Student

Healthcare Makerthon: From strangers to co-founders

A journey of innovation, friendship, and immense growth

Photo of Sabina and Andrew from Health Huddle.

 

The five of us were total strangers when we met during the events leading up to the 3rd Annual NYU Healthcare Makerthon. We came from diverse backgrounds within the healthcare space, and together we encompassed the perspectives of the payor, provider, administrator, and engineer. Despite our differences, we were unified by our passion for improving patient safety: a passion which ultimately led us to pursue the challenge of reducing hospital-acquired infections through improving nursing education. Although none of us came from backgrounds in nursing, we were drawn to the practicality of this challenge, as well as the immense potential to affect positive change through our innovations.

 

The Makerthon weekend itself was a blur of customer discovery, rapid prototyping, intense diagramming, hospital shadowing, business development, delicious food, and more! Although we weren’t familiar with the nursing landscape, the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute connected us with nurses and other subject matter experts who gave us feedback and help along the way. After a weekend of pivots and breakthroughs, we pitched our concept, HealthHuddle, in front of a panel of experienced judges in the hopes of winning $10,000 in grant funding. Following the pitch, I remember thinking about how inspiring it was to be in a room full of such passionate and innovative people. Although I was nervous to hear the results of the competition, I was mainly incredibly proud of myself and my team for putting ourselves out there and taking full advantage of the opportunity to channel our passion for healthcare into action.

Photo of Sabina from Health Huddle pitching

I am proud to say that HealthHuddle was one of four winners of the Makerthon, a pivotal moment which launched us down an exciting pathway. After the Makerthon, HealthHuddle went on to win 2nd place at InnoVention competition, 1st place at Stern and Messapp’s Mission: Appossible competition, and much more. We’ve conducted over 150 interviews and user testing sessions with nurses and key stakeholders, incorporated as an official company, developed the first beta version of our product, and participated in the NYU Summer Sprint and Summer Launchpad accelerators. Above all, the five of us have grown from total strangers, to co-founders, confidants, and everything in between.

 

a leap of faith, and a step outside of one’s comfort zone, can yield incredible results

 

The purpose of this post isn’t to list all of HealthHuddle’s accolades since participating in the Makerthon last year. It’s to tell a story of how a leap of faith, and a step outside of one’s comfort zone, can yield incredible results. Prior to attending the event, I remember thinking that I had no idea how to code, and I remember questioning what degree of value I would be able to offer my future teammates. Despite this moment of self-doubt, I decided to go to the event anyway. Needless to say, it far exceeded any expectations I could have possibly dreamed of. Even if the Makerthon is just a one-off event that you attend, the lessons you will learn, and the spirit of innovation you will be a part of, will last far beyond that weekend. I encourage you all to keep an open mind, bring your energy, and be prepared for the experience of a lifetime!