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Ever wondered what it takes to be a healthcare entrepreneur? Want to impact healthcare IT, wearables, med devices, CROs or life sciences?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

Triangle Health Startup Weekend 2014 is the first Startup Weekend completely focused on health and related verticals.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders for an opportunity for critical feedback.

You do not need to be a designer, coder or even a seasoned healthcare professional to join; the only requirement is curiosity. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Appropriate ideas for the weekend will impact the following verticals:

  • Healthcare IT (ex. electronic medical records, telemedicine portals, electronic scheduling, etc.)
  • Wearables
  • Medical Devices
  • CROs
  • Pharma/Life Sciences
  • Payer/Insurers

In addition to a great weekend full of entrepreneurial activity, participants will receive:

  • A participant t-shirt and lots of fun SWAG!
  • Food and drink to fuel your entire weekend
  • Prizes for the winners of the final pitch 



Aug 8
  • Registration & Networking Starts
  • Dinner
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.
  • Venue Closes


Aug 9
  • Breakfast Served
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • First group of Coaches arrive
  • Lunch (provided)
  • Second group of Coaches arrive - Call for needs & skills
  • Dinner (provided)
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Venue Closes


Aug 10
  • Breakfast Served
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Lunch (provided)
  • Gut check. Presentations Due.
  • Beer Served, Demo Day Tickets Welcome
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
Tier 1 Sponsors

Dr. Victor Dzau, MD

President of the Institute of Medicine

Victor J. Dzau is President of the Institute of Medicine. He previously served as the Chancellor for Health Affairs and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University and the President and CEO of Duke University Health System.

Dr. Dzau has been at the forefront of supporting entrepreneurs and advancing health care delivery innovations globally. He and colleagues developed the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and strategic alliances with other private and public partners. Their efforts have been aimed at creating a seamless continuum from discovery science to clinical care. Recently he has launched the Duke Institute for Health Innovation to promote transformative innovation in health and healthcare through high-impact research, new models of care delivery, leadership development, education innovation, and cultivation of a community of entrepreneurs.

Martin Smith

Founder at Curagami   |  

Martin (Marty) Smith is a serial entrepreneur and founder of an exciting initiative: Tech Cures Cancer Fund at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center. He is also the founder of, one of the first crowdfunding websites for cancer research, working with five leading cancer research centers. He is also the founder and CEO of, a company whose marketing tools help SMBs curate and gamify content marketing to create profitable and sustainable online community. Oh, and he is also battling cancer.

Tier 2 Sponsors

Bobby Bahram

Entrepreneur and Managing Partner at Excelerate Health Ventures

Bobby Bahram is a Partner at Excelerate Health Ventures - a healthcare fund that is comprised of individuals and entities that represent healthcare providers, payers, entrepreneurs, and healthcare investors. The main focus of the fund is to invest in seed and early stage healthcare technology startups. Mr. Bahram has over 15 years of operational experience building start-ups, having held founding and executive level positions with various technology based ventures. He is an early stage investor, serves as a director on private and public companies, involved in spin-offs and mergers and acquisitions, and has expertise in growing companies in the software, hardware, and services environments. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering and an MBA.

Farnoosh Brock

Author. Speaker. Career Coach. Entrepreneur.   |   Google+

Farnoosh Brock is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, a published author, a speaker and a career & business coach. She started her own media and publishing company, Prolific Living Inc., after a successful corporate career. She and her husband are full-time entrepreneurs and world travelers. She helps professionals in corporate how to crack the code to getting promoted and advancing in their jobs. She also works with aspiring entrepreneurs on how to leave employment to start their own businesses. She is an avid yoga practitioner and passionately promotes the health benefits of green juicing and smoothies in her health & fitness niche business. For more, check out

Bobby Helmedag

Director of Venture Capital at Rex Ventures

Bobby is the Director of Venture Capital at Rex Ventures, one of the only venture-capital investment funds in the country started by a community, nonprofit hospital. The fund was launched two years ago with an initial $10 million investment from Rex Healthcare to help finance the most promising innovations among new medical services, tools and technologies. Rex Ventures is backed by nearly the 1,000 physicians through affiliation with the UNC Health Care system. Prior to joining Rex Ventures Bobby specialized in corporate finance and strategy and was part of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee within Corporate Development.

M. Allen Lombard

Founding Principal at Life Science Strategies

Allen is the Founding Principal with Life Science Strategies, an international strategic and tactical solutions firm with a focus on helping life science companies solve problems, achieve results and grow their business. Life Science Strategies offers a range of services for emerging, established and expanding companies, with extensive connectivity across the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to this endeavor, Allen was the Bioscience Industrial Development Program Director at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, focused on the creation, retention, and expansion of life science jobs across North Carolina. His career path has also included positions with the International Trade Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce and more than a decade of industry experience as a drug discovery molecular biologist with Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Amgen. Allen received BS and MS degrees in molecular biology from Western Michigan University and an MBA in biosciences management from North Carolina State University.

Dave Neal

Managing Director at Triangle StartUp Factory

Dave has held Chairman, CEO, CFO, and general counsel positions for the past twenty years in a number of successful companies including Infina Connect, GMA Healthcare, Crispin Corporation, and Bloodhound Software.

Dave holds a B.S. from the University of North Carolina, an M.B.A from Stanford University, and a J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law.

Eric Peterson

Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology

Dr. Peterson is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center. He is the Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Dr. Peterson also served as Vice Chair for Quality in the Department of Medicine (DUMC) from 2004-2010. His formal research training includes an MPH from Harvard University with special emphasis in biostatistics, health economics, and decision analysis. Dr. Peterson is a leader in quality research, with over 660 peer-reviewed publications in the field.

Tier 3 Sponsors

John Austin

Director of Groundwork Labs   |  

John is the Director of Groundwork Labs, an NC IDEA supported program to help selected entrepreneurs test their idea and get expert guidance to reach their next goal. Prior to Groundwork, John headed up Joystick Labs, an accelerator for video game studios, was CEO of Numerical Design Ltd., a software company acquired by Emergent Game Technologies, and COO of Division, Inc., a virtual reality company that was acquired by HP.

Ricky Bloomfield, MD

Director, Mobile Technology Strategy, Duke Health Technology Solutions

Ricky Bloomfield, MD joined Duke in 2013 to oversee mobile technology initiatives within the healthcare system. Among other things, he is collaborating with multiple entities within Duke to establish a platform for mobile health innovation. During his residency, Dr. Bloomfield founded a successful software company creating health and social networking apps for iOS devices that has enjoyed over 15 million downloads to date. A native of eastern North Carolina, Dr. Bloomfield graduated as valedictorian from North Carolina State University in 2004 where, as a Park Scholar, he earned a BS in Chemistry and BA in Secondary Education with minors in Spanish and Saxophone Performance. He completed his Internal Medicine and Pediatrics internship and residency in 2012 followed by a Pediatric Chief Resident year in 2013, both at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Alex Cho, MD, MBA

Program Lead for Telemedicine for Network Services   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Dr. Alex Cho, MD, MBA is the program lead for telemedicine for Network Services in the Duke University Health System (DUHS). Alex is also the associate program director for ambulatory care for the Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program, and an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. He precepts residents at the Duke Outpatient Clinic, in addition to working in the emergency department at the Durham VA. Previously, he served as Special Assistant to Dr Victor Dzau, when Dr Dzau was Chancellor for Health Affairs for Duke University

Michael Cousins, PhD

Chief Analytics Officer

Michael Cousins, PhD, MS, is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Health Vue, and leads our advanced analytics.
He’s held leadership positions building and leading high-performing analytics teams and providing analytical vision and expertise for diverse healthcare programs using medical, operational, financial, and consumer data. These include programs for disease management, population health, case management, market segmentation and B2C direct marketing prospecting, underwriting and medical, pharmacy, disability, dental insurance, and ACO enablement at companies including Cigna, Evolent Health, Health Dialog, Optum, and Wellpoint.

Bob Creeden

Executive Director of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network

Bob Creeden, Executive Director of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, is the Founder and former Managing Partner for the Partners Innovation Fund (PIF), at Partners Healthcare in Boston. In addition to more than 30 years of experience in commercializing new technologies, both as an entrepreneur and investor, Bob has more than 20 years of experience as an early stage venture capitalist in the Boston area. He served as Vice President of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, an early stage venture firm that funds technology-based companies in Massachusetts, and then as General Partner at Egan-Managed Capital, a $150 million dollar Boston-based venture fund. In 2005 his effort to establish and implement the Partners Innovation Fund at Partners HealthCare was the culmination of his success as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and executive. Earlier in his career, Bob gained strategic operating expertise as a COO/CFO with start-up ventures.

Justin Diana

Justin has spent nearly 15 years as an entrepreneur in the technology space with deep technical expertise in web application development, database design, transactional workflow and enterprise systems integration. Justin began his entrepreneur career as a co-founder and CTO of TurnSmith, which optimizes and automates material replenishment for lean manufacturers. Most recently he has held technical positions at Motricity, SciQuest and Corevist and is a founder of Grassroutes Networking. Justin has also served as a mentor in local groups like CED.

Zubin Eapen

Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University, Medical Director of the Duke Heart Failure Same Day Access Clinic, and the Department of Medicine Director of Education IT Innovations

Zubin Eapen, MD, MHS is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University, Medical Director of the Duke Heart Failure Same Day Access Clinic, and the Department of Medicine Director of Education IT Innovations. He is also a member of Duke Clinical Research Institute Health Services Research Group and Center for Educational Excellence. Dr. Eapen obtained his medical degree and completed his residency and Cardiology Fellowship at Duke University. In 2011-2012, he served as Chief Fellow of both the Duke Clinical Research Institute Fellowship Program and Duke Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship Program. He serves as Electronic Media Editor for JACC: Heart Failure, Associate Editor for American Heart Journal, and Editor for the 14th edition of Hurst’s the Heart. His particular interests include improving care coordination, disease management, and quality of care using mobile health technologies.

Shelly Epps, MS

Information Security Analyst

Shelly Epps, MS is an Information Security Analyst in the Duke Medicine Information Security Office, providing evaluation, guidance and education for the Duke University Health System. She coordinates enterprise level Security Awareness & Training, teaches Research Data Integrity and Security, consults with the Duke Institutional Review Board and Compliance Offices, and has particular interests in mobile health in an Academic Medical Center setting.

Bernard Fuemmeler, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor in Community and Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Psychology and Neuroscience

Bernard Fuemmeler, PhD, MPH, is Associate Professor (with tenure) in Community and Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Psychology and Neuroscience. He earned his doctorate from Oklahoma State University in clinical psychology and an MPH in epidemiology from Harvard University. He completed postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute in the Division of Cancer Control and Populations Science’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program. He is a licensed clinical psychologist with emphases in pediatric psychology. At Duke he directs the pediatric psychology and health promotion lab and is co-founder and director of the mHeatlh@Duke interdisciplinary interest group and colloquium series. Dr. Fuemmeler’s research takes a lifespan epidemiologic approach toward understanding the determinants contributing to child and adolescent health behaviors, as well as seeks to develop innovative intervention strategies to promote health in children, adolescents and their families. Recent epidemiologic work is examining the developmental origins (genetic and epigenetic) of executive functioning development as well as how detriments in executive functioning can contribute to childhood obesity and addictive behaviors in adolescence. Other research is examining the use of technology for behavioral sensing, mobile app development, and the use of “serious games” to facilitate behavior change. Dr. Fuemmeler has authored and co-authored numerous manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and his work has received funding the Lance Armstrong Foundation, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Aging, National Institute of Environmental Science, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Ziad Gellad, MD MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at Duke University Medical Center

ZIAD GELLAD, MD MPH is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at Duke University Medical Center and a faculty member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He is the recipient of a career development award from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and applies skills in outcomes research, decision analysis, and healthcare systems engineering to improve quality and value in healthcare delivery. Dr. Gellad chairs the Quality Measures Committee for the American Gastroenterological Association. He is also Director of Quality for the Division of Gastroenterology and Director of Clinical Improvement for the Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Gellad received his MD and MPH degrees from Johns Hopkins University and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology at Duke.

Ed Holzwarth

President, Little Green Software and Co-Founder, Pattern Health Technologies

Ed founded the mobile app development firm Little Green Software in 2008, after more than a decade of experience developing software for 3D games. At Little Green Software he’s led projects, large and small, for companies and clients around the globe, specializing in the health, fitness, medical and education industries, Ed provides technical, design, and business guidance for each project. In 2012, Ed co-founded Pattern Health Technologies to make it easy for patients and health care professionals to track important health metrics and better manage chronic health conditions.

Chuck Kesler

Chief Information Security Officer

Chuck Kesler, MBA is the Chief Information Security Officer at Duke Medicine, where he is responsible for the enterprise-level strategy and operational efforts for information security across all Duke Medicine entities, including its three major hospitals, the Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and the associated clinics, research institutes, centers of excellence, and support organizations. Prior to joining Duke, he managed the Security Advisory Services consulting practice for Symantec Corporation, where his team helped Fortune 500 companies assess and improve their security programs. He has over 25 years of IT industry experience, and earned an MBA and B.S. in Physics from North Carolina State University. He is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Jonathon Law

Attorney and UX Consultant

Jon is an attorney and UX consultant. He previously focused his litigation practice on the financial services sector, having advised and defended investment banks, hedge funds, and municipal entities. In 2010, he clerked for Chief Judge Michael McCuskey of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Jon has also led interface design teams for commercial entities and federal agencies, including Goldman Sachs, Vodafone Group, and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. He was a Google Policy Fellow, analyzing telecommunications and intellectual property policy. Earlier in his career, Jon researched the basis of human memory using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Jon has an AB in psychology from Princeton, an MA in psychology from Johns Hopkins, and a JD from the University of Illinois. He is interested in ensuring that humanity is not overlooked in the pursuit of health.

Richard C. Mather III MD (Chad)

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center

Richard C. Mather III MD (Chad) is currently an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He has a BS in economics from Miami University and an MD from Duke. His clinical practice focuses on hip arthroscopy. He is a health services researcher with a focus in economic analysis and shared decision making. He is very involved with health policy research and political advocacy within regional and national orthopaedic professional societies. He has authored multiple publications and has numerous regional and national presentations and invited lectures while his research has been recognized with awards at regional and national meetings. In addition, he has experience in entrepreneurship. He is a co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of for[MD], a social media platform focused on facilitating improved advocacy and community management for professional societies. He is currently enrolled in the executive MBA program at the Fuqua School of Business.

Katie Donohue McMillan, MPH

Digital Health Technology Strategist

Katie Donohue McMillan, MPH is a Digital Health Technology Strategist at Smashing Boxes in Durham, as well as a founding member of the Triangle mHealth Consortium. During her Master's in Public Health Program at UNC Chapel Hill she successfully lobbied for a Public Health Entrepreneurship course to introduce students to the world of start-ups. She has experience working for USAID, Lockheed Martin, Care International and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Katie's interests include emerging technologies like Google Glass to improve patient care and increase efficiency in hospitals, as well as mobile health applications for data collection and behavior change support. In a past life she lived in Spain and is an avid international traveler.

Sean Moran, MD

Resident Physician in the Department of Psychiatry at University of North Carolina Hospitals

Sean Moran, MD is a Resident Physician in the Department of Psychiatry at University of North Carolina Hospitals. He completed his undergraduate degree in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, with a concentration in Biotechnology and Artificial Organs. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch. While completing residency, Sean is also involved in healthcare advocacy and currently serves as the American Psychiatric Association Resident Delegate to the American Medical Association, where he sits on the Committee on Business and Economics in the Residents and Fellows Section.

Rahul Pagidipati

CEO of Anion Healthcare Services

Rahul founded and has served as the CEO of Anion Healthcare Services, a medical billing and software outsourcing firm since 1999. He is the managing partner of the Pagidipati Family Limited Partnership which holds significant investments in both public (J. Alexanders, ITEX,, and others) and private corporations. Mr. Pagidipati is a licensed attorney in the State of Florida and a Partner at Rhodes Tucker PLLC a corporate, bankruptcy and real estate law firm based in Fort Myers (Sanibel Island), Florida.

Mr. Pagidipati has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Florida, a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law. Mr. Pagidipati served on the Board of Directors of Suncoast Labs, before its acquisition by Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH), and co-founded and served on the Board of Directors of Freedom Health, the largest privately held Medicare Advantage HMO in the United States of America.

Jennifer Richards

Clinical Assistant Professor

Jennifer is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She serves as the Vice Chair for Administration for the Department of Psychiatry and as the medical director for the child and adolescent psychiatry and eating disorder inpatient units at UNC hospitals. She received her M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Andy Roth

Business Development at RocketBolt   |   LinkedIn

Andy Roth has two degrees from Duke Law School, including one specializing in entrepreneurship. Prior to law school he spent several years in New York City pursuing professional acting. He is currently the Director of Business Development for RocketBolt, a startup which has just completed The Startup Factory's Fall 2013 program.

Ryan J. Shaw

Assistant Professor

Dr. Shaw is an Assistant Professor at the Duke University School of Nursing with interdisciplinary training in nursing, health informatics, and computer science. He researches ways to use digital health technologies to help people adhere to medical treatment regimens, self-manage chronic illness, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Shaw works with a team of scientists and clinicians that discover how to use personalized biological, behavioral, and environmental data from novel technologies to deliver just-in-time individualized health interventions, also known as personalized medicine. This includes patient self-generated data from mobile phone apps, wrist-worn physical activity monitors, phone-tethered glucose and blood pressure devices, geospatial location information, and other sources including the weather and electronic health records. He also teaches classes in health informatics and data analytics.

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