Pilot Health Tech NYC Hosts Another Successful Grantee Day

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Last week, Pilot Health Tech NYC Hosts and Innovators alike gathered at the NYCEDC office for coffee and collaboration, booting up laptops and smart phones. These were the 2014 victors– the teams who took home a total of $1 million in pilot funding.

The chance to pilot a new technology with a prestigious healthcare institution and get funding for that project can be a dream come true for most digital health entrepreneurs. However, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare without the proper tools, knowledge and guidance to ensure that a project is successful. Pilot Health Tech NYC hosts Grantee Day for our annual winners in order to prepare them for the bumpy road ahead and ensure that the ride is as smooth as possible. Grantee day allows for innovators and hosts alike to hear from experts on common mistakes for clinical studies, as well as tips for completing a successful project that can help companies gain investments, customers or the opportunity for more partnerships in the future.

All of the teams had a chance to introduce their ideas and companies, without the nerves of presenting to a large audience as they did on Pilot Day. They spoke eagerly of their work, smiling and gesturing. One enthusiastic innovator even dialed in from the west coast to participate.

Amyt Eckstein of Moses & Singer, LLP discussed legal topics that health technology companies should consider while working on their pilots and also gave advice for navigating with their host organization’s legal team. To get a frontline perspective from an innovator,  alumni Stan Berkow, CEO of Sense Health from last year’s inaugural Pilot Health Tech NYC cohort shared his clinical trial experiences to the newest batch of winners. From an innovator’s outlook, he described his projects’s journey and pointed out things he would have done differently. Stan delivered a frank anecdote on how easy it may be to get caught up with obstacles along the way, but that one should never stop moving forward with their project.

The innovator perspective is just one side of the story. Steve Berman, Director of Business Development at Montefiore, who gave an inspiring speech about what its like to be a host going through the pilot process. Steve was very direct with our innovators, advising them on how to cut the fluff and be direct with what it is they can do for host organizations. He spoke about the pitfalls that many innovators face when conducting a study and how successful companies can use their trial results as a token of credibility to work with other prestigious organizations.

After listening to past winners’ successes and lessons learned, there was one big question on everyone’s mind: what does it take to run a successful pilot? To answer that question, Polina Hanin, Community Director at Startup Health gave our audience invaluable advice for how to turn studies into customers and future success. She closed on the note of advising our Pilot Health Tech winners to know what it is they are trying to prove and to keep their study design simple.

With the tools for success now in hand, we’re confident that our innovators and hosts are ready to begin their own journeys of piloting their projects and contributing to the innovation of health care in NYC.

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