The World Health Summit brings together stakeholders and decision makers from every field in the healthcare spectrum, providing a platform for exchange with experts from academia, industry, politics and civil society. It is the world’s foremost strategic forum for public health, and promotes thought leadership in the scientific and global health agenda. In fall of 2014, we were asked to help the WHS find ways to make their program more successful and attractive to potential partners.
The makeup of the event came largely from a tight community of established players. While the subject matter was exciting and thought-provoking, the inclusion of some fresh voices might make it even more dynamic and could further define the direction of the summit for the future.
The result from our Design Dash workshop was the development of the Startup Track, a worldwide competition with the aim to highlight and display outstanding ideas and innovative business concepts that have the potential to change the way people are diagnosed, cured and informed, thus revolutionizing healthcare. Young organizations from all over the world are asked to send in their applications describing their endeavors. From these, a selection of 30 semi-finalists are given the chance to display their business ideas and to network with the world’s leading minds in the healthcare sector at the summit. Ten finalists are given five minutes to pitch their concepts at the Startup Track event. From these, a jury chooses a winner who is announced later that evening at the WHS Night ceremony. They receive extensive business coaching and access to an exclusive network of influencers to help grow their company.
From the very first year, the Startup Track was an outstanding success. Many participants of the summit praised it for making a stir and enlivening the discussion and program in general. The initiative created value on various levels. It not only gave the potential of accessibility to entrepreneurs and idea-makers who will be the thought leaders of tomorrow, it also broadened the appeal of the summit among a wider audience. This included potential investors. The World Health Summit organizers have made it a permanent part of this yearly event and eobiont continues to help organize it as an official strategic partner.