Exposure to Great Thought Leaders and Teachers Offers Untold Value

by | Aug 6, 2015 | Alliances, Diversity, Education, Fogarty Innovation, Mentoring, Thought Leadership

You may not remember what you learned in a class, but you will always remember a great teacher.

Here at the Institute we take that observation to heart – our goal is to enable interns and entrepreneurs to be exposed to inspiring mentors and teachers who will make a lasting impact on their lives and careers. This fits with the Institute’s vision of not only nurturing the current companies, but also creating a culture of innovation and strong leadership for the future.

This summer alone, our interns had the opportunity to meet with an amazing cohort of experts experienced in every facet of the medtech field – from regulators to business operations to engineers. They spent time hearing from and talking to notable professionals like Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who co-chairs the House Medical Technology Caucus; Hank Plain, highly successful, seasoned VC; Mike Mussallem, of Edwards Lifesciences – one of the most respected CEOs in this field; Steve Levere, corporate lawyer from Jones Lang LaSalle; Dr. Thomas Krummel, renowned surgeon, medical pioneer and innovator; Josh Makower, leading medtech entrepreneur and CEO of ExploraMed; and Hanson Gifford, serial entrepreneur, inventor and founder of The Foundry.

As with most accomplished entrepreneurs and innovators, these luminaries have not just enjoyed immense success in their professional lives, but they have also experienced failure. Through those failures, they have learned lessons equally important as those learned from their achievements. They shared their stories and insights to the delight and appreciation of the interns: tales of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Learning from this field of experts will make a lasting impact on our interns and entrepreneurs, whether they are making a business decision or contemplating life choices. It’s the type of exposure and experience that all of us who have grown up in the medtech space would have loved to have had, and certainly would have benefited from.

In several cases, these experts have even taken the next step and become mentors to our startups, guiding them through the challenges of building and leading a company. For example, Ferolyn Powell, former Evalve CEO, was instrumental in shaping one of our graduate companies, Prescient; and Annula Jayasuriya, VC and co-founder of the “Evolvence India Life Science Fund,” helped Surbhi Sarna form nVision.

We are also replicating this successful mentoring model for our fellows who come to the Institute from around the world to learn from the best in the field. Whether it’s business, innovation, medicine or telehealth, we provide the mentorship to inform and inspire a new crop of young creative minds.

The relationships developed and lessons learned in the mentoring of fellows are invaluable to their future success, and therefore to the future well-being of patients and the advancement of healthcare overall.

A quote that resonates with me is as follows: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Here at the Institute, we are fortunate to count among our supporters many inspiring teachers who are truly making an impact.

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