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A Recipe for Building an Innovation Movement, From Scratch




Pulling together a hyperlocal group of healthcare stakeholders from across competing corporations, non-profits, investors, independent groups, and entrepreneurs is no simple effort. But, in June, that's exactly what the Florida-based community-building team known as Health Innovators did. Having a track record for building communities around the State of Florida, our small team set out to find other Orlando-like cities and unearth the unique talent that is often the overlooked gem of driving health and medical innovation. The goal was to unite key stakeholders in Charlotte, North Carolina in order to manufacture a collective movement toward putting the Queen's City on the map for new and broadening solutions being developed in their region.

In less than 60 days, our local curator and healthcare market expert, Scott Pope, PharmD, worked feverishly to assemble select senior executives from Atrium Health and Novant, the state's largest hospital systems, Premier, Inc., the second largest group purchasing organization (GPO) in the country, Bank of America, Deloitte, partners at venture capital and angel groups, non-profit leaders, members of the media, strategy consultants, and many more who collectively made the "Inaugural Top 40" to join together in a unique meeting of the minds.

The real story however, is about the entrepreneurs that were hand-selected to facilitate introductions and dialogue among all participants. Each was chosen for their mission, ability to significantly impact care, wow-factor, and their practical yet forward-thinking application for patients and healthcare systems. The 4 companies selected were:

  • Mako Medical - a cutting edge, high-service reference lab focused on independent physicians
  • Tavia - a feminine hygiene product subscription service on a mission to keep girls in school
  • - an artificial intelligence "teammate" that for smarter, faster prior authorizations
  • RediPay - a patient-to-provider direct payment system that links the delivery of vision and dental benefits

What was so great about this gathering is that there was no sales or marketing pitch. No investor pitch. No gimmicks. Just "neighbors" gathering around the table together to get to know each other and learn about what new solutions were happening in and around their city. Even further, the entrepreneurs were able to take time to share their mission, values, and traction, and to simply let their community know what they specifically need in order to grow locally, create jobs, and take better care of healthcare systems and patients.

At the center of health innovation ecosystems are physicians. We need you. Your knowledge and experience offers an invaluable lens that each community needs for growth. You will be inspired, motivated, and encouraged about how a new wave of fresh thinkers are pushing the envelope to make an impact. Perhaps it could be your recipe for a renewed sense of passion, purpose, and influence that you once thought was burned out.

Knowing the challenges and burdens placed upon you, how can we better collectively engage forward-thinking physicians and local entrepreneurs? The answer may possibly be the secret sauce of creating a value web that secondary cities, like Orlando and Charlotte need to catapult a reputation for transformational innovation.

If you'd like to be more visible within your local health and medical innovation ecosystem, drop me a line at


Innovation Headlines:

[ORLANDO, FL] HealthGrid CEO awarded Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year for Florida Region in the Health Care Technology category

[APOPKA, FL] Paramedics, ER doctors work together through new app

Florida Hospital is the first health care system in the state and the Apopka Fire Department is the first agency in Florida to use the app.

[PLANTATION, FL] CarePredict Unveils AI-Powered Elder Care Technology Platform which continuously observes, learns, and triggers just-in-time care for seniors.

[CLEARWATER, FL] Startup Synzi brings virtual care to home health entities, hospitals and health plans through the use of video, email and secure messaging.

[PALM BEACH GARDENS] Healthcare startup, Bridge Connector, raises $4.5 million from VCs, including former Publix CEO.


Featured Events:

  • July 11 - Wellness Dinner by Welli - The Cancer Conversation

6:30pm - 9:30pm


  • July 18 - CEO Talk with President of Florida Hospital System

3-5:30pm at Orlando Campus' Werner Auditorium


  • July 18 - TedX Orlando


Orlando Science Center



  • October 22 - Opioids & Florida: The Collaboration Imperative

GuideWell Innovation Center |

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