With over 150 community members, health industry practitioners, and potential investors settled into the Stage at Island Park’s rounded seating, 15 entrepreneurs demonstrated their pursuits and deviations from the norm. Health Pitch 2014, graciously hosted for its second year by Family HealthCare in Fargo, illustrated the broad array of Midwest talent in the health and wellness startup industry.
Sprinkled around the subtle repartee of emcees – former Family HealthCare CEO Patricia Patron and current Arthur Ventures Managing Partner James Burgum – each pitch had a hard stop at three minutes. The presenters represented diverse organizations – from Shane Waslaski of the established Intelligent InSites, to Courtny Evanson and Nevaeh, the 2014 North Dakota Women’s Startup Weekend winner – but all were focused on creating changes to how we define the standards of health. Presentations revolved around the event’s main pillars: behavioral health, developing health, and efficiency in health.
Apart from the overarching theme, every presenter seemed to be connected via their personal desires to take risks and create something that has never existed. Full-on tech presenters like Niko Skievaski explained processes that could more easily integrate radically different healthcare systems. In another realm, Dr. Donald Warne represented NDSU’s Master of Public Health Program by arguing for the inclusion of nontraditional medical practices in classroom learning.
Health Pitch 2014 also included a number of breakout sessions during which attendees were able to both converse with each other and learn about health initiatives through interactive booths, one of which featured a tour through an inflatable colon to learn about polyps and the potential for them to signify eventual cancer.
Missed out, but want to hear more? Stay tuned to Emerging Prairie for the full lineup of presentation videos in the near future.