“I always had aspirations of starting and growing businesses.”
Two years after attending Babson’s Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp, we sat down with Jonatan Lustgarten, co-founder of HNM Medical, a medical device company based out of Miami, Florida.
How did you first became involved in the medical device industry?
In late 2008, a close friend of mine started a medical device company in Miami. In 2009, he asked me if I would be interested in acquiring 50 percent of the business and growing it with him. At the time, I was working in healthcare at Arnet Pharmaceutical, and felt very confident in our ability to grow the startup, HNM Medical.
Examples of HNM Medical Orthopedic Solutions
How did you initially differentiate your startup from other medical device companies?
At first, we partnered with all type of surgeons to shape their ideas into a range of medical device products, especially surgical instrumentation. After a couple of years, we discovered that there was higher demand and higher margins within the orthopedic industry. We shifted our company focus in 2011 to become a specialized Orthopedic Medical Device company. Our orthopedic solutions were unique in that they were designed by a top contract-manufacturing facility in Germany that supported surgeons’ ideas and transformed them into custom solutions for hospitals.
What would you say are your two biggest accomplishments since launching HNM?
- We have been fortunate to experience significant growth since we launched HNM in 2009. Our revenue grew from around $250,000 in 2009 to nearly $4 million in 2014. Much of this growth can be attributed to the hard work of our consultants and our team, which has reached eight full-time staff members and roughly 100 sales representatives.
- We are also very pleased that Boston Scientific, Henry Ford Health System, and many other long-term customers continue to work with us in providing hospitals and surgeons with high-quality medical devices that improve surgery outcomes.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge since starting HNM?
As a smaller medical device company, we were up against large billion-dollar companies. So, we had to work that much harder to partner with hospitals and surgeons to ensure that we had the highest quality product solutions. In order to successfully grow, we needed to look at how to enhance all aspects of our business, which spanned from our relationships with banks to our relationships with our sales team.
Given that you found initial success launching your medical device business, why did you decide to attend the Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp?
When living in Miami, I often heard friends talk about the strength of the entrepreneurship program at Babson. I always had aspirations of starting and growing several businesses into a conglomerate of companies, and I saw the Boot Camp as a program where I could gain more insight about how to scale HNM and the other businesses that I hoped to start.
How has HNM grown since you attended the Boot Camp in January 2013?
Since 2013, HNM has grown from about $2 million in revenues to nearly $4 million in revenues while expanding our portfolio of products and hospital contracts. We have also expanded our sales staff from around 50 sales agents to more than 100. I was very pleased to know that I could directly apply the lessons I learned at Babson to my work managing the HNM team.
I enjoyed the Boot Camp experience. The quality of the Babson faculty and the relevance of the class sessions inspired me to dig deeper with the some of the business concepts. So, I decided to enroll in Babson’s Two-Year MBA program.
Now that you have completed your MBA at Babson, what plans do you have for the future?
I am very pleased with
the way my partner and I worked together to grow HNM over the years, but I have
decided to sell my shares in the company so I can dedicate my full time to
launching a new family business in Colombia. Our new business, Grupo Castel,
is a Real Estate Development and Infrastructure firm focused on Latin American
markets. We are thrilled with the positive feedback that we have received from
potential investors, and we estimate that we will break ground on a 400 acre
Business Park in Colombia in the winter of 2016.
To learn more about Grupo Castel, visit www.grupocastel.com.