View of the Valley: Palo Alto, CA
What's happening in the Valley?

Last year I was a Biodesign Fellow at Stanford University. I wrote, every six weeks, about the latest portion of the fellowship. I posted on my experience with innovation from the hospital room through PubMed research, through white board brainstorms and engineering design, into prototyping, market research, and back to design. Now I am posting something else; I am repositioning, if you will, to provide answers to what you most want to hear about, from the Valley.

The fellowship I undertook gave me an incredible experience and a phenomenal network. And, what seems to separate this place from others is, in part, more capital, but in a large part, more experience. As a window into this world, I would love to hear your questions and then provide answers, from the best and the brightest people here in the Valley. So, if you are an innovator in medicine or engineering, or any other field where device expertise could be valuable, please email away ( or post comments here and I will post answers to them.

A few that I have answered for myself recently are: do incubators work? What is this economy looking like here and how will that affect the future? Will the FDA every be friendly again? Does Canada have a chance at competitive innovation and what separates it from the Valley? What are innovative marketing strategies? What is the value of a business person in the early stages of a company? How can you structure a start-up for success? How should partners “try before they buy”? What is critical for the startup team to know? What can we learn from pharma companies and corporate social responsibility? … the questions are endless, so if you send yours, I will start there.

I look forward to providing the insight and connections that I can from this part of the world.

Joelle Abra

Joelle has a background in chemical engineering, business and law. Joelle has led two successful entrepreneurial ventures and recently completed the Biodesign Fellowship in medical device innovation at Stanford University. She now works at Stanford providing business and IP strategy consulting to the most promising biomedical research and provides a “View from the Valley!” See more…