This guest post was written by Carlo Perez, founder and CEO of Swift Medical, a Ryerson Futures portfolio company.

On the one hand, we’re a group of people who care deeply about helping others with the technology that we create. At the same time, without a clear focus on maximizing investor return, we know we will never be in a position to create that technology in the first place. Striking the balance between principals and profitability is something constantly on our minds.

Take, for instance, our inaugural product, Swift Wound. Swift Wound is a mobile app that measures and assesses wounds at the point-of-care with incredible accuracy. We know there is a huge need for our app in North America where 8.5 million people currently suffer from chronic wounds, a problem that is only going to grow given our ageing population and increasing rates of diabetes.

But as staggering as that number is, it pales in comparison when you consider the 400,000,000 people worldwide who are also afflicted. While we work hard to get Swift Wound into the hands of the North American clinicians, patients, and hospital administrators who will benefit in numerous ways by using our app, we are keenly aware that we can make an even greater impact with our work in places like India and in developing countries in Africa and Asia.

So the question becomes, how do we stay true to our principals while still focusing on investor return?

We have reconciled this balancing act is by focusing on building a business first. Swift has grown rapidly from a company whose genesis can be traced to an initiative to combat tuberculosis in low and middle-income countries to where we are today, a business whose product is used by some of the world’s largest healthcare systems.

We’ve done this by building a team that shares a vision of making a positive impact in people’s lives through their work. As important, we are creating a platform that is so scalable, not just in terms of the technology and business but in its ability to reach communities and individuals anywhere in the world.

Just like putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping your seatmate with theirs helps both of you, we believe that a sustainable global strategy starts with a solid business foundation.