Last week, Minneapolis custom software developer MentorMate announced the launch an “incubator” and “HealthKit Lab”, representing a “fully focused vertical in health care with a focus on mobile strategy.”
As a follow-up to that press release, we reached out to MentorMate’s new Healthcare Practice Director Jack Cosentino to learn more:
What does incubator mean in this context and what is the Apple HealthKit Lab?
JC: We are making a definite strategic move at this point in time. First, with me coming aboard to address a massive hole in the healthcare industry. Together with some fairly substantial names in the industry, including the Mayo Clinic — the intent is that there’s yet to be a Mentormate in the marketplace to lead and guide this industry.
We have reached out to the folks at Google, Apple, and some other leaders. 30% of our existing business is in already health driven and our intent is to definitely claim stake to this industry and let our position be known. With the launch and emergence of the new HealthKit, we already have our development team working on dissecting and integrating this with our existing clientele and leveraging some new devices developed with iPhone 6 and the new iWatch.
Is this an internally focused initiative or is there an external component to the “incubator.”
JC: We are working both internally and externally. The first intent with the incubator is to assits concepts with entrepreneurs and the startup community to help accelerate their models and bring them out to the market and into the clinical experience. Secondarily, on the external face, it’s to let the digital health community know that there is a center-point and to allow them the growth potential as we intend to stretch MentorMate aggressively into the space.
What are the benefits, from an entrepreneurs/startup perspective, to being a strategic partner with MentorMate?
JC: It would entail that we are going to gain assets within our operation to provide direction for others. There’s a whole lot of firms who can do what MentorMate does in terms of developing technology and mobile solutions, but there’s very few who can steer thought leadership both with device manufacturers, but also with the reimbursement model with providers and payers.
We are developing partnerships with groups like UnitedHealthGroup in making strides looking at big data, device, mobile — where things are headed. Hopefully giving some insight and guidance for those entrepreneurs.
The intent is to incubate concepts with entrepreneurs and the startup community, to be a strategic partner. We’re looking at what the bigger organizations want and how to match them or how to ensure that their development initiates are aligned.
What could entrepreneurs expect from this incubator/lab?
JC: We are communicating with other accelerators nationwide. Our intent is not just on the strategic business side, in terms of guidance and introductions, but also concepts associated with investments. We’re overall looking at it from on a project by project basis right now, where there’s value for both the entrepreneur and MentorMate. We are going to be starting with some educational opportunities.
What would a good partner look like to MentorMate?
JC: We’re looking for the best of breed. In working in collaboration with folks at Mayo Ventures, for example, the potential to give them some screening for the best technology that’s out there in the marketplace so we can continue the pursuing better patient outcomes.
We’ve already been working with ventures who already have their strategies, also those outside of technology who want to participate.
What does Apple HealthKit Lab mean to you?
JC: The HealthKit Lab, in combination with the iWatch right now, there’s a tremendous amount of speculation right now around where they are intending to go. Intervention has been the focus, however, it’s now about prevention.
We think both Apple and Google are looking to be data aggregators associated to health and fitness. They are creating new market segmentation, and our role is not to wait for clients to come to us, but to educate them on where the marketplace is going.
The scale and execution is changing the landscape, so how do you innovate and monetize on these new platforms with a new set of business logic?
How closely will you be working with Apple, Google, Samsung, etc?
JC: Right now we are engaged and defining our role. As time progresses, our goal is to be at the center of what they have to offer, working as an integration partner and evangelist for them to promote their technology. How close? We’re hoping extremely close. We’ve had very positive communications thus far and you can expect some significant announcements from us on that in the near future.
What were you doing prior to joining MentorMate?
JC: I was the CTO at Life Science Alley. I also work in an advisory role with the Mayo Clinic and my family has been in this industry for a long time — between my brother’s company CardioCom (acquired by Medtronic) and our family company called Minntech Corporation which was sold to CanTel Medical.
Anything that I didn’t ask or you’d like to add?
JC: Startups are the heartbeat of the healthcare industry and the Twin Cities have proliferated within the sector. MentorMate is extremely open to serving the device and healthcare industry.
On a side note, MobCon is working to add digital health into it’s agenda for this year.