Beaverton’s HTC completes Inventor Space Feasibility Study: Part 1

The Health Technology Collaborative recently completed its charge from Business Oregon, via a grant in the High Impact Opportunity Program.  The $148,000 grant was awarded to the HTC in December, 2018, to examine the feasibility of an “Inventor Space” operating in Oregon focused on accelerating the growth of the healthcare technology sector. This sector would also include efforts currently described as “digital health.”

This Inventor Space Feasibility Study explores the hypothesis that Oregon’s economic development and innovation funds can achieve the highest innovation return on investment by supporting companies during the period that precedes the first year of revenue (N) —or Year N minus one, or two. Unlike existing incubators, which often attract very early-stage companies still shaping their product vision, gathering customer feedback, and often needing “business infrastructure guidance (e.g. corporate structuring, professional referrals, etc.), a healthcare inventor space would support innovators building their final MVP, or Minimum Viable Product.

“Without a working prototype of their core technology, entrepreneurs find themselves facing the classic chicken and egg scenario. Can’t build it without money; can’t get money without building it,” said the grant’s principal investor Charles Austen Angell. The research team included executives and teams from Curadite, HealthSaaS, Modern Edge Consulting, Pinnacle, Catalyze, Orangewall Studios, Because Human, Scruggs & Associates LLC, and Get Ethno.

The feasibility study derived three key insights:

  • Make communities matter: Various areas of the technology industry have specific needs. Each group requires concentration to catalyze the growth of their communities. With the diversity in areas of the technology industry, such as life sciences, communications and healthcare, certain markets have specific needs that can only be served through sector-specific communities.
  • Leverage diverse investments to address overlap: The health technology sector-specific communities share a broad set of overlaps (e.g., tech infrastructure, digital protocols and communications). The HTC can address these overlaps by leveraging the diverse resource investment made by the state and private industry across Oregon.
  • Focus development on the ‘pre’ stage: For entrepreneurial efforts focused on pre-prototype/presales, it’s at these moments companies may be very vulnerable. However, these inflection points offer the greatest potential for bending the growth curve of the technology industry. We believe, based on our findings, that focused development on this stage of the innovator’s journey will drive the accelerated growth of Oregon’s health-technology sector.

The mission of the HTC is to accelerate the growth of the health technology sector in Oregon. See next week’s newsletter to learn more about the specific recommendations from the HTC’s Inventor Space Feasibility Study.

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