Neil J. Weissman, MD, president of MedStar Health's research arm, talks about daily life in the MedStar Health Research Institute
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Yesterday I had the unique experience of visiting with the founders of 1776.
What is 1776? Located a few blocks from the White House, 1776 is a platform that serves as a global hub for entrepreneurs and start-up companies tackling major challenges in education, energy, health care, government, and other critical industries (learn more at www.1776dc.com). In this open space, hundreds of entrepreneurs (with more than a dozen healthcare start up companies) come together in a 'college like' environment. As 'partners' these entrepreneurs / companies receive physical space in the building and are provided with mentorship, corporate connections and access to capital to help take their innovations to the marketplace. Each day there are several guest lectures and talks, with frequent end-of-day 'drink and learn' sessions.
This visit was arranged by Mark Smith and MI2 (see photo to the right of Drs Evans, Smith, Tori and myself with one of the founders). We also had a chance to talk to a few healthcare start-ups. One is founded by an ICU physician with an innovative way to identify when and where there are tertiary critical care (ICU) beds available across a city. Another developed an app for pre-op and post-op care coordination and communication with the patient. During our visit, we discussed how MedStar Health can become part of this creative, forward-looking environment and be a stakeholder in developing a regional innovation ecosystem for new ways to deliver health care.
So what to know 2 fun facts from this visit? #1 is that they have 24/7 PB&J sandwiches available to everyone that works there and #2, with the open environment, they brought in these old fashion English telephone booths so people can have a quiet and private place to have a conference call! What a fun place to work!
The potential for new collaborations is truly exciting and I look forward to learning more about 1776 and the unique healthcare start-up companies that are located in our very own backyard.