Technology is your friend sometimes and, on other occasions, it’s not.
In the case of yesterday’s sixth edition of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s (EC) “Pitch for Good” series, it was, then it wasn’t and finally it was again. Like the very philosophy that the EC espouses to its entrepreneurs, the team quickly adapted to unforeseen circumstances, pivoting from one virtual platform to another and held the competition in record time.
I think I have attended each of the previous editions of the “Pitch for Good” series where, for the first time, the EC offered a 30-minute networking opportunity for participants ahead of the normally close to one-hour competition. The networking allowed random one-on-one conversations with other attendees using HopIn, a platform that was new to me. Among other connections, we had the opportunity to visit with a Nashvillian we had not seen since the pandemic hit and meet an Ottawa-based woman who was evaluating the virtual tool.
Unfortunately, when it was time to shift to the main event, there were glitches that required the EC team to quickly navigate to the more familiar Zoom platform that has been used for the previous five events, but they did so without showing the level of stress that they must have felt. Kudos to them.
Attendees, judges and the presenters shifted seamlessly, and the pitches continued largely unaffected. Three start-ups pitched in each of two categories – “Launch” phase (less than $25,000 in revenue) and “Up and Running” stage (more than $25,000 in revenue).
The winners in each category were: (1) “Launch” – Lineus Medical, presented by Spencer Jones; and (2) “Up and Running” – Midas Health, pitched by Brian Forrester. Lineus has developed the SafeBreak Vascular medical device to address the 46 percent failure rate of peripheral IVs. Jones said it was nearing clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Forrester described Midas as a software company “taking boring job descriptions and turning them into compelling videos” to help hospitals and health systems recruit doctors and nurses.
Winner of the “Audience Favorite” was Magnolia Family Medicine, presented by Kym Moyer, a Primary Care Physician. Instead of accepting insurance, she contracts directly with patients to make access to healthcare easier and more affordable. She has grown the practice from a single patient at the beginning of 2020 to 140 today.
Judges for the competition were: (1) Dee Anna Smith, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Sarah Cannon Research Institute; (2) James E. K. Hildreth, CEO of Meharry Medical College; and (3) Kathy Harris, Executive Vice President for Corporate Development at Sharecare.
Other competitors were:
- “Launch” category – Luke Benda of Healing Innovations, a company we spotlighted 18 months ago when Benda was taking the Rise&WalkTM technology through CO.LAB’s inaugural “HealthTech Accelerator”; and Knoxville’s Sofia Tomov of Qardian Labs who has developed a better way to help with early and reliable diagnosis of heart disease.
- “Up and Running” category – Mitesh Rao of OMNY, a company now working with 6,000 providers to enables access to real world de-identified data from health systems and specialty networks to drive life sciences innovation and personalized care.