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Solving Big Problems with Tech

July 5, 2016

More than 45 startup founders focused on using technology to solve big problems came to Redwood City last Tuesday for two phenomenal events hosted by GSVlabs. The Digital Wellness Innovation Showcase in collaboration with IBM and Stanford Children’s Hospital welcomed more than 400 attendees, while the 2016 Global Innovation through Science and Technology Tech-I competition in collaboration with the State Department as part of the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit welcomed more than 30 entrepreneurs from 24 different countries.

GSVlabs is dedicated to accelerating entrepreneurial efforts towards global innovation that make positive social impacts on the world. These two events gave GSVlabs the opportunity to further that mission.

Attendees at DWIS 2016 gathered at GSVlabs to hear how 15 startups are promoting digital health and wellness. Digital wellness is about leveraging technology and innovation to make healthy-living easier, cheaper, and more accessible. The innovation showcase highlighted how technology is changing the way we receive healthcare.

The event kicked off with panelists Dr. Edward Schor, Cherisse Lunt, and Dr. Michael-Anne Brown, moderated by Lisa Hammitt, IBM’s Vice President of Cloud Portfolio and Solutions Marketing. Their discussion focused on how patient experiences have transformed as a result of technology, and the tradeoffs of using technology to continuously monitor a patient vs. using human doctors to put meaning to the data.

Fourteen startups pitched for 3 minutes each: Calm, Kurbo Health, MyHealth Teams, Fit3D, Massine Boecker, Resoltz, Cocoon Cam, Lantern, Flex Insights, Care.Coach, Moti, Bloom Technologies, 7 Cups of Tea, and Welkin Health. One more startup did not make it on stage due to traffic, but joined the reception later.

Two of these startups, Fit3D and Flex Insights, are GSVlabs residents. Fit3D uses 3D body scanning to capture exact measurements that are intuitive to understand. Flex Insights is an app that acts as a personal trainer at home.

All of the startups that presented solve different health and wellness problems by leveraging the digital space and new technologies. As Resoltz’s CEO Eugene Baah said, “We exist to create a culture of health throughout the country.” These businesses range from products that help us build good habits to apps that teach users how to meditate.

After the presentations, the fifteen startups moved downstairs to demo their products and apps for the 400+ attendees to try it out in person. With food and drinks, the reception was abuzz with entrepreneurs, health gurus, doctors, and patients alike.

After the innovation showcase reception came to a close, some attendees stayed at GSVlabs to meet the 30 entrepreneurs from countries like Bangladesh, Jordan, and Vietnam, who were participating in the 2016 GIST Tech-I competition, a 2-day workshop preceding GES 2016.

GSVlabs strives to accelerate entrepreneurs, their ideas, and their businesses, and this 2-day workshop was the perfect opportunity to mentor and coach entrepreneurs to encourage global innovation. The State Department partnered with GSVlabs for the GIST Tech-I competition as part of President Obama’s initiative to make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place by connecting entrepreneurs from across the globe.

This 2-day workshop preceded the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit where these 30 entrepreneurs pitched at GES 2016 at Stanford University for a chance to win $15,000.

After the workshop, the reception at GSVlabs served as an intimate networking session with food and drinks before the competition. All entrepreneurs were also given a tour of the space that physically hosts almost 100 startups. During the tour, they emphasized how impressed they were by the social impact many of the residents were making, as part of a new social impact initiative. To end the night, GSVlabs’s CEO Marlon Evans spoke a few encouraging words, spurring an impromptu practice pitch session on stage.

Attendees leftover from the innovation showcase and GSVlabs staff noted how passionate and spirited the pitches were. “All of the entrepreneurs care so deeply about their countries and identified technology as a way of providing solutions to transportation, energy, education and disease among others,” said Bobby Amiri, the Director of Global Business Development.

The reception was a culmination of all the hard work these 30 entrepreneurs had put in to make a global impact. Although not everyone won prize money, they all gained invaluable experience and exposure to the Silicon Valley’s top corporations, entrepreneurs, and investors through GES 2016.

GSVlabs is a global innovation center based in Silicon Valley that accelerates startups and connects corporations to exponential technologies, business models, and entrepreneurs. Its 72,000 square-foot facility houses over 150+ startups and partners. A global innovation platform, GSVlabs works with individuals, startups, and corporate partners to accelerate their growth, and is focused on key technology verticals, including Big Data, Sustainability, Education Technology (EdTech), Entertainment and Mobile. GSVlabs also houses three accelerators including ReBoot Career Accelerator for Women, Core Labs Game Accelerator, and GSVlabs Pioneer Accelerator with Google Developers Launchpad.

This post was written by Sunyoung Kye and originally appeared on our Medium account.

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