Blueprint Health: A Promising Start!
On Thursday, March 29, 2012, the newly created NYC-based digital health start-up incubator, Blueprint Health, held its demo day, where the nine companies in its first class pitched their business ideas to a 500+ crowd of entrepreneurs, investors, and large healthcare players.
By in large, the event, the presentations, and more broadly the program Blueprint Health ran for the past 3 months were a resounding success. The event was tightly run. The presentations were well crafted and reflected the tremendous amount of work the teams poured into it. The audience was large, diverse, and engaged. Overall, the event reflected an incredible appetite from investors and corporate partners for new digital health ventures that could change the face of healthcare.
Quality is Key
The digital health entrepreneurial eco-system is still very new. The high-flying start-ups, eye-catching valuations, and lucrative exists are yet to come. But the quality and believability of the companies coming out of the various digital health incubators today is critical to set this new entrepreneurial area on the best trajectory.
Indeed, strong ideas and teams are required to attract top-tier customers, business partners, and investors. The coalescing of those top resources around high-quality ventures will increase the chances of producing high-flying businesses. Success stories will, in turn, inspire legions of new entrepreneurs. Successful ventures will create satisfied customers and investors who will only want more. Finally, successful entrepreneurs will morph into mentors that will in turn coach the next crop of digital health entrepreneurs.
A Strong Start
From a quality standpoint, Blueprint Health, with its first class, is off from a good start. Many, if not all, of the business ideas presented address a specific, tangible, and real problem in our current healthcare system (see here for an overview of the presenting companies). Most companies have already signed up either pilot customers or business partners. A good number of them has also secured capital towards the Seed round of investing they are raising.
This is a great base to start from. While a majority of the ideas presented were strong, there is already room for improvements. For example, few of the ideas presented had clear barriers of entries. Strong barriers of entries are often a key consideration by potential investors since without potent barriers of entries, it is quite easy, for a new entrant, to replicate a successful product or service on short order and grab half of the market from the innovator. With a few improvements here and there, a lot of the ideas presented could become the seeds of striving businesses the eco-system needs to “make a dent on the universe”.
So congratulations to Blueprint Health and to the nine teams for such a great start. Keep up with the good work. And let’s all join in this effort as something quite exciting and promising is, without a doubt, happening in New York City.
My very best,
Fred Zussa (@fzussa)