Eunice Lee | March 6, 2019
Veta Health was selected alongside 20 other innovative startups to be part of the 8th digital health cohort at TMCx, an accelerator program designed to meet the needs of startups at every stage while reducing barriers of access to hospital stakeholders and key opinion leaders across Texas Medical Center. Between February 11 and March 1, the Veta Health team was traveling back and forth to Houston, Texas for “Bootcamp”, an intensive three-week program filled with informative sessions, lectures, networking opportunities, and many happy hours.
I was the first of our team to head down to the Lone Star State in February. I was very excited to travel to Houston for two reasons. First, because I could not wait to immerse myself in lectures and learn alongside others who share my passion for healthcare. Second, I was told during a previous trip to Austin that the best steak is in Houston! Upon landing on Saturday evening, a friend took me to finally get my Houston steak at Taste of Texas! While they do not take reservations, it was totally worth it. The steak was delicious, and I got to borrow a cowboy hat to take a photo. Bonus!
The following day marked the first day of the TMCx accelerator program. I arrived at the TMC Innovation Institute, was greeted by my cluster leader, and was given a shiny badge and other goodies, including an awesome quarter-zip sweater. I love feeling #official. Later that day, each company pitched its solution to a series of TMC advisors, which was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the TMCx08 cohort and its awesome advisor network. TMC is a non-profit organization, and it was incredible to see the many institutions that are part of their network.
Another activity during our first week was the TMC “crash course”. I was surprised and impressed to learn about the world’s largest medical center’s facts and figures. For example, TMC is a 2.1-square mile medical district and neighborhood that contains 54 medicine-related institutions with 21 hospitals and eight specialty institutions, 14 support organizations, 10 academic institutions, eight academic and research institutions, three medical schools, seven nursing programs, three public health organizations, two pharmacy schools and a dental school.
All in all, my time at TMCx proved to be a great experience and can be summed into three main highlights:
Two: Hearing from different speakers on topics related to healthcare. My favorite panel so far was on hospital efficiency/process improvement. Those who provided insight on gaps and goals in their respective hospitals included a surgical oncologist from MD Anderson, an ER physician from Ben Taub Hospital, and two IT folks from Texas Children’s Hospital.
Three: Getting to know our colleagues! TMCx provided each company with a desk and a whiteboard; on the top of the whiteboard is each company’s respective name, which showcases each startup. Our neighbors are VoiceITT and Ria Health. PS: “______ Health” seems to be a popular healthcare startup name 😉
Our team will be heading back to Texas mid-April, with the program wrapping up with “Demo Day” in June. We are looking forward to the rest of the program and will see you in April, Houston!