Healthcare Innovation Rule # 8: Passion is Not Enough

reginabwHello to our fellow Healthcare Innovation enthusiasts and professionals!

Today we continue our series on 10 Rules for driving health innovation faster with another post in the lead up to our CyberMonday MedStartr Momemtum event. The deadline to apply to pitch is tonight at Midnight, so the time to hesitate is through.

We know many of you have great ideas and great passion to help improve healthcare but we are here to tell you…

Rule # 8: Passion is Not Enough

Healthcare attracts so many entrepreneurs fueled by a plethora of passion and sometimes little else. Don’t get us wrong, we all want to find a cure and save lives, but as any married couple hitting their silver anniversary will tell you, passion is not enough. Passion may bring you to the health tech market, but it won’t keep you there. You have to have a sound business model and a solution that addresses a problem in ways that patients, providers, and partner love. So passion on top of a great idea and business plan will get you there.

Ben Franklin said it the best:
“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” — Benjamin Franklin

So what is Passion good for?

So many ideas we see on MedStartr and at our H2NYC events are generated by empowered patients, providers, and healthcare leaders of all stripes. Passion is the fuel that gets these folks going, wakes them up at 2 AM, and keeps their fires burning long after those less motivated would give up. Passion is the Healthcare Entrepreneur’s rocket fuel,but without the reality of creating customers willing to pay for the fruit of their nightly labors, entrepreneurs fueled by passion alone will burn out long before achieving stable orbit.

Houston, We Have A Solution
We created our health innovation platforms to help our fellow passion-powered healthcare entrepreneurs to achieve lift-off by acquiring early adopters, feedback, critical team members, mentors, customer, partners, advisers, and investors. If that is you we encourage you to apply to pitch next week at MedStartr Momentum 2015. The DEADLINE is tonight at Midnight, EST. Apply Here. You can also talk to hundreds of folks all day about your idea from your very own table at the event.

If you want to get involved with one of over a dozen great new companies pitching or just bask in the glow of health innovation through leaders like Susannah Fox, Regina Holliday, Peter Frishauf, Cheryl Pegus, and Amy Cueva, then come join us November 30th. You can always watch the livecast on or follow us on twitter at Hashtag #MedMo15, but that not nearly as fun as being there. Get Discounted Tickets here while they last!

Why Regina?
We chose a photo of our inspirational friend Regina Holliday, the epitome of patient passion, to headline this post because as an adviser to MedStartr since day 1 she has always been a champion of making sure that there is a sound financial underpinning to what we do. No, we don’t ever forget the importance of why we do this, but it always needs to be sustainable. Thank you Regina!

You can meet Regina and hundreds more healthcare innovation community members irl Next Monday. See you there!

Sincerely Yours,
Alex, Anthony, Mimi, Steve, and the H2NYC / MedStartr Team
Please call if you have questions or ideas: 530.MED.STAR

The Value of a Championship


As we start our third challenge for the AHA we are looking back on our previous champions and thinking about the Championship Effect.  First, the Champions. The winners of our last three challenges were Dr. Michelle Longmire and her company DermTap, Jen Ohlson of IHT Spirit, and most recently Sarah Doherty of Telehealth Robotics. Each won 15 to 20 thousand dollars and raised another ten to fifteen thousand in their crowdfunding campaigns. More importantly they all got a few new partners that helped them get out to market incredibly fast.

For example, IHT Spirit didn’t just get a deal with a chain of twenty-three rehab centers,  but also is now the hottest new thing to reduce childhood obesity and is in over 700 schools in American. 9 months to the day after winning the 2014 AHA Open Innovation Challenge they signed a deal with Adidas on stage at CES too. This kind of success after winning is no accident. During the contests millions of people in the Healthcare industry hear about the ideas and hundreds of millions read articles in the New York Times,  Washington Post, and even on network news.

Why does this happen?  Why does the world pay so much attention to a $25,000 Challenge? We think of this as the “Championship Effect” whereby people pay more attention to Championships than regular games. I know this is obvious, but to understand the magnitude of the effect, consider the first ever College Football Championship game this year which had over 35 million views, setting the record for the most watched show on cable EVER. It was also about 7 times as many viewers as you average “Bowl Game.”  This huge differential is all about people’s desire to know they are seeing the Best as validated by a reliable and fair system that no algorithm can satisfy.  For over 30 years there has been a debate in college football over whether there should even be a Championship with winners and loses vs a computer / expert based system that selects the best team.  While very learned people argued, billions of dollars in ad revenue was lost and the cost of tuition went up by four times the inflation rate.

The Championship Effect is in full effect, not just for the NCAA, but also for innovation. Contests and challenges help solve big problems. One of the biggest really problems for innovators in medicine is getting connected with the people and partners that need the new ideas, products, and services so badly.  You would think it would be easy,  but the Healthcare industry is very slow to accept new ideas. Gathering a crowd of supporters that gets behind a new idea is a great way to overcome reluctant stakeholders,  which is why crowdfunding works so well in healthcare. Crowdfunding Challenges which result in a champion, are even better thanks to the Championship Effect. The winners not only get millions of views, funding and partners, but the all important glow of being The Best.

As the latest AHA challenge begins we encourage everyone who wants to be our next Champion to apply. Also stay tuned for the playoffs on or register to attend the fimals at the AHA Health Sciences Forum in NYC on April 22nd. See you in the Winners Circle.

As always, thank you for reaching and being part of the crowd that cares about fixing healthcare faster.

This post was originally published on our blog

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