Lessons Learned From Past Pilot Health Tech Winners
By Andrew O'Shaughnessy, Tech and Bioscience Project Manager, Center for Economic Transformation
This week, 90 entrepreneurs and healthcare leaders attended a standing-room-only information session for Pilot Health Tech NYC at The Alexandria Center for Life Science – NYC.
Last year's Pilot winners joined Lenzie Harcum, VP of NYCEDC’s Center for Economic Transformation, and Jean-Luc Neptune, SVP at Health 2.0, on a panel to share their experiences partnering to pilot new technologies that make New Yorkers healthier. The panelists included:
- Eli Camhi, Executive Director, SelectHealth at VNSNY CHOICE
- Dave Gaur, Co-Founder, Vital Care Services
- Roy M. Gulick, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College
- Eric Leven, CEO, Rip Road
- Josh Stein, CEO, AdhereTech
Over the course of the evening, panelists shared key lessons from their experiences with the 2013 program, which curated 200 matchmaking sessions between startups and major ‘host’ institutions like Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Mount Sinai Health System. After companies and hosts joined forces to pilot a project, they competed for $1,000,000 in funding from Pilot Health Tech NYC.
The audience had insightful questions about finding the right partner, navigating medical bureaucracy, and implementing rigorous pilot projects. Consistently, panelists returned to the necessity of building like-minded teams and maintaining clear communication.
“Hosts are looking for partners, not just products,” said Eli Camhi of VNSNY.
"Finding those partners is worth the effort," observed Eric Leven of Rip Road.
“Share your goals with your partner immediately,” advised Dr. Gulick of Weill Cornell. “We talked about them in our very first call,” he said, referring to his Pilot partner, Josh Stein, CEO of AdhereTech.
For startups, Pilot is a unique opportunity to meet top-flight clients in quick succession, all while there is money on the table to keep everyone focused on launching a project together.
Last year, Pilot matched 150 health tech startups with 25 hosts across NYC, including major health systems, specialty hospitals, and clinics. It also funded 10 pilots from 41 competitive joint applications.
Altogether, winning companies from Pilot 2013 have raised nearly $20 million and are set to enroll more than 1,000 New Yorkers in Pilot-funded projects.