Gianfrancho Bellezza, Founder & CEO, Golden Bridge Consuliting S.a.g.i.
Every successful company was once just a mere idea. But, how do entrepreneurs come up with such an idea? While it’s easy to imagine a magical “Eureka!” moment when a revolutionary idea comes like a lightning bolt out of nowhere, the reality is —such ideas are often gleaned from experience. Backed by vast industry knowledge and experience, seasoned business leaders identify a need in the market and then come up with innovative solutions through their consistent effort and shrewd business insight. Having an in-depth insight into the industry, they understand the changing trends and demands in their respective sector and thus develop efficient solutions that resonate with the target audience and make a positive difference in their lives. This story is going to unfurl the inspiring journey of one such exemplary entrepreneur,the CEO & Founder of Golden Bridge Consulting S.a.g.l, Gianfranco Bellezza, who is creating a ripple in the medical sector through his extensive years of experience and impeccable business acumen.
In his 34-year career, Mr. Bellezza has always been driven to find, develop and manage new medical products that would help doctors to make difficult surgeries easier and thus improve the expectation and quality of life of their patients by decreasing undesirable side effects, and post-operative pain with fewer hospital stays. “The experience ‘on the road’ was essential to understand the managing of products, the relationship with opinion leaders and the mentality of the operators in this field, concerning the technological innovations in the medical sector, for my future career as a manager and then as an entrepreneur,” asserts Mr. Bellezza.
Pivoting Towards Entrepreneur World
After studying at the Faculty of Medicine, Mr. Bellezza served in the military at the Milan Military Hospital. Before the end of his service, he met his first mentor, Gianfranco Rubisse, who introduced him to the field of medical devices. He ventured into the entrepreneurial world after spending 3 years working as a sales promoter for prestigious companies such as Rüsch (now Teleflex), J&J Orthopaedics, Leibinger. Unfortunately, his first experience was not so pleasing due to the lack of experience and economic-financial preparation. And hence, he decided to resume his professional career with prestigious companies in the sector, where, in addition to undertaking a scrupulous study of technical, scientific, and economic subjects, he had the opportunity to manage new products, create sales forces, first in Italy and then in Europe. During this period, he also developed new, innovative medical products while creating value for the companies in which he worked and grew up, until he became one of the youngest top managers in the sector, in 1994, at the age of 34.
After 5 years of corporate career, Mr. Bellezza felt ready to make the leap, this time definitive, at an entrepreneurial level. In 1996, he began working in American start-ups, developing the scientific part of exclusive and innovative products. “In 25 years I have worked in numerous medical companies, and I have witnessed 6 exits of American companies that I have helped to develop from a scientific and clinical point of view and make themselves visible at European and world level,” opines Mr. Bellezza.
During his career Mr. Bellezza has won numerous international awards, including Best European Distributor (3 times), Best Inrenational Distributor (6 times), Worldwide Best Achieved Clinical & Marketing Results in the Interstitial Radio frequency Business over the past 10 years, Most Significant Marketing Achievement in Europe, Marzotto Award for Enterprise.
Making a difference with Golden Bridge
While working in the industry, Mr. Bellezza realized that a medical start-up has to face several fundamental issues due to the regulatory process, the choice and collaboration with the Opinion Leaders, the writing of the technical dossier, and clinical protocols, and the choice of clinical centers. Besides this, knowing the timing of the ethics committees and the competent authorities, and knowing how to create the right business plan with certain information and with Gantt of real times is also critical for the startups to be able to attract potential investors with certain numbers and timing. Thus, to help medical start-ups or companies that develop advanced cell therapies to grow, be certified, and enter the market, he founded Golden Bridge. The pioneering company is enabling its clients to realize their dream of seeing their medical device on the market, without wasting time and minimizing costs wherever possible, without losing quality and professionalism.
When asked about the differentiating strength of the company, Mr. Bellezza states, “The strength of Golden Bridge is the network of collaborations that we have created in recent 9 years. We work closely on a daily level with the best Swiss CRO certified at the European and World level, with advanced marketing agencies, first-level regulatory consultants, fantastic medical statisticians, GLP &GMP certified laboratories to develop in vitro and in vivo protocols for preclinical studies.”
It collaborates with the best GLP & GMP certified veterinary institute for large animal studies, and Incubators and Advisors to help companies to have the right funds to carry out the business. Finally, it offers the possibility of creating a distribution network for the companies that work with it, with European distributors specialized in the sectors where the medical company must enter the European market. “The constant, daily relationship with our customers makes us partners and not just service providers. In projects that we consider exceptional, we invest or work for equities, to show how much we believe in these projects,” adds Mr. Bellezza.
Crossing the Obstacles on the Way
Being an entrepreneur often comes with challenges and roadblocks, and Mr.Bellezza’s journey was no different. Speaking of the critical challenges of his role, he affirms, “In our profession, the most important challenge is to stay informed in real-time of the progress in medicine, advanced cell therapies, and medical devices. This is immediately reflected in our work and in the search for new opinion leaders, who are fundamental for research, experimentation, and scientific boards organization, which are essential for the enhancement of the product and therefore of the companies.”
To address this challenge, the avid entrepreneur emphasizes on staying updated by attending international and sector congresses, reading scientific journals with high impact factors, and working with advisors. According to him, discovering new market needs in advance is fundamental to covering new needs and developing new products and therefore new businesses.
Study and Prepare For the Challenges
The optimistic business leader strives to live every day with enthusiasm and curiosity to discover or develop the new medical device that will change the history of medicine, the practice of medicine/surgery, and thus the quality of life of patients. He also believes that sometimes enthusiasm and new ideas are not enough if they are not accompanied by in-depth scientific, engineering, economic, clinical, and marketing preparation. Thus, he encourages the budding entrepreneur to study and prepare for the challenges that innovation entails. He also emphasizes on the importance of having an efficient team to win in this competitive business world.
“In this era, it is not the individual who can win alone, but it is the team that will bring the idea into reality and into the market. And we have the right team to help prepared teams with innovative and revolutionary products,” concludes Mr. Bellezza.