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J Med Internet Res. 2014 Aug 6;16(8):e184. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3390.

Promoting business and entrepreneurial awareness in health care professionals: lessons from venture capital panels at medicine 2.0 conferences.

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Center for Medical Decidion Making, Ono Academic College, Kiryat Ono, Israel.


There are few mechanisms that bring the academic and business worlds together in a way that would maximize the success of health technology (health tech) start-ups by increasing researchers' knowledge about how to operate in the business world. Existing solutions (eg, technology transfer offices and dual degree MD/MBA programs) are often unavailable to researchers from outside the institution or to those who have already completed their primary education, such as practicing physicians. This paper explores current solutions and offers a partial solution: include venture capital (VC) panels in medical conferences. These VC panels educate academics on 2 important and interconnected issues: how to "pitch" their ideas in the business world and what to consider when creating a company. In these sessions, academia-based start-up companies present their ideas before a VC panel composed of professional investors and receive feedback on their idea, business plan, and presentation techniques. Recent panel recommendations from Medicine 2.0 conferences fell into 7 categories: (1) the product, service, or idea you are developing into a company, (2) determine market forces and identify the target audience, (3) describe your competitive advantage, (4) the business plan, (5) current and future resources and capabilities, (6) legal aspects, and (7) general advice on the art of pitching. The academic and business literature validates many of these recommendations suggesting that VC panels may be a viable and cost-effective introduction to business and entrepreneurial education for physicians and other health care professionals. Panels benefit not only the presenting companies, but also the physicians, psychologists, and other health care professionals attending the session. Incorporating VC panels into academic conferences might also illuminate the need for incorporating relevant business training within academia.


business pitch; capital funding, telehealth, eHealth, mobile health, health technology, technology transfer; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship programs; health 2.0; health technology; start-up

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