One of the biggest advantages of pursuing an MBA in New York City is to get the opportunity to attend events and meet industry professionals from a variety of fields. One of the technology entrepreneurship events that I attended was a cross between a TED Talk and an open mic night. The event provided an excellent networking opportunity within NYC healthcare tech industry, differing opinions about tech in healthcare from the two featured speakers, and the chance to learn from the audience members. I was drawn to this event because speakers were encouraged to share learnings from their entrepreneurial journey rather than pitching about their company.
Go early to events.
I arrived about 30 mins early and interacted with the CEO of the company that organized the event. I learned that the company hosts such events every quarter where they attract health-tech entrepreneurs. I met an MBA student who also works as a Pharmacist. He shared that pharmacies use machine learning tools to predict and fill prescriptions in the pharmacy. I also met with a founder of a health tech marketing organization who works with other healthcare companies to market their products.
After initial networking conversations, it was time to hear from the two featured speakers. The first speaker kicked off the session and focused on the importance of new tech advances to provide health care using online platforms. This contrasted with the second speaker who did not fully embrace the importance of tech in healthcare and instead highlighted that best healthcare means providing better care and not the tech tools that aid in providing that care.
During early stages of a new product idea, surround yourself with optimistic people.
Some of the learnings from this talk were – it is difficult to find and convince a co-founder to team up with, rally people around your idea especially in the early days. Your idea won’t be stolen so start socializing it now! He also emphasized that ideas are fragile at the start, so it is better to surround yourself with optimistic people first; make your idea look real by creating wireframes even if you don’t have a real product yet; use that as your Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and this will make your idea look real. Additionally, it will trick others and yourself into believing it. He further noted that even if you’re launching in a few months, start signing up people early and start putting thoughts into writing to help streamline your thought process. He shared that the MVP for his company was just 3 slides with rendered website images to make it look real. His key takeaway was your idea should have a big finish and easy start while making your idea appeal to diverse stakeholders such as in engineering, marketing, and finance, because, then more people would have fine-tuned the idea using their professional expertise.
Listen and appreciate differing viewpoints.
The second speaker was a physician and a founder of a modern sports medicine clinic. Throughout the talk, he strongly emphasized that in the healthcare industry clinical care and customer experience are more relevant than the technology behind it. During his talk, I also learned about new Apple medical record API. He equated learning about machine learning and AI in healthcare to learning about rocket science by villagers – which in his opinion is not that useful. I did not completely agree with his opinion, but I appreciated listening to his viewpoint. It was good to hear a different perspective which was not in line with every other opinion I hear around me.
After the two featured speakers, there was an open mic session where audience members could share their entrepreneurial learnings.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this event especially meeting and hearing from the entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry. Differing opinions about the use of tech by two featured speakers made the event really stand out for me. It also gave me the opportunity to learn about a completely different industry.