Dear Friends and Partners of the PLSG,
Pittsburgh is once again abuzz with our University students and the dog days of summer almost behind us. Here at the Greenhouse, we’ve been busy executing activities based on your input. Over the past 18 months, we have been focused on evaluating the life sciences market, assessing its trends, and formulating strategies that will allow us to better serve our community.
Our new initiatives are sound and have been designed to capitalize on the digitization of health care that will impact all life sciences products, for without this knowledge built into our life sciences products, many of these products will fail in the future and threaten what we’ve all built.
Health IT is in Everything
Health IT, in the future, is going to be in every product. A standardized, global web-based digitization of health care is coming and, when implemented, will remove the barriers surrounding the specialized world of managing health data. This event will open life sciences markets to more progressive suppliers.
Its impact? The future is Amazon-like, not EPIC-like, which opens a whole new world of innovation for Health IT. This, coupled with the rapid rate of AI and Big Data development, means that Health IT is impacting every life sciences vertical.
The PLSG has been tracking this trend over the past several years, and evidence shows it is now poised to drive innovation in every vertical we serve: Biotechnology, Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Therapeutics. If we don’t help entrepreneurs in each of our verticals understand how information flow impacts their venture, they will not make it through the ‘valley of death.’ It’s that simple.
The PLSG needed to do something. Realizing the importance of this market shift, we aggressively pursued and won a $500,000 ‘Regional Innovation Strategies’ grant last year.
The ‘Health IT Pittsburgh’ initiative will capitalize on Pittsburgh’s three major clusters: its healthcare systems, its life sciences expertise, and its strong IT communities.
Where do we start? We are about to launch a new website, HealthITPittsburgh.com, that is the cornerstone of our cluster initiative, as these communities need to be connected; they need to find each other. The PLSG plans to kick-off its initiative during ‘U.S. National Health IT Week,’ October 8th-12th. Please look for that announcement.
From EIR to Mentorship
The PLSG’s success and value in drawing EIR talent to the region is evidenced by our proven track record. However, funding this approach is expensive. And yet, it is the domain knowledge we offer and the connections we make, that are critical to entrepreneurial success. Our challenge is how to deliver the meaningful level of service to the community in a cost-effective way. We are aggressively working on a mentoring/coaching network strategy to support our local community. This network will not only be made up of regional life sciences experts but will draw in national life sciences leaders to our region. More details to come.
Digital Tools are Better
We have seen a shift in the way entrepreneurs want and use information; they desire digital access. Recognizing this, 18 months ago we started an effort to expand our digital offering. Through a re-launch of PLSG.com, developing the ‘Capitalization of the Venture’ video, launching ‘HealthcareData.Center,” and issuing the soon to be released ‘IP Workbook,’ we are building our digital arsenal to meet the demands of our community. It’s our unique domain experience that allows us to ‘go deep’ in areas that benefit local start-ups, and the digital space allows us to impact more companies.
As we enter the fall and look forward to 2019, we will continue to focus on expanding and serving the life sciences community, including our Health IT segment; building a sustainable PLSG to serve our community today and well into the future.
In my 18 months as CEO, we have completed two community surveys, and it is your feedback that has shaped our very strategy and adjusted our approaches. I want to personally thank you for your support, and please keep the feedback coming because as an economic development organization, this is your PLSG. We look forward to your continued comments and support.