Launching the Venture

December 27, 2017

Posted by: Stu Miller

Launching the Venture

The Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt held a “Launching the Venture” session on 12/16/17.  This forum gives their MBA students the opportunity to show their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges.  DevDigital’s Stu Miller (on the left) was honored to be chosen as one of the judges.  Michael Burcham (on the right),  Professor in the Practice of Management, led the class and the presentations.  Michael is the CEO of Narus Health - a healthcare organization whose care management services and technologies support individuals with serious medical conditions, their families and the medical community engaged in their treatment.  Michael was also the founding President & CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center from 2010-2015.

Seven concepts were presented to the panel: Uppraisal, designed to eliminate failures in the appraisal process required for mortgage loans; Flat Mundo which supports law firms by using bilingual administrative staffing in Columbia, South America, to increase profitability; Connected Care, an idea based on using nurse practitioners to go to the patient instead of the patient going to a doctor’s office (sort of an “Uber of Healthcare); Brighthorn Health, aimed at elevating outcomes in substance abuse treatment by uniting payers and providers through innovative reimbursement models; Roost, whose target is day care facilities with excess capacity and matching parents’ day care needs with those available seats (looking for a technology partner to develop the app and database – hint! hint!);  BRWorx, whose goal is to provide conference rooms, electronic whiteboards and office space for small businesses and start-ups who are frustrated trying to do real work at Starbucks; and AXYS Health, whose objective is to provide “just-in-time inventory” to ambulatory surgical centers instead of their having to store (and possibly overstock) materials needed for their surgical work.

Each team was allowed exactly 15 minutes to make their case and answer questions from the judging panel.  Highlights of each presentation included discussion of competitors, market size, point at which break-even is achieved, and how much capital was required. During each presentation, judges ranked several aspects of the presentation as to (1) Worst idea ever!  (2) Might work, might not!  (3) Average!  (4) Good!  (5) Wow, best thing I’ve ever seen!  At the conclusion of the 105 minutes, judges ranked the ideas from 1 to 7, and the students, collectively, ranked themselves from 1 to 7.  The two groups had a different Number 1, but the top 3 were consistent.



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