The core of the idea hasn’t changed since he first pitched it at Startup Weekend Fort Worth: a marketplace that more efficiently matches potential clinical trial volunteers with medical researchers. Currently it can be expensive and slow for researchers to recruit volunteers for trials, particularly for rare conditions. The application process for patients can be tedious, and acceptance rates are low. If the patient wants to apply for another trial, he or she must complete another application. Clinicalsoultions.io provides a marketplace where patients can enter their medical data once and are then able to apply for any number of trials quickly and easily. It then analyzes applicants’ profiles against the research criteria for each trial, and provides pre-screened profiles to researchers. The service is free for patients. Researchers only pay a fee if they agree that a profile offered as a potential match is a good fit for their trial.
At startup weekend, a team of five came together around the idea. Irving had never met any of them before, but together they validated the market, developed the business plan, and built a mockup over the course of the weekend. At the end of the weekend they were awarded first place.
The team did not continue working on the idea after the weekend, but Irving continued to develop the idea as a class project in design. Later Adam Shed, who was on the Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014 team with Irving; Stacey Gullen, who had been on the same team as Irving at an earlier startup weekend in Dallas; and Seth Dorris, who Irving had previously served with in the U.S. Army, each joined the team.
From Irving’s point of view, the best part of startup weekend is that everyone has to present. Even if you don’t pitch an idea, you have to talk about your skills and interests in finding a team to be a part of. In that way, startup weekend can sort people by similar interests and help them find useful collaborations.
Having participated in a few startup weekends, Irving suggests that people spend too much of the short time for their pitch focusing on the idea. He recommends giving more information about your background, particularly the insight it gives you to the problem, and the kinds of people you’re looking to have be a part of the team.
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