On Monday night, the 14 companies participating in the semi-finals round of the 2016 Prime Health Challenge pitched their products before a panel of 25 judges. Each was given six minutes to present, followed by a four-minute question-and-answer session. By the end of the evening, six companies had been chosen to continue onto the finals round of this year’s Challenge.
Two weeks before this event, the founders of the 14 companies that had been selected as Challenge semi-finalists gathered at INDUSTRY for a speed-mentoring session. Over the course of the session, each founder met with a series of domain-area experts that included physicians, clinical researchers, and product development professionals.
These mentors offered the founders insights into how to improve several key components of their presentations, such as clinical requirements, IT integration, and study design. This mentoring session was intended to give the founders everything they needed to sharpen their pitches before Monday night.
But it was also part of a larger project.
At Prime Health, our focus is to become the number one health innovation ecosystem in the United States. To attain that ranking, we are benchmarking ourselves by more than just institutional capital invested in a geographic region.
We believe that the engagement of the healthcare system in the innovation process is vitally important if new products and services are to be quickly and safely integrated into clinical practice. For that reason, we have tried to recruit as many clinicians, executives, academics, administrators, and policy-makers as possible to serve as judges and mentors in the 2016 Prime Health Challenge.
By giving the members of the healthcare system a way to direct the course of innovation within their industry, we’re connecting the startups in our ecosystem with the insights they need to develop and iterate products that providers want to adopt. More than any other metric, we believe that engagement of this kind is the most accurate indicator of a thriving, dynamic, and productive health innovation ecosystem.
The finalists we chose on Monday night were all powerful examples of why this is the case.
Many of the startups in this year’s Challenge are led by entrepreneurs who are bringing new technologies into the healthcare industry. Throughout the 2016 Prime Health Challenge, these entrepreneurs have received advice on how to present the positive clinical impact of their innovations to healthcare providers.
After hearing the 14 semi-finalists pitch on Monday night, the 25 members of our health innovation ecosystem who had been chosen to judge them used Prime Health Qualify, our online evaluation platform, to identify which companies possessed the clearest understanding of their product, their market, and their pilot proposal. Those companies were:
As finalists of the 2016 Prime Health Challenge, these six companies will have the opportunity to prepare for a “speed-dating” event on September 29th. At this event, the founders of each company will meet with representatives from major healthcare institutions who are interested in learning more about their products.
On October 19th, the finalists will compete on stage at the EXDO Event Center in Denver, Colorado. Before an audience of hundreds, they will try to convince the representatives who they met at the speed-dating event to pilot their products. The top performing companies at the event will win a share of the $150,000 in pilot funding that has been provided for the Challenge by the Colorado Health Foundation.
From the beginning of this year’s Challenge, our intention has been to accelerate the adoption of highly effective innovations within the healthcare industry. After comprehensive analysis and lengthy deliberation, our judges have chosen these six finalists as the companies best qualified to fulfill our ecosystem’s mission, the enhancement of the healthcare delivery system through innovation.
How well an ecosystem accomplishes this is the only metric that should matter.
President & CEO