Spotlight: PULSE@MassChallenge

August 28, 2016

Spotlight: PULSE@MassChallenge

August 28, 2016

This week we talk with Nick Dougherty the Program Director of the brand new PULSE@MassChallenge. 

What Is PULSE@MassChallenge?

Startups and strategic partners coming together to solve the biggest challenges facing patients and healthcare. It’s the most tactical and hands-on program we have ever run at MassChallenge and we are excited to see the results our collaborative program will produce.

How can Boston startups best benefit from what you do?

We source the top initiatives facing the healthcare industry from our partners, which helps steer startups towards what their customers and potential collaborators are looking for. We then matchmake startups and partners together through our application and judging process, creating demonstration project teams for our 6-month accelerator program. Finally, we support the success of these projects through mentorship and curated workshops. We can bring your company to market faster and connect you with world class partners to get you there.

What have you learned from Boston Boston Area Startups?

Boston startups are just as comfortable talking about their failures as they are about their successes. I am glad we have a culture of collaboration and an open dialogue.

What are some of the best other resources the Boston ecosystem has to offer in your opinion?

Having started and sold my own company (VerbalCare) in this ecosystem, I learned that going through programs like MassChallenge (VerbalCare was a 2013 finalist) can be invaluable to your success. The community, the resources, and the exposure catalyze and accelerate companies. Also, resources like TechGen and the Mass Tech internship programs are fantastic ways for startups to access the incredible pool of talent coming from our universities.

What is the Boston ecosystem lacking from your perspective?

We lack affordable housing.

What’s the best/worst piece of advice you were given along the way?

Best: I once had an advisor tell me the following when I was at an event on fundraising: “what are you doing here? You should be building your fucking company.”

Worst: “You have to work 100% on your startup.” Yes, you should be scrappy, but you should also make the right decisions for your business. If you’re raising money so you can put food on your table, you’re not raising money to grow your business. You can have a job that pays the bills and work full-time on your startup. Once your startup hits the milestones it needs to hit to grow, then raise.

What was the best thing that happened to you last year?

I got married to the love of my life.

What does the future hold for the Boston innovation economy?

Innovators staying in Boston to build their companies–less brain-drain.

What does the future hold for PULSE@MassChallenge?

We are going to help build a better ecosystem for digital health in the Commonwealth. The first year will be exciting and I’m anxious to see our startup and healthcare ecosystem partnerships in action. We’re taking a much more action-oriented approach in this accelerator and I am confident that the results will mean faster adoption of digital health solutions in Massachusetts.

Learn more about PULSE@MassChallenge here

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