Nowadays when I meet with a physician, it’s typically not a about a health issue. It’s about an idea they have for a new product, a new service or start-up company.
No matter how many times this happens, my ears always perk up. Physicians are highly educated, highly intelligent and natural problem-solvers. The world in which they operate (no pun intended) is technology rich. At the same time, healthcare reform is challenging physicians and the healthcare system at large to do things differently, to innovate and act as change agents. Physicians constantly ask themselves, how can I do this better? When the answer presents itself, it’s often a very good idea.
Late last year, Pete Turner and I met after being introduced by a VisionTech board member, to talk about forming a new partnership to co-develop and advance healthcare innovations. Pete is the vice president for innovation at Community Launchpad, Community Health Network’s innovation accelerator, and a division of Visionary Enterprises, Inc., the wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of Community Health Network. This healthcare-focused innovation accelerator is unique; it was established to encourage and support innovation and technology creation by physicians and other healthcare providers.
I was immediately interested. VisionTech Angels’ investment portfolio currently has seven healthcare-related companies whose leadership or advisory teams include physicians. I have personally been involved with highly successful physician-led ventures. Great things come from these folks.
Thus began a series of discussions with Pete. Our collaboration would focus on identifying emerging medical innovations, with both organizations applying their respective skills, programs, and networks to bring opportunities to the marketplace. It did not take long for us to reach an agreement; the VisionTech Partners-Community Launchpad agreement was formally announced on February 11.
This is exactly the type of partnership VisionTech Partners and VisionTech Angels seek for two reasons. First, it allows our group to leverage our knowledge base and our networks of business and investing experts to advance the commercialization process of promising new technologies and startup companies in Indiana. Secondly, it provides VisionTech Angels with a solid deal flow of investment opportunities in healthcare, a hot space to be. It also opens the door for a more collaborative effort to provide investment opportunities to a qualified network of investors in the Community Health Network.