We spoke with Healthcare.mn, an incubator founded in 2012 by Minnesota healthcare entrepreneurs, about their work to create innovation in the healthcare industry. We love how they have invested in their community and pursued their goal of creating a vibrant Minnesota healthcare technology ecosystem with passion.
Give readers a few sentence overview of Healthcare.mn and its focus.
Healthcare.mn is an all-inclusive healthcare community that aims to provide a space for passionate healthcare innovators and thinkers. We are part of a thriving ecosystem that is on the path to establishing Minnesota as a healthcare innovation capital.
A healthy, educated, and growing population of innovators and thinkers provides a talent pipeline for our strength in healthcare research. Institutions such as Mayo Clinic, our local universities, and larger corporate sponsors provide an environment for a thriving ecosystem. We like to think of ourselves as the Silicon Valley of healthcare!
How does your program work and what do you hope to accomplish with companies going through it?
We aim to program events that cater to the desires, need, and interests of our members. We also aim to connect healthcare innovators to other people they might be interested in meeting – thus fostering and driving network growth and camaraderie.
Since starting, what have you learned that works well and what doesn’t?
Healthcare.mn is a dynamic, living community of individuals. Staying in touch with our membership has allowed us to develop our program with them in mind. Feedback, participation and cooperation have allowed us to keep our events relevant and well attended.
What is in store over the next 6 months?
Soon we will be launching our own Minnesota database, mapping out the healthcare ecosystem within Minnesota. We also plan to help raise awareness around the burgeoning Minnesota HealthTech scene.
Our Minnesota database is the big project right now as we try to map our the healthcare ecosystem within Minnesota. In addition to that we are looking to host additional events during Twin Cities Start-Up Week (TCSW) as they expand their healthcare track.
What is one piece of advice you can give to startups, given how many you meet and work with?
The two most important things – passion and sustainability. The product or service needs to be based off an intrinsic passion and desire to make the healthcare space better. Passion coupled with a business model that takes sustainability — both financially and operationally — seriously, is crucial. Know your market and stick with that, 50 people who love you and will pay more for your products can create an effective and sustainable model. 500 people who only like you, but demand lower prices cannot.
What is the state of data in healthcare, as you see it? What opportunities do you see?
Data is transforming life and the world as we know it today – not just in healthcare. The challenges lie in understanding how to incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in everyday life. There is a lot of skepticism surrounding AI and ML, and hesitance to accept complete reliance on a non-human entity. What the healthcare industry, and all other industries for that matter, need to figure out, is how to coexist with AI and ML and use it augment or provide efficiency in day to day work. Essentially, data allows us to fine tune the work we do; if applied correctly, it can help us transcend healthcare to reach wider populations, with lesser costs, eventually leading to a healthier society.
Are there any books you have read you’d like to recommend?
The Emperor of All Maladies – While not exactly startup-centric, this is a fascinating look at the history of medicine and progress through the lens of cancer treatment. Parts medicine, anthropology, history and science.
Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Medical Breakthroughs – Must-read book on medical development and how breakthroughs actually come about.
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink- Best book on leadership I’ve read in a long time.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – An amazing read on the indicators of success and how we think about the lives successful people lead. Points out that the reasons for why some people thrive or make the most of their potential often has to do with their immediate environment, and less to do with intrinsic qualities as a person.
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Image Credit: Healthcare.mn