Startup Weekend

Melissa Kennedy – 48 Innovate

Innovation to drive results – in 48 hours

Joining me on the Get Social Health podcast is my friend and colleague, K. Melissa Kennedy. Melissa and I worked together on the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association and Startup Weekend.  We have a lively and educational conversation about bringing an innovation mindset and experience to healthcare through 48 Innovate.

K. Melissa Kennedy parlayed many years of experience working for and building successful companies into a unique process for harnessing hidden assets inside organizations and turning them into big-idea-generating, $1-billion-revenue-producing resources. (Spoiler alert: It’s the people.) She’s an internationally acclaimed expert, happy to share the not-so-secret actions that have led to impressive outcomes for Fortune 100 corporations, start-up companies, and entrepreneurs. Melissa’s first book The Innovation Revolution: Discover the Genius Hiding in Plain Sight published in March 2017. It’s the essential guide for 21st-century leaders to deliver rapid results within the enterprise through INTRApreneurship – entrepreneurship on the inside.

Listen to our conversation or drop in at the time stamps below:

01:00  Introduction

01:38  Tell me about yourself
01:58  Why write a book?
02:30  Journey to now
04:09  Startup philosophy for a multinational
05:23  What departments had you worked with?
06:21  How is this not just another 48 hours?
48 Innovate08:52  Tracking early programs
09:23  C-Suite or sour?
11:23  Breaking down peer barriers
14:07  Cultivating creativity
16:37  How many projects?
19:09  Skin in the game
21:55  Judges
23:01  Let’s talk about healthcare
24:06  Risk required
26:16  Leading in change
28:16  CIO’s in all seriousness
30:47  Exercise your innovation
32:38  Frequency of innovation indoctrination
34:47  Blueprint to innovate
37:44  Oh right, your book!
38:41  End
39:24  Wendy Sue Swanson SMT
40:34  Closing

Contact K. Melissa Kennedy


A Passion for Health Technology

Many physicians have discovered a passion for health technology, but not many have taken an 180-degree turn into the digital health field right out of residency. Jonathan O’Donnell did and has found his unique medical perspective to be an asset to the programs he has joined like Startup Weekend Health, iScribes and the design thinking workshop he co-lead with Katie Donohue McMillan. In our conversation, Jonathan and I discussed his medical school training at Duke University and how he caught the digital health bug. Listen to our conversation or catch the time stamps below.

Introduction, Startup Weekend Health
Joyce Lee, Design Thinking advocate
Duke Medical School
DCRI – Duke Clinical Research Institute
Are you a digital early adopter
What vision does your memory bring?
Design thinking
smashing boxes Medical School + Innovative Thinking

Dell Medical School
IBM Watson
Digital health relieving mundane processes
Everyone is creative
Smashing Boxes
Design Disruptors

Katie Donohue McMillian

Amy Abernethy, MD

Jonathan O’Donnell, MD

Social Media Tip: Kenny Brooks – Use team LinkedIn profiles as a sales resource

What IS engaging content? (Free Webinar)

Ever wish you could just skip the whole social media thing?

If you’re not 100% thrilled about all the time you’ve been plugging away on social media, you are not alone.  I hear practice managers and physician owners stressed out over details of social media & blog content.

Tuesday, August 23rd at 12:00pm EST Hosted by Srini Kolathur of EHR2.0

Wednesday, August 24th at 12:00pm EST Hosted by Get Social Health and The Social Nurse

Wednesday, August 24th at 3:00pm EST Hosted by Manny Oliverez of Capture Billing

Thursday, August 25th at 12:00pm EST Hosted by Mary Pat Whaley of Manage My Practice

Serious Play for Healthcare

Healthcare has many serious challenges that serious play can help solve.

The Serious Games Association (SGA), lead by Executive Director Sue Bohle,  is an international trade organization serving the entire serious games industry. Members include developers, publishers, technology providers, analysts, authors, consultants, faculty and other professionals. Their members are involved in the making of games and sims for education or at home learning, corporate training and marketing, government and military uses, healthcare and medical training and games that are designed to create positive change in our society. The association produces educational conferences (notably, the Serious Play Conference) does research and provides support to special interest groups (SIGs) and committees studying how to move the industry ahead. The 2016 conference will be co-hosted by the UNC Computer Science Department at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, July 26-28.

Serious GamesWhat is serious play? According to the event website it’s a gathering where creators can have critical conversations about game design and share their knowledge with peers. The focus of the conference is exploring opportunities, challenges and the potential of game-based learning. At Serious Play, attendees listen, share and participate actively in informal sessions dedicated to the discussion of the future of serious games. We are a leadership conference for people who design, manage and implement serious game programs. Their goal is to provide a forum for visionary educators, chief learning officers and heads of training programs in health care, government/military or other fields that want to learn how to improve the effectiveness of their program, and use the data collected to do even better.

Podcast Time Stamps

Listen to the podcast or drop in at the time stamps below:

00:00 Introduction
00:51 Meet Sue Bohle & the Serious Play Conference
03:55 What’s the difference between Serious Games and Serious Play?
04:40 Phaedra Boinodiris of IBM
Serious Play05:15 How is healthcare using serious games?
06:54 Serious cognitive brain games
08:00 Children very comfortable with technology. What about seniors and technology?
09:45 My parents are addicted to Solitare on the computer
11:00 Gamifying lessons about serious asthma for children
11:54 Teaching at-risk teens, social-emotional intelligence
12:42 Adults need emotional intelligence games as well!
14:04 The Serious Play Conference
15:00 Who will be attending the conference?
16:08 What other business verticals are addressed at the conference?
18:00 What is a “Game Jam”?
19:15 Are serious games all digital?
21:05 How are these games being funded?
22:28 Startup Weekend style pitch events?
23:21 Find out more about the Serious Play Conference
24:05 Get a discount for listening to this podcast!
24:36 Follow the action in Twitter
25:15 Playing games while learning
26:00 Social Media Tip: Erin Wold – “Be a real person”
26:25 “Social Media Ambassadors” – Capitalize on social media during a conference or event

Find Sue:

From Corporate Stress to Wellness Entrepreneur

Population health discussions often revolve around breaking the chain of illness by focusing on wellness. Many innovations in patient wellness are being driven by entrepreneurs and startups. One such entrepreneur is Farnoosh Brock. She recently served as a judge at Triangle Startup Weekend Health where we caught up on her entrepreneurial journey that led her to her founding her company Prolific Living.
To drop in on specific parts of our conversation, refer to the time stamp below:

social media for healthcare00:00 Welcome
00:43 Introduction to Farnoosh Brock
01:30 Judge for Triangle Startup Weekend
02:40 Holistic Health
03:02 Wellness concepts
04:02 “Too busy to be well?”
04:50 “If you don’t make time for wellness now, you’ll need to make time for illness later.”
05:58 Look at your life – What can you eliminate?
07:00 Transition from corporate world
08:20 Juicing
09:10 Publishing “The Health Juicers Bible”
10:00 Building an online community
11:10 BlogWorld (Now NMX – New Media Expo)
13:35 Engaging with online community
15:08 Relationships were key to building online business
16:45 Dealing with patient/health questions
20:00 Victim mentality helps no one.
22:18 Positive thinking and health outlook
24:00 Love yourself first
24:45 Social Media Tip: Dr. Gia Sison “Responsible Tweeting”

Visit our resources page for more valuable (and free!) resources on social media and digital health:


Entrepreneurs Hacking Healthcare

Many health-related projects are getting millions of dollars in venture and angel funding.  But do you ever wonder where some projects get started? Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs that create an environment to share ideas, form teams and launch startups – all in a 54 hour weekend! Startup Weekend hosts over 1,000 weekend events annually around the globe focused on a mission to inspire, educate and empower individuals, teams and communities.

TSW OrganizersRecently I have the opportunity to be on the organizing team for a Startup Weekend held in the Triangle of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) with a theme of “Health.” The Startup weekend experience is a full weekend from Friday at 5:00 pm to Sunday at 6:00 pm. The Triangle Startup Weekend runs a few hours shorter than other Startup Weekends. Why? It’s a mystery. A “traditional” Startup Weekend will have about half the participants with technical or design backgrounds and the other half will have business backgrounds.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

What made this weekend different? By organizing under the theme of “Health” the event brought together a different mix of participants and the structure of the weekend added a few new twists.  Our group was a little bit smaller than the typical event due to the summer weekend and the specialized theme of the event. Demographically we had an interesting mix including;

  • 29 Men & 15 women on teams (Does not include volunteers, mentors, judges and audience) With 34% of teams having women that’s much higher than the 10-20% usually seen at Startup Weekend.
  • Normally you would have three categories of participants: Developers, Designers and Business (non-tech). In the case of our health event we also had 16 medical professionals – 32% of our participants.
  • Triangle Startup Weekend also had a high percentage of PHDs among the participants – 21!
  • Five of the teams were led by women including the team that won the “Best Overall” – Aura.


Throughout the weekend I was able to capture the experiences of the a number of the participants from the organizers to volunteers, mentors and judges. Let’s hear their reactions to their Triangle Startup Weekend Health experience.

  • Global Startup Weekend Facilitator: Shashi Jain
  • Participant: Tia Simpson
  • Participant: Michael Brown
  • Participant: Mike McNeill
  • Mentor: Dr. Michael Cousins
  • Organizer: Jon O’Donnell
  • Participant: Leo Alonzo
  • Participant: Christina
  • Volunteer: Dr. Dexter Louie
  • Presentation Coach: Andy Roth
  • Judge: Farnoosh Brock
  • Mentor: John Austin