If you’ve ever considered starting a HealthTech company in the N.Y. area, there is no time like the present.
Demand for these products is high, because N.Y. State is moving the Medicaid population from fee-for-service to managed care. Providers are assessing the system as a whole and looking to tech to help them find new ways of delivering care that are cost-efficient and effective. Capital is also readily available to startups that can put together the right team and business plan. While there are no guarantees when it comes to funding, there are a multitude of resources, including local accelerators, that can help you refine your message and get access to the guidance and information you’ll need to grow your business.
The Social Media Week panel “Navigating the Funding and Resources of Health Tech Innovation in New York” covered the benefits of founding a HealthTech startup in NY. The panel included moderator Steven Krein, Co-Founder and CEO of StartUp Health, Anuj Desai, Director of Business Development for the New York eHealth Collaborative, Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of Partnership Fund for New York City, Jean-Luc Neptune, Senior Vice President of Health 2.0, and Brad Weinberg, Founding Partner of Blueprint Health.
One of the largest barriers to success mentioned was access to customers and to the insights and information needed to build specialized products within complex systems. Neptune said a common complaint he hears from startups is how difficult it is to get hospitals to move quickly enough; startups can have the lifecycle of the fruit fly, while hospitals are more like elephants. A possible solution is for startups to join accelerator programs, several of which were on the panel, as they may be able to help open doors more quickly. Krein mentioned that a positive change he’s seen in regards to access is more doctors attending HealthTech events with an interest in mentoring startups.
Krein asked if there were any areas not being talked about or served within the industry, to which Gotsch said, “Hardcore analytics on clinical outcomes.” She hopes that some interesting companies will begin to develop in this area, but that, “Until you get the records digitized and accessible, you can’t do analytics on them. It’s a little bit of a chicken and egg. We put that out there as an area we are interested in. Providers are focused on meeting these near term cases.”
Krein then asked the panel to give examples of the characteristics they’ve seen that help companies to acquire customers. Weinberg placed great importance on having a coherent pitch, “You have to go through a process where even you can get your grandma to understand what you do if she was in a decision-making role.”
“The big takeaway is NY has a lot of things going for it,” Weinberg noted. “A lot of people are working to get you into the ecosystem. The number one thing for an early stage startup is just to get customers…utilize the resources we have here.”
“New York is a great place to be because the providers are really ready for your technology,” Desai added.
“I hope everyone will see a community that is coming together and that has come together,” Krein concluded. “where entrepreneurs are at the core of the transformation of healthcare.”