modernize funding opportunities (SBIR, STTR, and SBIC programs) overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration, including participation in related Senate hearings in May and a meeting with Senate staff in June. Accel also worked to support development and passage of legislation to improve the tax environment for start-ups through Net Operating Loss (NOL) reform, including through support of related research, and collaborated with allied associations to advance additional tax proposals encouraging investment in small medtech companies.
Responding to Accel advocacy, SEC issued a May proposed rule to expand the scope of small public companies exempt from certain Sarbanes-Oxley financial reporting requirements, and Accel submitted related comments in July. As part of the association’s ongoing work to promote medtech as a solution to the opioid crisis, Accel continued to represent the industry on the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Partnership Committee, and Accel comments were reflected in application criteria released in September for the NIH HEAL Early Phase Pain Investigations Clinical Network.
Business Development & Investor Relations
During the year, Accel worked to more fully engage the investment community for the benefit of small companies. Members of the investment community presented at quarterly meetings of the Accel Board, and Accel organized strategic partnering events for AdvaMed members at J.P. Morgan’s Annual Healthcare Conference in January and at The MedTech Conference in September. Leveraging current investor participation in our Business Development Working Group, a pilot “associate membership” class for investors was approved by the AdvaMed Board.
Accel also convened multiple partnering forums to connect the academic research community and industry executives responsible for external innovation, including to create the University Technology Transfer Best Practices Guide. The guide generated significant interest that will be channeled into establishment of an Industry/Academic Partnerships Working Group in 2020.
Accel worked to deepen the engagement of small-company members in AdvaMed’s policy development and advocacy work – from device tax repeal to regulatory and reimbursement reform – contributing to related “wins” and membership growth. These efforts included conducting several fly-ins with small-company execs, and a salon dinner in May with the media, to emphasize Accel advocacy priorities.
In coordination with other departments, Accel also led the creation of a Value Framework Toolkit to aid assessment of medtech value (in collaboration with Deloitte), and a series of regulatory best-practice guides for use as member resources. Accel also advanced educational programs, regional programming, and engagement with private payers for the benefit of small companies.