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Health Sciences Entrepreneurs: Minding the Gap

May 4, 2015

Mind the GapToday’s Health Sciences Entrepreneurs are full of ideas, passion, visions and dreams to help improve the world we collectively share.

As I witness the evolving entrepreneurial landscape first hand, and reflect on the resources young entrepreneurs have available to them now, there is one thing that remains constant. The constant is that successful entrepreneurs effectively leverage environments of continuing education, hard work and mentorship as they look to pave an efficient and successful path ahead.

In just a few years there will be an entire graduating class entering the workforce who know nothing other than a world that includes Google. Today’s entrepreneurs have an affinity for information & data and have access to infinite amounts of both that when leveraged correctly, and applied to their ideas, can result in some of the world’s greatest new ventures.

As an entrepreneur myself, and now a mentor to some of today’s budding entrepreneurs, I look back and see how entrepreneurship wasn’t something that was in the cards growing up, in fact, it was perceived to be an “alternative route” if we wanted to pursue the idea of starting a company.

Instead, we were focused on our careers and our professions.

10 years ago I founded Northeastern University’s Health Sciences Entrepreneurs Program for two main reasons. The first, as a way to give back to the Northeastern community that had given me many of the resources I needed to be in the position I am today. And the second, to provide entrepreneurs with an intimate setting to access valuable sources of continuing education, from like-minded individuals, who have already walked a million miles in their shoes.

Over the last 10 years the program has flourished, with more than 40 companies being successfully mentored. The success of our program, and our ability to withstand the test of time, is due in large part to the four pillars at the core our mission and our approach to entrepreneurial mentoring. These four pillars are agnostic of the generation in which your entrepreneurial journey is traveling through:

  • Education
  • Funding
  • Mentoring
  • Networking

Our ability as a program to adapt to the evolving venture is also a testament to the contributions of our successful, dedicated and selfless mentors who are committed to the program’s pillars and also to the Northeastern University community.

Without our mentors selfless desire to give back, and in turn, pay forward the lessons of success each has gleaned through their own entrepreneurial journey, we wouldn’t be in the position we are today; A position that has been proven to withstand the test of time and continue to provide new entrepreneurs with the resources and education needed to become successful and efficient in their own entrepreneurial journeys.

As The Health Sciences Entrepreneurs Program looks to the future, and is mindful of the generation gap and the evolving entrepreneurial landscape, we need to remain true to our pillars.

As I see it though, there is one pillar in particular that will become more critical to focus on going forward as we “mind the gap” between when we were new entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.

That pillar is funding.

There are more angel investment groups now than there have ever been before and there are also more ideas, and more prospective entrepreneurs, than ever before.

This paradigm shift in the entrepreneurial landscape has created a truly competitive market where no single producer and no single consumer can dictate how the market will operate.

The competition for investors’ dollars is fierce and we as mentors, friends and community members need to place a greater emphasis on funding and look for ways to expand opportunities in this area to the new entrepreneurs and the younger companies in our community.

Helping our communities’ entrepreneurs gain a leg up on their competition by providing exceptional education, resources and opportunities in this area of funding, to help differentiate them from the larger competitive market, is something that we need to insight action around.

In the same regard which I identified the need for education more than 10 years ago, and founded this group on the premise that education from like minded individuals was paramount to the success of new entrepreneurs, we must not forget the students of tomorrow and the differing education that they will need to leave their footprints on the world with their successful new ventures.

As mentors we must look to each other and work together to better understand the needs of the millennial generation and find new ways to impart our collective wisdom on tomorrow’s youth while still sharing the advice and guidance that has made each of us successful at the ventures we have guided through our journey.

If you’ve ever ridden the subway in London, or “the Tube” as they affectionately refer to it as, you will see that as you step from the landing platform onto the subway car, a sign that reads, “Mind the Gap.” The sign is not new, nor is the subway system, but yet the sign remains there to help those traveling avoid any missteps or stumbles as they go from point A to point B.

As mentors we must be the ones to mind the gap between the generation we became entrepreneurs in and the generation that is getting their start now. We must remember the four pillars that this group was founded on and help mentor our students so that they don’t stumble on their way from point A to point B.

A Healthy Dose of Mentorship

May 4, 2015

With more than 40 companies founded by Northeastern alumni, students, and faculty, the startup incubator known as Health Sciences Entrepreneurs has reason to celebrate in 2015—10 years since HSE’s inception and five since it first offered mentoring services. Among its many successes are an app to help nurses improve patient safety, a 3-D printer that crafts prototypes for designers and engineers, and synthetic voice technology that creates customized voices for people whose speech is impaired.

Read the full article on News@Northeastern

Nightingale Apps – Getting to Know your Patient

November 14, 2014

by Ben Bungert

“How do nurses get to know their patients?” This is the question Tiffany Kelley first wondered several years ago after working with nurses following the implementation of an electronic health record system. Then nearly 2 years ago, her observations of inefficient and fragmented ways for nurses to access and use information for the delivery of patient care, became the Launchpad for her venture, Nightingale Apps. (more…)

How entrepreneurs can develop the right mix of confidence and humility

October 31, 2014

Tim Maliyil

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11:59am EDT

“Fake it until you make it” is a common expression in the startup community, but this attitude is best reserved for a limited audience. In truth, a great idea with zero capital plus arrogance is a recipe for complete and utter failure. (more…)

Ask the entrepreneur: 3Qs with Nightingale Apps

October 30, 2014

Tiffany Kelley, MS/MBA’08, rec­og­nized a need for better tools to help nurses and improve patient care. She set out to fix that problem and founded Nightin­gale Apps, a health infor­ma­tion tech­nology com­pany offering mobile appli­ca­tions aimed at improving safety and increasing effi­ciency for nurses deliv­ering direct patient care in hos­pital set­tings. She is now devel­oping the venture’s ini­tial product, Know My Patient. We asked Kelley to share her inspi­ra­tion for her busi­ness and what she’s learned along the way.


Nurses put the ‘RN’ in entrepreneur

October 30, 2014

On Tuesday at North­eastern, three inno­v­a­tive nurses shared how they’ve melded their med­ical training and entre­pre­neurial spirit to pro­vide health­care pro­fes­sionals and patients with enhanced health­care services. (more…)

Alum earns entrepreneurship award for startup

July 23, 2014

When Asan­terabi Malima was 15, his father suf­fered a fatal heart attack at 57. He had been an accom­plished scholar and min­ister in the Tan­zanian gov­ern­ment. “Everyone in my family is in pol­i­tics,” said Malima, PhD’13, a grad­uate of the Depart­ment of Elec­trical and Com­puter Engi­neering and now a post­doc­toral researcher in Northeastern’s Center for High Rate Nanoman­u­fac­turing.

They all expected he’d keep with the family busi­ness, but his father’s early passing set Malima on a dif­ferent course. “My pas­sion was always to develop some kind of tech­nology to diag­nose dis­eases ear­lier, to come up with some­thing that wouldn’t save my father, since he’d already passed away, but may save some­body else’s parent,” Malima said.


Funding tips for startup ventures

March 27, 2014

Entre­pre­neurs and startup hope­fuls looking to make an impact in the health sci­ences industry received funding tips from ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists and angel investors in a panel dis­cus­sion last week at North­eastern University.

The event, held Wednesday in West Vil­lage F, was hosted by the university’s Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs pro­gram, an alumni group ded­i­cated to fos­tering entre­pre­neur­ship in the rapidly evolving world of health care. The pro­gram was founded in 2005 by Joseph Fleming, PAH’70, MS’71, and a small group of entre­pre­neurs who wanted to teach stu­dents about entre­pre­neur­ship. It launched its mentor pro­gram in 2010; since then, about 30 com­pa­nies have offered their exper­tise and guid­ance to North­eastern stu­dents, fac­ulty, and alumni.

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 in review

January 8, 2014

Exciting new ven­tures, pow­erful advice for young inno­va­tors, and the down-​​low on Northeastern’s range of resources for entre­pre­neurs were all on dis­play last week during Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week.


The Power of Mentoring: Inside the Mentor/Venture Experience at Northeastern

November 21, 2013

HSE was proud to present this exciting panel discussion during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 featuring Bradley Waugh, CEO and President or Tunstall Americas. Participants learned of the valuable effects of mentoring both from the mentor’s side and the ventures experiences and about mentoring programs at Northeastern from the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs and IDEA program. Watch a video of the presentation!