Meet the Pitch-Perfect Entrepreneurs of Nashville’s 36 | 86 Conference

By Justin Stokes

Every June, Nashville’s 36 | 86 Entrepreneurship and Technology Conference gathers the south’s best innovators to engage in a series of cross-industry problem-solving presentations and discussions at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

On Tuesday, June 6, cutting-edge startup leaders pitched their ideas for reshaping the healthcare industry as a part of the Village 36 Startup Pitch Competition (and for a chance at $50,000 in capital funding).

Cory Edwards, Director of Business Services at Comcast Business, introduced the competition by addressing the underappreciated value of startups.

“While we have grown to a multi-billion dollar organization over the years, we never forget about our roots dating back to the mid-60s in Tupelo, Mississippi,” Edwards said. “We certainly understand that small businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors are what drive industry, technology, and growth. That is why Comcast Business has invested millions of dollars in service expansions, product innovations and community development.”

Jim Stefansic, cofounder of Faros Healthcare, kicked the pitch session of with a bold statement: “There are three things I know with certainty in life: There’s death, there’s taxes and there’s value-based healthcare.”

Everyone in the audience will someday require some sort of healthcare treatment, Stefansic said, and Faros uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to make treatment “more efficient,” stating that “current healthcare software does not offer the best treatment options for a customer over time.”

Stefansic defined the business as a prescriptive analytics company” and likened it to a navigation system, Faros Healthcare proposes a bird’s eye view of the different pieces of the wellness puzzle that allows users to make “data actionable at the point of care.”

Next, Hallett Ogburn, CEO of Med+Proctor, discussed how his company streamlines and automates the immunization verification process for incoming college students. “If you have kids or have ever been to college,” Ogburn said, “it’s a very painful process to submit your proof of immunity and have this verified by the admins at a university or college.”

With Med+Proctor, OCR technology inputs immunization paperwork into systems, and that data gives marketing opportunities to entities like publishers for college textbooks or loan servicers.

NourishWise founder Jason Denenberg shared his passion for local eateries and his uncertainty about the quality of nutrition that they provide. The average American dines out five or more times a week, he said, and consumers eat 23 percent more calories per day, per person.

Promising the fruits of “an incredible dietitian team” and coverage of dining information/options in the area (estimated at 175 restaurants and 500 dishes), NourishWise allows users to dine intuitively, keep track of their meals and have food delivered to them through a partnership with Uber Eats.

Jeremy J. Corbett, MD., emergency room physician and founder of RocketHealth, offered his pitch for a business that uses biometric data to execute healthcare strategies that predict and prevent emergencies through a self-care platform known as the “Patient LaunchPad.” The software, “created by clinicians with expertise in managed care, chronic disease and health and wellness management,” is designed to empower patients with additional preventative medical knowledge.

Savii Care CEO Michelle Harper discussed the issue of elder care, which will have a market size of 36 million people a decade from now. Harper cited a few issues with current systems, including “a lack of transparency with loved ones’ care” and the reliance on paperwork in the age of mobile apps. Savii Care’s “home care management platform” connects seniors, nurses, aides and those responsible for the oversight of the patient.

ScriptDrop CEO Nick Potts (who demonstrated his medicinal software assistant, “Mary”) and Shawn Chapman, cofounder of Surgiorithm, a business that encourages patients to pick premium treatments for healthcare, also pitched their ideas in the front of the crowd.

Though all of the competitors pitched services with serious potential, the winner of the pitch competition was Natasia Malaihollo, a former Silicon Valley patent specialist whose business Wyzerr “creates surveys that feel like games.” As opposed to longer feedback surveys that discourage people from giving feedback, Wyzerr’s ability to collect data makes the process fun.

“Our new online Smart Builder guides customers in creating effective feedback campaigns that can capture up to 25 questions in less than 60 seconds,” Malaihollo told us. “While we believe any [service-oriented business] can use Wyzerr, our current target customer is a senior level marketer at a 50-plus employee company in the food, retail and hospitality industries.”

Take note, world: Nashville—and the greater southern region—is the place to be for innovation in the healthcare industry.

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