Announcing the ACC19 Innovation Challenge Finalists

AngelMD is joining forces with the American College of Cardiology to bring you the ACC19 Innovation Challenge, as part of the ACC.19 Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year, the focus is on Artificial Intelligence and Digitally-Enabled Medical Devices. We will be doing a deep dive into each of the winning companies, to be published in ACC’s Cardiology magazine.

On top of being featured in Cardiology, each winner will also receive the following:

  • A $5,000 credit toward a structured investment syndicate through AngelMD
  • A commemorative plaque presented by the ACC
  • Complimentary turnkey kiosk space at the ACC.20 Future Hub
  • Complimentary exhibit space at the ACC.20 Expo

Artificial intelligence (and relatedly, machine learning) is a hotbed topic for healthcare right now. With major medical names entering the ring, as well as companies like Apple and Amazon, AI is primed to be the topic to watch in the years to come. Here are the finalists for the ACC.19 Innovation Challenge:

Likewise, digitally-enabled medical devices are seeing some of the highest levels of investment activity. We’ve finally moved well-beyond smart watches and into a world where conditions such as hemodialysis and sudden cardiac arrest can be more closely monitored and treated through medical devices. These are the finalists from the Digitally-Enabled Medical Device category.

Join us for the ACC.19 Innovation Challenge, March 17th and 18th at the ACC’s 68th annual expo. Can’t make it to the expo? Be sure to follow AngelMD on Facebook where we will be announcing the winners as the event happens.

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Introducing the ACC.19 Innovation Challenge

Returning for its second year, the American College of Cardiology will partner with AngelMD to host the popular ACC.19 Innovation Challenge. Entrepreneurs and innovators will pitch their ideas in two categories that support cardiology. The ACC.19 Innovation Challenge is being hosted at the Future Hub Learning Destination (Expo Hall, #146) at the ACC.19 Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, LA on March 17 & 18, 2019.

Your AngelMD startup profile is your application, so make sure that it is up to date. The deadline for profile updates is January 15th, 2019. 

The Categories

Artificial Intelligence Solutions – Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is the use of algorithms and software to approximate human cognition in the analysis of complex medical data. The primary aim of health-related AI applications is to analyze relationships between prevention or treatment techniques and patient outcomes. Does your innovation have the ability to gain information, process it and give a well-defined output to improve the practice of cardiology? Apply to pitch

Digitally-Enabled Medical Devices – Utilizing digital technology to enhance your medical device innovation, providing valuable data that can be used to improves efficiency, care and outcomes. Is your medical device for cardiology enabled with digital technology? Register today.

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Lessons Learned from Lyft’s Entrance to Healthcare

We have a few mantras around AngelMD. One of those is “invest in what you know.” But recently we’ve also been focusing on the idea of “innovate where you are.” The theory is the same — you know more about the area in which you’re already working, so it makes sense to put your money or your work there.

Over the years, we’ve seen many instances where non-healthcare companies have used this same idea to break into the market. The latest of these comes from Lyft, an on-demand transportation company. Lyft is working toward building out a healthcare business unit that helps patients travel to non-emergency medical appointments. They company is focusing on its own wheelhouse, and then making key hires to help it transition into a new vertical.

Windpact is a great example of this idea. The company’s CEO is a former professional football player. He knew about the dangers of the sport, and he hired the right people to help build the solutions. Today Windpact is finding success outside of football, while still staying true to its roots, and even being recognized by the NFL.

The idea isn’t new, but it seems to come up more often these days. A few months ago, while we were at the Health:Further conference in Nashville, we heard these same suggestions. Dr. Suzanne Manzi, the Lead Investor for the AngelMD Syndicate for Neumentum, echoed the sentiment.

“I’ve seen promising companies, but sometimes they’re run by people who don’t have experience in the market that they’re trying to enter. They can have a great product, but the odds are stacked against them if they lack the background.”

That said, branching outside of your area of expertise isn’t forbidden territory. It’s a move that you have to handle in the right way. As Dr. Jack Lewin shared with us, it’s important to follow your passion, but it’s critical that what you’re following aligns with your experience. If that passion is too far removed, then find someone who can bridge the gap for your company. Otherwise you’ll be chasing problems that don’t exist.

Dr. Lewin’s example is HealthPals. Dr. Rajesh Dash started the company as little more than a lab with a single purpose. However, the market dictated that HealthPals could have a much larger impact than a single lab could provide. By partnering with the American College of Cardiology, HealthPals has been able to transform its business, while still holding true to its roots.

As the AngelMD network continues to grow, we see new companies join every day. There is nothing more motivating than watching a cardiologist, radiologist, or internist build a company that changes their field. Innovate in what you know, or connect with an expert in the AngelMD network. Are you next?

Join AngelMD Today

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Introducing AngelMD’s Strategic Alliance with the Rapacke Law Group

AngelMD is proud to announce its strategic alliance with The Rapacke Law Group. This alliance will help AngelMD members navigate the legal side of healthcare startups without the expense required to keep a lawyer on retainer. The Rapacke Law Group offers award-winning, price predictable legal counsel to AngelMD startups, physicians, and investors.

At AngelMD, we’re always excited when we find companies that can help to remove some of the heavy lifting required by startups, physicians, and investors on the network. The Rapacke Law Firm is offering a special set of benefits specifically to AngelMD members that will not only help them handle legal issues, but will also save them money in doing so.

  • Free one-hour strategy session with an experienced attorney
  • 20% off all legal services
  • Free provisional patent application
  • Up to $15k line of credit for one-year toward legal services

Patent, trademark, IP protection, business formation and M&A are areas of focus that every company and investor will encounter at some point on their journey. However, neither startups nor investors have the legal expertise to make sure that their interests are well protected. This strategic alliance with the Rapacke Law Group can help to cover these needs, while also offering legal counsel in many other areas.

For more information, or to get started, visit the AngelMD Service Partners page, and click on the Rapacke Law Group link.

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Navigating the Waters as a Physician Entrepreneur

In one of our recent articles, we focused on the problem of “I have an idea…so now what?” For the physician entrepreneur, navigating the waters building a business while practicing medicine can be a challenge. You’re being pulled from all sides — your family, your patients, your company or idea — which leaves very little time for yourself. With all that said, the appeal of entrepreneurship is something that can’t be ignored. So let’s talk about what it takes to make it happen.

Set Your Schedule

The pundits will tell you that you have to do whatever it takes to succeed, even if that means neglecting yourself. Any physician will tell you, however, that proper rest is critical to health. So instead of starting this talk by focusing on the idea and the execution, let’s instead begin with setting a schedule.

In his 2016 book The 10% Entrepreneur, Patrick J. McGinnis posits that there are several types of entrepreneurship, and you can be successful at any of them by dedicating as little as ten percent of your spare time. To put these numbers into perspective, if you dedicate from 8 until 10 pm daily to “recreation”, that’s a mere twelve minutes each day that you’d need to put toward building your idea.

Plausible? McGinnis has studies in the book that argue his case. That said, the specific amount of time isn’t as important as the practice of setting a schedule and sticking to it. This practice makes sure that not only are your responsibilities getting the time that they should, but you’re taking care of yourself as well.

Get Educated

Medical school is designed to teach you how to become a physician, not an entrepreneur. That education is better left up to a combination of those who have come before you, and your own experiences. Part of that experience comes from being a practicing physician. This is where you will find the problems that you want to solve.

The next step of education comes in learning how to run a business. After all, that’s what you’re creating. This education can come in many forms, but one of the most widely-recognized is the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs. SoPE offers opportunities for collaboration, education, and help at every stage of the commercialization process.

Events like The Physician Entrepreneur Summit are also prime opportunities for education. They can help both the newcomer and the veteran understand the fine points of business and entrepreneurship while highlighting upcoming areas in medicine that offer strong opportunities for innovation.

Whether it’s a society, an event, or a discussion over coffee, never pass up the opportunity to learn. There may not be a degree involved, but the payoff is greater than any college program could provide.

Embrace Opportunity

Opportunity as an entrepreneur takes on many forms. For some, it will be serving as an advisor. For others it will be as an investor. Look for open doors that will allow you to get involved with companies in your area of expertise, and then walk through them.

But opportunity in entrepreneurship has a less-familiar face as well — one that looks a lot like failure.

As a physician, failure is has the potential to be devastating. As an entrepreneur, failure is part of what makes you great. As Thomas Edison famously said, ” I have not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Every failure as an entrepreneur is an opportunity for you to learn. These lessons can be about your product, about your market, or about yourself. Your ability to judge in a clinical setting comes from experience. The same is true for your ability to judge opportunities and challenges in the business world.


Navigating the waters as a physician entrepreneur can be daunting. But if you know what you’re looking for, then finding it becomes a lot easier. By setting a schedule for yourself, seeking out help, and dedicating yourself to learning at every step, you will be better situated for success.

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