15 Things Overheard at Startup Weekend NYC’s Health Innovation Panel

This post was written by Kimberly Kyle Hall, our moderator for the panel, and Co-Lead Organizer for our Health + Fitness Edition, coming on June 12 to 14, 2015. Tickets on sale here.

From left to right, Dr. Bobby Green, an attendee asking a question, Derek Flanzraich, Michael Kopko, Fon Powell, and Dr. Calvin Hwang
From left to right, Dr. Bobby Green of Flatiron Health, an attendee asking a question, Derek Flanzraich of Greatist, Michael Kopko of Oscar Health Insurance, Fon Powell of SALT LLC, and Calvin Hwang of CityMD. (Photos by Frank Fukuchi)

For our second “pre-event” leading up to our Health + Fitness Edition in NYC (the first being a ride with SoulCycle!), Startup Weekend NYC hosted a panel to discuss innovation and growth opportunities in the Healthcare Industry. This was a sold out event held at WeWork Soho Lounge, and included a group meditation facilitated by Buddhify. We were fortunate to be joined by:

  • Derek Flanzraich: Founder and CEO of Greatist
  • Dr. Bobby Green: VP of Clinical Strategy of Flatiron Health
  • Calvin Hwang: CXO of CityMD
  • Mike Kopko: Head of Business Development of Oscar Health Insurance
  • Fon Powell: Founder of SALT (Sodium Analyte Level Test LLC)

After an hour of very lively discussion and facilitating questions from the attendees, we pulled together this list of 15 things that were most interesting points to come from the event:

  1. Healthcare is having a tremendous moment now!
  2. Surprisingly, numbers point to the reality that millennials are not any healthier than their age group was a generation ago.
  3. NYC is a “startup” startup-scene.
  4. Let’s get doctors doing more doctor stuff less administrative work.
  5. Opportunities around the “consumerization” of healthcare have never been so numerous and fantastic!
  6. NYC is offering startups incredible science and technology resources to build amazing Health tech solutions.
  7. It’s exciting to hear about how technology is completely changing how an entire industry is operating.
  8. I am not sure we are seeing another industry be so completely disrupted.
  9. Building a company in the healthcare space is challenging but knowing those unique differences can make or break a company.
  10. Preventive health is a broader and more impactful approach to health living!
  11. We need to create partnerships in healthcare to help push prevention to the forefront of people mindset.
  12. An integrated view of health history is super important to provide consumers with the best tools to work with doctors.
  13. Healthcare very scattered, not enough focus on patients and patient care specifically. Data will change things!
  14. Responsibility around regulations and privacy is very high.
  15. NYC offering next level tech talent and a great consumer base for consistent growth!

8 Reasons From Buzzfeed

This June, some of New York City’s top health companies including WebMD, Oscar Health, Blueprint Health, Flatiron Health, City MD, SALT, Breather, Startup Health, Blink, Hacking Health, IBM Watson are teaming up with Startup Weekend NYC to help you launch the next BIG IDEA in Health and Fitness.

In case you need more reasons to attend our upcoming events (sign up below!), we turned to BuzzFeed to give you 8 reasons to join us this June.

See why past attendees have said that Startup Weekend is "life changing."
See why past attendees have said that Startup Weekend is “life changing.”
  1. When you put technology into the hands of people who are passionate about helping others, miracles like this are possible: http://www.buzzfeed.com/candacelowry/doctors-were-able-to-give-this-blind-woman-a-3d-print-of-her#.un2NZ3vYd
  1. There MUST be a solution to reduce the time spent solving these types of questions: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/things-patients-say-to-doctors#.forMaPr16
  1. We’re inspired by the cardiologist who built an app to help children with heart defects: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemlee/this-yale-doctor-is-coding-his-own-iphone-health-app#.le2RW0G3L
  1. Healthcare professionals are human and have so many questions. So. Many. Questions. http://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/pieces-of-medical-wisdom-from-30-rocks-dr-leo-spaceme#.clzk14x8N
  1. Move over pagers, Apple Watch already has apps specifically built for clinicians: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemlee/doctors-will-soon-talk-to-each-other-through-the-apple-watch#.pcEban4X7
  1. There has to better ways to improve the patient experience other than letting Oculus Rift do product demos at the dentist office: http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/just-a-relaxing-trip-to-the-dentist#.auyRoeO94
  1. Disney’s hit movie, Big Hero 6, was all about big ideas that are possible when technology meets healthcare and we secretly hope that Baymax, your personal healthcare companion, will be a real thing one day: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonwillmore/6-reasons-to-fall-in-love-with-disneys-big-hero-6#.xvamKYDNn
  1. When awesome, passionate people get together, there’s no limit to what can be created in a weekend: http://www.buzzfeed.com/doctorbuzzfeed/14-everyday-things-nurses-can-do-better-than-you-mkr6#.kiGlKk59y

Kick-off your summer by joining Startup Weekend NYC at our upcoming Health + Fitness events:

June 4th: How The Health Industry Is Attracting The World’s Top Problem Solvers

June 12-14: Startup Weekend Health + Fitness Edition (our classic 54 hour event!)

We look forward to seeing you there and please spread the word. Share this post and email nyc@startupweekend.org with any questions.

Startup Weekend is a 501(c) 3 non-profit that brings together the entrepreneurial, web development and design communities for one weekend with one goal: It’s a 54 hour challenge to launch a business. Here’s a quick video of one of our events in NY: watch.

The weekend consists of 3 main parts Pitch, Build, Present. Friday night, pitch night, everyone with an idea gets one minute to pitch their idea for a business to the crowd. The crowd votes on the top 10-20 ideas (depending on crowd size), and teams form to build the foundations of the business and develop a presentation and pitch.  Teams build all day Saturday and until mid afternoon on Sunday.  Finally, Sunday is demo day, when teams will have the opportunity to present their ideas to the judges panel, the rest of the teams/participants, demo-day ticket holders, press, investors and industry leaders.

Let's talk about the birds and the B2Bs

New York City will host its first business-to-business (B2B) themed Startup Weekend event on May 15-17, sponsored by Intuit. In preparation for this event, we gathered a panel of experts and passionate entrepreneurs at WeWork Fulton Center on April 29th to share inside knowledge and firsthand stories about some of toughest challenges in launching a B2B startup. If you missed the B2B panel event or want to relive the highlights, here is a recap of all the top inside tips and takeaways.

Moderator Cyndi Knapic with our panelists: Jeff Ragovin, Meredith Wood, Yves Lawson and Marisa Garcia

Defining B2B (vs B2C)

At its core, a B2B is a business supplying a service/product to another business. Meredith Wood, Editor-in-Chief at Fundera, highlighted that B2B companies aim to address a real need, whether it is to streamline processes or increase efficiencies, whereas there is more “want” involved in the purchase decision for business-to-consumer (B2C) products. Wood also noted that there is often a larger barrier to entry when starting a B2B company and stressed the importance of market trust, which was echoed by all the panelists. At a B2C level, the purchase decision ultimately affects the one consumer, but at a B2B level, the decision could impact tens, thousands of people, hence the additional barriers and security/privacy concerns.

The panel was quick to address other differences such as pointing out that B2B sales models are completely different and often more complex. For example, the sale of a candy bar to an individual, which only involves the store and the customer, was compared to the licensing of a candy bar which involves a whole team of lawyers and licensing agreements. For a B2C company, the challenge is to spread the product far and wide. Conversely, for B2B companies, Marisa Garcia, Director of Retail Engagement at JOOR, addressed the need to focus on building good relationships that lead to success. She encouraged attendees to identify key players, validating your product, and finding a good market fit.

Wood noted that, unlike working with enterprises, selling to a small business is scarily similar to selling to a consumer and that a lot of B2C platforms, such as Facebook, work great in the B2B space as well. Most small businesses use Facebook and being active on the same platforms as your customers can be helpful for establishing trust with your target audience. In fact, when asked about what category companies such as Etsy, Seamless, and Google fall into, Jeff Ragovin, Managing Partner at Ragovin Ventures and co-founder of Buddy Media, pointed out that there are there is another category, of business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) companies. For example, businesses are increasingly using Seamless to feed their staff, a rare occurrence that blurs the line of the capacities a B2C company can fulfill, usually seen with enterprise platforms.

B2B trends and opportunity

Ragovin declared that the mobile is a huge opportunity for B2B startups. The average person reaches for their phone over 100 times a day and as the mobile landscape evolves, everything is becoming mobile first. More importantly, Google recently announced that they have changed search results to prioritize mobile-friendly websites. The takeaway: in order to disrupt the B2B marketplace, think ‘Mobile First.’

Yves Lawson, Vice President of Technology Strategy for Bank of New York Mellon, noted that the success of apps such as Robin Hood are demonstrating a paradigm shift in a FinTech space that used to be highly specialized for the wealthy. The same tools for wealth management and growth advisors are now available for everyone, impacting the economy on how we see wealth in the future.

Success in the B2B space starts with empathy

Overall, the panel had a lot of great advice for the attendees but all of them stressed the importance of gaining trust and providing great customer service as keys to success in the B2B space. Lawson stated that the B2B companies that stand out from the rest are the ones that go far with relationships and maintain good customer service, even if a companies has messed up or made a mistake.

Garcia highlighted the importance of empathizing with your customers. Her recommendation was to consistently ask yourself, “How can [I] make my customers’ lives easier?” and stressed the power of engaging people in conversations to demonstrate that you really understand the customer’s pain points. After all, “how can an entrepreneur really solve [your customer’s] needs or problems if you don’t feel their pain?” She shared about how a strong understanding of JOOR’s customers helped the company to create a product that consumers are more likely to adopt and find useful.

For Wood, was the most important aspect of a B2B product is how much time it can save businesses. She claimed, “People are willing to spend more if you can save them time. Time is money, as you can convert saved time into monetary value.” She cited that there were products she stopped using because it made more work than the time it saved.

Furthermore, she compared startups to a newborn baby as an analogy to drive home the importance of getting customer validation advising to “let your children go out and play with other people.” She also importance of a great user experience and customer service, getting products in front of early users and acquiring feedback.

Good customer service, networking, and partnerships

All four panelists agreed that knowing your market is the first step in starting in the B2B space, because considerations for working with a small business versus an enterprise company can be a very different experience. For example, Lawson noted that when working with large enterprises, it is helpful to reference competitors or other notable companies who use your product or service.

However, regardless of size, the panel agreed that responsiveness and customer service applies to all B2B companies. Citing how a small blunder could turn into a national headline as seen with airline companies as an example, the panel suggested that establishing a responsive and quality customer service system, by leveraging tools such as Twitter and Zendesk, will not only build trust but also demonstrate credibility that will ultimately win customers. The panel also suggested making the effort to always be reachable and to show that there is accountability to build customer trust.

Ragovin encouraged attendees to keep their networks fresh and emphasized that networking is really a two-way street that is much more fulfilling when you’re willing to “pay it forward.” He urged attendees to think about how they could help others, and noted that people are generally willing to meet when ideas are constantly being exchanged. From a business side, he accentuated the need to focus on providing actual solutions to fix your customer’s problem. If your product is not fixing a problem, there is no need for it and it needs to be reevaluated.

For smaller businesses, Wood shared how partnerships with accountants, or experts in her target market, has helped her to reach her ideal audience, noting that most small business owners will trust their accountant over everyone else. Additionally, working with trade associations is also helpful for reaching small businesses in specific industries.

In closing, Garcia highlighted the power of the network effect of getting your fans and customers to promote your brand for you. She emphasized the impact of word of mouth marketing, which ultimately comes from providing good customer service and satisfaction, bringing us full circle with yet another example of why customer service is key for launching a B2B startup.

Ready to launch the next big B2B idea?

To inspire the audience, each panelist shared a few of their favorite B2B products that they use frequently: Salesforce, FreshBooks, Facebook, Lightspeed, Intuit, and CoSchedule. If you’re ready to launch your next idea that solves a problem that businesses face, come meet some of the panelists and additional NYC based B2B mentors at the next Startup Weekend B2B Edition on May 15- 17. Don’t miss your chance to register! Tickets always sell out.

Heads up: special prizes from our sponsors at Intuit will be offered to the top ideas that incorporate the Intuit API to help small businesses. We encourage you to check out more info on getting started with Intuit Developer by clicking here.

If you have any questions about the upcoming event, please email the organizing team at nyc@startupweekend.org.

Moderator Cyndi Knapic with our panelists: Jeff Ragovin, Meredith Wood, Marisa Garcia and Yves Lawson
Moderator Cyndi Knapic with our panelists: Jeff Ragovin, Meredith Wood, Marisa Garcia and Yves Lawson

5 Things to Expect at a Startup

As a soon-to-be or recent grad, you’re chomping at the bit to jump into the workforce. You’ve got a stellar resume and awesome references, but where to begin? You could take the typical route of college grads and pound the pavement in pursuit of a corporate gig. But maybe you’re looking for a little more excitement and a little less routine, a company that veers off the beaten path and forges its own trail. If you want to be a part of something from the ground up, a startup could be just the place to launch your career.

What exactly will it mean to work at a new uncharted business? Before you fire off your resume, you should know a little bit about what you’re getting into. Here’s a list of five things you can expect—and look forward to—if you work at a startup:

1) Be Ready to Wear Many Hats

When your team is small, as it inevitably will be in the beginning, you’ll likely be assigned tasks not directly in your line of duty. One moment you might be doing competitor research, the next you might be negotiating vendor agreements and the next you could be ordering toilet paper for the office. In your daily grind, you’ll undoubtedly get to dig into projects that would be out of reach in a typical entry-level position.

2) Change Is the Only Constant

In the world of startups, change is the only constant—so you’d better be flexible. The company could decide to pivot in a new direction. Or employee growth could make you go from the sole business development associate to the head of sales in a matter of weeks. It might be as simple as changing priorities from mid-morning to the afternoon. If it pains you to switch gears all day long, or you’re on the retentive side when it comes to your to-do list, then steer clear. But if you’re game for variety, you’ve got the startup mentality.

3) 100% Mindshare

You won’t be punching a clock the same way you would at an established company. Startups have a smaller window to get results, which may mean logging extra hours to ramp up the business. Your contributions won’t be confined to the office—if you even have one— and your schedule will probably include late-night brainstorming sessions over pizza. More than your hours, your passion and productivity will be key. You should expect to have 100% mindshare, which may involve eating, breathing and sleeping with the wellbeing of the company on your mind.

4) The Payoff

You shouldn’t join a startup solely on the off chance it could be the next big social network. Join one because you want to roll up your sleeves and be involved in the thrilling nitty-gritty of growing a business. You can make an average entry-level salary ($35K-$45K) and have the opportunity to earn a small equity share in the business. Not all startups will enjoy outrageous success, but those that excel tend to generously reward the individuals who have invested their time and talents to grow the business. Financial compensation aside, you are getting the chance to be involved in something awesome, so enjoy the journey.

5) Unlimited Potential

Career trajectory at a startup isn’t linear. There may be no distinct corporate ladder to climb, but there’s the potential for a big upside if you’re smart, motivated and committed. You could start in customer service and be promoted to managing the entire 20 person customer service team in 3 months. Once you prove yourself, you’ll rise in the organization and gain valuable skills and experience. If the company takes off, you’ll be invited along for the ride.

Sound exciting and worth a gander? Go for it—make the bold move and explore opportunities with a startup today. If you don’t know where to begin, start your search with Lynxsy.

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