Innovation, Genomics, Precision Medicine: Reflections from the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit

NOV 28
Representatives from TripleTree and TT Capital Partners (TTCP) attended the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit in late October. The conference brought together more than 2,250 healthcare executives and investors to help build relationship and ignite technologies that will advance patient care.  This year’s Summit focused on the impact of genomics and precision medicine.
To kick-off the Summit, the Cleveland Clinic, HIMSS, and HealthXL worked together to recognize innovative and emerging healthcare companies. The Challenge screened dozens of applicants and selected four companies to present at the Summit. The finalists presented in front of a live audience and a panel of “sharks”, made up of subject matter experts and investors. The panel and audience voted to name the Challenge Winner and granted an exclusive opportunity to partner with the Cleveland Clinic to help the company validate, optimize, and streamline its technology for more patients and providers. We were impressed with each of the four winning company’s solutions and look forward to following their progress in the coming years.  The four companies presenting at The Challenge included: 
  • Neurotrack (The Challenge Winner) uses clinically proven science to help assess and improve memory health over time. The company offers a simple (5-30 minute) eye-tracking test to diagnosis Alzheimer's early.
  • Deep6 AI is a technology platform that scans medical records (including structured and unstructured data) to identify patients for clinical trials in minutes, instead of months via manual review of medical records.
  • Medisafe offers custom notifications to patients by understanding the cause of an individual patient’s medication adherence “roadblock”.
  • Frame Health has the exclusive rights to the world’s largest psychographic database for use in healthcare. Similar to Medisafe, Frame Heath sends curated messages to patients. However, Frame Health seeks to understand the best way to communicate with a personality type as opposed to Medisafe’s individualized approach.
Following The Challenge presentations, TripleTree and TTCP partnered with the Cleveland Clinic to provide perspectives to emerging healthcare executives on how to think about growth capital, funding sources, and partnering with an investment bank.  Highlights from the panel discussion included:
Finding the Right Capital Partner
  • Shared Vision: We always encourage an open line of communication between entrepreneur and a potential investor to ensure alignment on where both parties want the company to go and a preliminary roadmap on how to get to the destination.
  • Value-Added Partner: Try to understand the trade-offs with upfront valuation differences and a capital partner that can help you generate substantial revenue and equity value creation for all parties.
    • Customer Introductions: Can your partner demonstrate a track-record of developing new customer relationships for their entrepreneur partners?
    • Operating Resources: Does your partner have formal or informal relationships with executives with functional experience (e.g., sales, marketing, technology, finance, etc.) to help grow businesses at your stage to the next level?

Potential Fundraising Roadblocks
  • Focus: As a wise person once said, “nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.” Do not try to boil the ocean and solve every healthcare problem with finite resources (financial and human capital). Start with one concrete problem that you believe you are well-equipped to attack.
  • Crystal Clear Summary: Do you have a defined problem and tangible explanation of the solution and the ROI? Do you know who pays for the solution? Could a family member or friend with no experience in healthcare understand your elevator pitch? Is your business plan or investor deck dense and full of jargon?
  • Thoughtful Financial Forecast: Be sure to spoon feed detailed explanations to your potential investors if there are leaps of faith from the average sales price and operating costs today and assumptions in the future. Also, consider presenting two financial cases: an optimistic upside (i.e., the “BHAG”) forecast and an attractive, but grounded goal forecast.
  • Legal and Tax Advice: Do not be “penny wise and pound foolish”. Although there is sticker-shock when it comes to legal and tax advice, an initial investment for corporate organization could save dollars down the road.
The Summit also included several panels on the future of genomics and precision medicine. These panels were comprised of executives from leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. The consistent theme was the need to thoroughly understand and assess the merits of rising prices for life sciences therapies and tools as it relates to improved health (value) and funding for future innovation.

As we reflect on our time at the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, we were impressed with the level of industry engagement at the Summit, the focus on innovation, and the passion around the impact of both precision medicine and genomics.  We look forward to monitoring the progress of The Challenge finalists as they scale their businesses in the coming years, and we thank the Cleveland Clinic for inviting our professionals to share their insights and perspective with the entrepreneurs and innovators in attendance. 

Did you attend the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit?  If so, let us know your key takeaways from your time in Cleveland!
Brian Thomas
Donnacha O'Sullivan
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