Event Proves that Innovation is Thriving in Minnesota started off the year with a bang with the “Overview of Healthcare Innovation Projects in MN” packed-house event this past Monday.  The night was stuffed with predictions of 2016 healthcare trends by local experts and pitches from startups operating in the healthcare space.  A perfect morsel of this sector of Minnesota’s life science economy.

The event was held at Worrell Inc, a global product development company headquartered in Minneapolis.  This business works with startups and large corporations alike.  They take products from the concept stage all the way through engineering, design, and optimization, to hand off the product to a manufacturer.  

The night was kicked off by leading experts in Minnesota’s healthcare field- including Jodi Hubler of Lemhi Ventures, Kunjorn Chambundabongse “KC” of Optum, independent healthcare consultant Keith Toussaint, Nick Wassenberg and Libby Johnson of Gravie, and Bob Johnson from the Minnesota Department of Health- sharing their predicted trends for 2016.

And what do these experts see for the healthcare field in the not too distant future?  They predicted continued investment in the healthcare space for companies rooted in product and discipline.  They stressed leveraging the established ecosystem we have in Minnesota to help each other succeed, because we only help ourselves by helping others as well, a premise the state was built on.  These experts predicted the generation of a knowledge economy in healthcare, where intelligence can effectively be managed and understood and patients function as a vital part of the healthcare team.  They also see group health insurance plans moving into the individual market, leading to extreme cost savings across the board.

Next, it was local startups turn in the spotlight.  A total of twenty-three startups gave quick, sixty second pitches; just enough to entice and pull in the audience.  These small businesses are operating in a variety of pockets in the healthcare space including data analysis and collection, women’s health, diagnostics, medical device, social networking applications, and digital health.

You can revisit all the excitement of the evening with the Twitter hashtag #healthcaremn.  The group’s next event is Tuesday, February 15th, highlighting maternal mortality issues in conjunction with the startup Ova Woman.

This event proved that innovation and entrepreneurship are surely thriving in Minnesota.  Let’s keep pushing those boundaries.