CiteMed Co-Founder & Operating Partner Ethan Drower on His Inspiring Business Journey & More
Ethan Drower is the co-founder and Operating Partner of CiteMed, which has transformed the European Union Medical Device Regulation (EU MDR) process and made it more streamlined than ever. CiteMed has optimized the Literature Search and Review process for medical device companies’ Clinical Evaluation Reports, helping them get their new products to market much faster while complying with all regulatory requirements.
ABOUT INSIDER recently had the opportunity to catch up with Ethan. He was happy to share insight on his entrepreneurial journey and more.
HELLO ETHAN DROWER, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FIRST ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPERIENCE AS A KID.
The first thing I can remember was essentially selling houseplants to raise money for a youth group I was involved with. The plants were not even attractive, or particularly interesting, but we needed to raise some money for a group trip and ‘clean house’ at the same time.
I remember learning very quickly that the reason people bought a plant was not because of the plant itself (its intrinsic value), but because they were family friends, liked me, or simply wanted to help out a cute young kid with a good cause. This was probably the biggest lesson: there are a lot of reasons why people buy, and a surprising amount of them aren’t directly related to the product itself.
HOW HAVE YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL MOTIVATIONS CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?
When I was very young, it was very much the ‘get rich at all costs’ mindset. I think this is pretty typical for an inexperienced young person. The desire is there, but there is no why. I think as I’ve matured as a person and an entrepreneur, I have become incredibly clear on the reason behind my efforts. What I value now is time, and challenge. Entrepreneurship is the perfect vehicle for giving you a lot of both.
TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE BUSINESS WORLD, AND HOW YOUR JOURNEY HAS BEEN SO FAR?
My first real venture was selling custom-built websites as a service to small businesses. What we quickly found out was that small businesses that didn’t already have a website (this was around 2010) didn’t have one because they saw no real value in it. Thus, we built in a massive hurdle of customer education into our business model.
From there, I worked on many ventures leveraging my then-blossoming software development skills. We built app after app and tried to gain traction and/or sell it.
I would say that my journey hasn’t been too unique, as many entrepreneurs spend years working on the wrong type of companies before they finally gain the clarity to be more strategic in their businesses. Our current venture, CiteMed, has been the culmination of a lot of hard lessons learned in those early years.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
It may sound corny, but I truly feel that my greatest achievements have been building incredible relationships with family and long-term friends. Businesses are much easier to start, and end if they don’t work out. A lifelong friendship can be ruined through one act, so I tend to value the building of personal relationships much higher than that of my professional accomplishments (revenue, etc.).
For more information about CiteMed, visit citemedical.com