Published on July 23, 2015

This post was previously on the Pathfinder Software site. Pathfinder Software changed its name to Orthogonal in 2016. Read more.

We asked Ateet Adhikar, Director of Healthbox to write a guest post with his perspective on the space:

Building a bridge between innovators and startups within the often-challenging healthcare industry is what Healthbox is all about. Today, our business focuses on accelerators to help the healthcare industry, which is in desperate need of higher level innovation.

By providing seed capital, guidance and investment, our team is able to usher companies through the development process and connect them to industry leaders. Healthbox has 24 strategic partners nationwide — business leaders who are interested in being more innovative, and who find Healthbox to be a really powerful vehicle for connecting them to innovators. These relationships allow for national development and promotion so that startups and innovators can really get their products out there. We want to see our companies achieve their goals.

Healthbox is in it for the long haul – from the initial startup to product development, marketing and beyond. We work very, very closely with our portfolio companies – especially those that need our continued support. We want to make sure that we are doing everything that we can for them. Our model isn’t to simply churn out as many businesses as possible – we champion our clients from the very start, and continue our relationship with clients complete our program.

After a few years of playing in the innovation field, we’ve been able to see what it takes to transform an innovation into a successful product or service. We’ve cultivated a solid, expert-driven environment that creates success. To date, we’ve run seven accelerators and invested in 56 companies. Although we have invested in several different technologies and solutions, we find the most successful companies typically have specific commonalities.

The Secret Sauce – Tips for Success

  • Market Traction – Getting your company and product in front of the right people is critical to a successful campaign. Research your marketplace and focus on marketing to people or investors who need or understand the need for your product. Getting user insight from the health industry on how they view your solution and getting feedback from your first set of pilots is absolutely vital to your company’s success.
  • Development Methodology – It’s all about the iterations! Successful companies build in response to a need. There’s an advantage to getting your product into the market for testing, then incorporating your findings into the next iteration. Building what people need or will use is key.
  • Underlying Passion for a Solution – Innovation isn’t just about making money. Having a connection to the problem and a passion for finding a solution can truly help a company thrive. Wanting to see the system work better for a loved one or for yourself is a very strong motivator for innovation.
  • High Level of Accountability – Being absolutely willing to be the “do-er” is critical. Successful entrepreneurs have to be willing to get their hands dirty, and accept that no task is below them.
  • Execution is Key – The successful people are the ones who can really, really execute plans. We’ve met a lot of very smart people who can analyze problems and develop solutions, but transforming concepts and prototypes into sales is hard, and not everyone is up to the task. People who are really able to execute are the difference-makers.

Innovation is difficult, and creating a successful product or service is even more challenging. However, help is out there at Healthbox for companies and entrepreneurs who are willing to dive in and accept the challenge.