Hello Healthcare Innovation Leaders!
Thank G0d the Holidays are over and we can get back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love a family (aka: super spreader) event as much as the next guy, probably more than most since I am quintuply vaccinated (AZ 2x, M2x, P1) and attend many events, after-parties and after-after-parties, but it is soooooo good to get back to work, the work that we love, the work that keeps us up 24/7 sometimes because it is important and it makes the world a better place by driving change in our still super f’d up healthcare system.
Those of you know me well know that I talk about my kids a lot, so this anecdote won’t surprise you. My son, like many young people, is highly concerned about getting COVID. So much so that we drove to Florida from New York instead of flying over the holidays. When we got back, school was open and Omicron is in the air everywhere and last night he noted how ironic this was and how messed up the world is. I sighed and said,
“Yeah Spence, you’re right, it is messed up but keep two things in mind: 1. We have it better than most people and we should feel fortunate and 2 We can do something about it. This is why I get up most days at 4 AM and do what I do. I’m not saying that I myself will fix this, but I can help, and that helps me stay motivated. So when you study, you are getting ready to help invent, lead and drive solutions to the world’s problems.”
The college essays he just submitted talk about wanting to be a Civil Engineer to help address infrastructure issues relating to climate change, so this resonated with him and he nodded and got back to his homework (I think :). I find that one of the great joys of parenting, mentoring startups, or teaching in any format is that your “students” ask questions that produce answers you didn’t know you had. Thanks Spence!
Similarly, new answers to the tough questions of 2020 and 2021 have led to vast changes, mostly positive, in our healthcare system, ones we never would have believed would happen so fast. So while Omicron rages, ravaging our patients, people, and staff alike and physicians, nurse administrators and all medical caregivers are burning out and quitting at record rates, there is still a glimmer of hope. Hope that human creativity will win. As Patrick just said to me,
“I’m optimistic because people always find a way to overcome.”
Love that Kid 🙂 So as we move from a scarcity-driven model of care to the abundance that only tech and software can drive at scale we are led by patient leaders like Sandra L Washington, Kim Whittmore, Matt Zachary and Mette Dyhrberg, Physician leaders like Cheryl Pegus, Chandler Park, Thomas Tsang, Ron Razmi, David Milch, Sharad Mishra, Karthik Ramakrishnan and Yan Leyfman; Nurse Leaders like Jessica Bussert, Doug Sullivan, Erika Harvey, and Jen Rosen; Innovative and creative business leaders like Lauryn Wood, Brooks Wood, Dan Kogan, Marina and Eugene Borukhovich, Pat Tarnowski, Paulo Machado, Shahid Shah, John Mattison, and so many more! We are fortunate to call these amazing people MedStartr Mentors, MedStartr.club Moderators, MedStartr.vc Investors, MVF Portfolio CEOs, Collaborators, and friends. They give us hope every day as they strive to make our world a better place and make healthcare work better for everyone.
What’s New In ’22?
As you may know, we have been running our MedStartr Accelerator Program for our portfolio companies since 2017, kicking it off in NYC or virtually with a 1 week, 40-hour training course with two events open to the public to showcase the new teams being aided in their mission. This has been great and all our teams are not only still in business, on average in the last 6 months they grew by over 120% and have averaged over 78% growth per year. Pretty effective. But we asked ourselves, how can we help more? What can we do to drive healthcare innovation more than the 800+ events we ran last year or the websites and all the other stuff we have been doing since 2009? My friends Roland DaSilva, Micheal Mann, Kat Jong, MD, Mette Dyhrberg, Sharad Mishra, Karthik Ramakrishnan, Jasper Cannon, Patrick and I (with the help of over 400 MedStartr Moderators and Mentors plus thousands of others) had been running a massive number of free, public, online shows to help startups succeed faster with names like “Startup School“, “Fix my Pitch“, “It’s Friday Pitches“, “The Startup Struggle” and many more titles on Clubhouse. We helped hundreds of new founders and they are bringing their new devices and solutions to market faster, thanks in some part, to what they learned and who they met during our shows. So just like when peanut butter met chocolate, we thought these two things TOGETHER would be even more effective.
So I called my friend Fred Trotter, the greatest Hacktivist I know, and said, “What if we Open Sourced our Accelerator Program? What if we let everyone in?” So, of course, he was all in, is now our poster boy for the program and will be leading an Episode 🙂
Next, Roland and I quickly made a syllabus of shows and started inviting mentors to run masterclasses. So while we get that schedule and tech set up, we were noodling around with names. We tend to crowdsource everything so our mentors joined in and we quickly had over 50 names for this new thing, a MedStartr Open Accelerator Program. We wanted something catchy that would also sound like a show that Healthcare Startup FOunders and other interested parties would want to watch. But we haven’t decided yet and could use your help. So here are three things you can do to help if you like:
1. Vote for your Favorite Name for the program here and answer some other related questions
2. Apply to run a masterclass.at the bottom of the above form. The sessions will be virtual 1 hour of discussions and 1 hour of Q & A, edited and published as a totally binge-worthy podcast
3. Share this newsletter with anyone you think will find it useful
Back On Clubhouse
Like many people, we curtailed our zoom and clubhouse activities as we started doing live events again but to avoid getting COVID, we have returned to Clubhouse to run events, help startups and engage with the community. Please join us there in the Medstartr Healthcare Innovators Club. The next show is in less than an hour, but you can see the replays online now!