After graduating from the University of California, Davis with an economics degree, Laura King got a job in finance at General Electric (GE). She rose quickly through the ranks, and after a series of high-level jobs she was promoted to run GE Healthcare’s $1.2 billion interventional cardiology and surgery business. She also became an officer of the corporation.
It was there at the top that King began to question whether there was a better way to satisfy her passion for clinical innovation.
"I loved so much of what I learned at GE, there's no comparison," she says. "But I was very far away from what I would consider real revolutionary innovation versus incremental innovation."
King started thinking she might prefer running a mid-sized, private equity-backed company, but the startup world intervened. Madison-based Venture Investors hired her to analyze a young company called NeuWave Medical, which King learned had great technology and no revenue.
King decided to take a big risk and became NeuWave’s founding CEO. She grew it from nothing through a successful sale to Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. King now heads Elucent Medical, which she co-founded with her NeuWave partners.
"There's no real downside to being passionate about what you love and speaking up. Because you're going to land on your feet, you're gonna do fine and you can actually really accomplish something pretty remarkable by going a little further out on your limb," says King.
Laura King's Tips For Entrepreneurs:
- For you personally: Make active choices in your work and life — don’t let inertia define you. Stay focused. Complete 100% of seven things not 70% of ten things. Customers can’t buy things that are 70% complete.
- For your company: Create active dialogs and foster an environment of diverse perspectives. If what you are doing was easy someone would have done it before. It will take the best thinking of many to create a leadership product or service.
- For Success: Get the right people, listen and set priorities. Then remove obstacles so they can be the best they can be.